It’s been a strange sad few weeks.
I’m about to re-enter so called ‘normal’ life but nothing’s normal. I’ve re-evaluated many things. I can’t tell you EXACTLY how, but I can tell you that I am even less tolerant now of the irrelevant, the petty, the boring, the inconsequential, the energy-sapping, the ego-driven, in all aspects of my life.
In stating this I hope I can allow more respect and more time for creative pursuits which have been squashed down, distrusted or altogether driven out for too many years. Of course, reading and writing poetry come top here. In ‘The Art of Recklessness’, Dean Young reminds me of how important it is to write ‘primitive’ poems where fundamental allegiances are to what the artist’s heart says, what the world is and what the mind adds, and that materials ( by which I think he means ‘materiality’, the makings) do not take precedence over vision and insight but are in dialogue with it.
An artist who embraces this impulse is Louise Bourgeois. Here is one of of my ‘primitive’ poems in response to her artwork, ‘The Reticent Child’. I saw it in Paris some years ago and it was like a punch in the gut. Visceral. This is how it should be. My response uses an instinctive form embodying my physical response and the radiating emotions. The poem is in my collection, ‘The Japan Quiz’ (2009, Redbeck Press).
The Reticent Child
the spider wasn’t evident
when she was a pale pink cloth woman
with distended belly
nor when belly/foetus/ womb and all
its sustaining baggage was left on the floor
nor because it happened
there on another floor
and the pale pink cloth woman pressed
down pressed down
pale pink dry cloth
yes the cord the cord
how many times wrapped round
lets say just once then
then on and on
kept strangling him with his only means of life
and then we forget a stage
but there’s the son man with his head down
standing over there with his head
like a broken flower
and look there he is like a man
curled in a pale pink cot
pale pink cloth swaddle
he is marble
makes him reticent no doubt
Let’s foster the art of recklessness. It comes easily to me and it’s liberating. Trust me.