I’ve begun a draft of the introduction to the poems and illustrations in a poetry collection I am working towards, which will be published by Waterloo Press. It would be great to have your comments and responses to the following reflections on the themes within this work.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how families ‘create schizophrenia’; or create the conditions in which the display of behaviour defined as ‘mad’ becomes the only seeming way out. Examining how madness has passed down the generations, I came up with the stanza below for a poem on fatherhood.
We look into the shady darkness of each others’ failings
like penguins sidling up to each other, sharing mirrors;
clipped wings bristling, wondering who we are
when the morning rain comes to drench our genes.
The accompanying image is a mix of the absurd and something more distressing, perhaps. A mouth-less man’s face appears, one eye crossed out; below him two Emperor penguins perched between an amoeba. A distorted sun is setting below the fatherhood horizon. More faces emerge to witness this strange confrontation.