Issue 35, Final Fringe

Tagged: postnature

Metta Sáma on animals, wildness, and the unugly

by Metta Sáma, Anna Lena Phillips 06.12.2013

Metta Sáma’s prose-poem sequence, “No End to the Horror,” appeared recently in Fringe. Poetry editor Anna Lena Phillips interviewed her by email in May.

A certain literary journal used to have a line in its submission guidelines that read “No cat poems.” What are your feelings about cat-containing poems? How did le animal enter this poem?

Oh, I once heard that a certain popular writing professor forbade squirrel poems in his class, because he hated the sound of the word squirrel. I like squirrels. Animals are us & we are animal, yes? So, if we write about ourselves or our fellow humans, then we’re writing about animals. It’s quite silly for me to hear someone say that we can only focus on the human animal.

The poem began with le animal. I was so incredibly drawn to how humans and cats become interdependent and the rituals between cats and humans, the forming of bonds: who gets to be the Alpha and such. We humans laud the cat for its independence, yet so many of us (unwittingly) desire anticipating the needs of a cat (bringing them inside (domestication) from the outside (feralness), inserting ideas and desires into an animal’s body (the animal wants to... more »

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