The Hack to a Transcendental State: Elaine Feeney’s Poetry – Rise.

I feel that she’s playing with the reader in this book. Through format, punctuation or lack when it suits, capitalisation even. This to me, is a needed catapult of needs, pain, desires and motherhood laid bear on a page. Let’s play!

The work is a structure between structure at times.

Most times, each poem is different from the one on the opposite page. Not on purpose but because it felt like the right thing for the poem, the book whispers.

Each work of art is just that. Such a playful, jarring, upsidedown’y collection of poems.

Freeing and my oh my how my rational mind tried to get the sweeping brush out to bring some of those large spaces together. Or to dust down her words hinting at lust and desires. I had no idea I was such a prude, I have read too many men, I fear.

I policied her words at times and yet highlighted them to savour later. So fresh. My mind scrambled after each reading (- thank you for the break.) My thoughts tried to censor her words, my ego rallied at the raw edge this little book cliffed-open in my mind. Oh and that sea breeze left behind….

It was sunny on the deck when I finished it. My dog, who how is recovering from a vet’s visit slept under my chair. My toddler slept in his room while Dada worked from home in his den, to the left of his video games and right of his jesury collection.

Rise confused me, shocked me, waved at me, and helped my subconscious rest awhile as my conscious mind tried in-vane to find a nice little rhyme or pretty prose of domestic bliss so as to chastise my poor attempt at mothering later. I could not weaponise her words to be used against me. Girl power, poem power. I am poempower now.

Who needs their transcendental meditation mantra when you have poetry to get you into flow.

Mike McCormack’s praise for the author is fitting – ‘Feeney’s poems have a pounding physical presence yet they run away with the mind.’

I’m looking forward to reading her latest work, the novel, As You Were.

Elaine Feeney reading the poem Rise from her collection of poems – Rise, published by Salmon Poetry 2017. Available at all good book shops, please support Irish book shops. x

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