“A blind thrust earthquake occurs along a thrust fault that does not show signs on the Earth’s surface, hence the designation “blind”. Such faults, being invisible at the surface, have not been mapped by standard surface geological mapping.”
And so came the poem, ‘Blind, thrust, fault‘ – an idea waiting in the top drawer of my desk since 2012, and which eventually came to fruit in late 2015. Almost inexcusably, it’s as if this damaging rhetoric has been seeking a genuine position, born of genuine experience. We all touch on deeper domestic waters at some point during our lives, and it would seem that the poet in me subconsciously (deeply so) desired to live the work. And did so.
Domestic violence is a subject writers must handle with care. In fact I don’t think it’ s worth writing about unless you’ve experienced it – although I suppose it depends on how you approach the page and for what cause. However, for me experience is key – and so is an understanding. Poems capture a moment – distil it in some way, and heighten the lived experience. What comes afterwards, or before, is irrelevant, Every instance is an instance in its own right – though we can obviously create poems inspired by an aftermath or seed of history, which as a side note, Siren does throughout.
My point is that, ‘Blind trust fault’ is not to be taken purely on autobiographical terms – it is foremost a mythic construct. I’m writing from experience, but it isn’t a direct outpouring from a bent and battered dairy. Similarly with ‘Obeah’ , inspired by the novel Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and the familiar extract:
“they cry out in the wind that is their voice, they rage in the sea that is their anger’
this poem is again, a mythical construct designed to deal with a deeply personal subject, and translate it in a way that brings the images and ideas to broader literary horizons.
I won’t go into too much detail with either poems, because I wish the reader to take the poems as they come. However I will say that these are sensitive poems, handling delicate subjects, and while I don’t wish to bring down a stone on anyone’s head, I do, as a poet first, and a woman second, wish to comment on and highlight both issues. That of domestic violence, and of those who live with the minute by minute crawl of mental health issues, however slight or severe.