Guided tour through Zero Gravity


The final poem I am going to talk about, from an author’s perspective (which as you all now is not the definitive story and should be treated with some suspicion) is the poem “Obsidian”, which appears on page 63 of the collection. It was originally published in New Contrast (SA Literary Journal) 36

Obsidian is considered a crystal with special therapeutic and healing powers, usually of a grounding or protective nature. In appearance it is a black glassy substance – and is produced through volcanic activity. This is one of those poems of mine that lends itself, I suspect, to psychoanalytic reading, particularly in its exploration between the ideas of death and a dark, uncertain sexuality, linked to the female and the male fear of female sexuality (of which the image of the Gorgon (the most famous of these being Medusa) – the mythical female creature that turned male onlookers to stone (which connects with the idea of obsidian as a crystal or special “stone”).
I am conscious that it make be difficult to give the reader a full guided tour – because the poem is strongly dictated by strong unconscious images, which set up their own logic and chain of associations that I simply followed. When I had completed it I had a sense that it was a powerful poem speaking a dark truth about my psyche, and therefore the human psyche, but that there were things that I couldn’t translate into ordinary, everyday language, the language of sun-consciousness.

Readers who know their psychoanalytic theory will not be surprised to find themselves looking into a bathroom mirror in the second stanza, and for this to be cracked and for that crack to tempt exploration and to result in a change in perception (but is the change positive or negative…or… both together?)


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