Introduction to (Soma)tic Poetry Exercises and the Resulting Poems

I cannot stress enough how much this mechanistic world, as it becomes more and more efficient, resulting in ever increasing brutality, has required me to FIND MY BODY to FIND MY PLANET in order to find my poetry. If I am an extension of this world then I am an extension of garbage, shit, pesticides, bombed and smoldering cities, microchips, cyber, astral and biological pollution, BUT ALSO the beauty of a patch of unspoiled sand, all that croaks from the mud, talons on the cliff that take rock and silt so seriously flying over the spectacle for a closer examination are nothing short of necessary. The most idle-looking pebble will suddenly match any hunger, any rage. Suddenly, and will be realized at no other speed than suddenly.

(Soma)tic poetry is a praxis I've developed to more fully engage the everyday through writing. Soma is an Indo-Persian word that means "the divine." Somatic is Greek. Its meaning translates as "the tissue" or "nervous system." The goal is to coalesce soma and somatic, while triangulating patterns of experience with the world around us. Experiences that are unorthodox steps in the writing process can shift the poet's perception of the quotidian, if only for a series of moments. This offers an opportunity to see the details clearer. Through music, dirt, food, scent, taste, in storms, in bed, on the subway and at the grocery store, (Soma)tic Exercises and the poems that result are just waiting to be utilized or invented, everywhere, and anytime.

The last large wild beasts are being hunted, poisoned, asphyxiated in one way or another, and the transmission of their wildness is dying, taming. A desert is rising with this falling pulse. It is our duty as poets and others who have not lost our jagged, creative edges to FILL that gap, and RESIST the urge to subdue our spirits and lose ourselves in the hypnotic beep of machines, of war, in the banal need for power, and things. With our poems and creative core, we must RETURN THIS WORLD to its seismic levels of wildness.

The aim of (Soma)tic poetry and poetics is the realization of two basic ideas: (1) Everything around us has a creative viability with the potential to spur new modes of thought and imaginative output. (2) The most vital ingredient to brining sustainable, humane changes ot our world is creativity. This can be enacted on a daily basis.

It's ALL Collaboration. Anyone who ever fed you, loved you, anyone who ever made you feel unworthy, stupid, ugly, anyone who made you express doubt or assuredness, every one of these helped make you. Those who learn to speak with authority to mask their own self-loathing, those may be the deepest influences on us. But they are part of us. And we have each fit together uniquely as a result, and so there are no misshapen forms as all are misshapen forms, from tyrants to wallflowers. Every poem written is filtered through the circumstances of the poet, through the diet of the poet. Just as unique is every reader of poems, for a thousand different readers of a poem equals a thousand diferent poems. We are here relying on one another wheter or not we wish it. There are no poets writing in quiet caves because every poet is a human being as misshapen as any other human being. The room can be as quiet as possible, earplugs can be administered, but the poet still has a parade of influence running inside from one ear to the other. The quiet room cannot blot them out; it can however help the poet listen closer to this music for their own creation. We are not alone in our particular stew of molecules and the sooner we admit, even admire the influence of this world, the freer we will be to construct new chords of throught without fear.

From A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon. Copyright © 2012 by CAConrad. Reprinted by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.