~ Social Wilderness ~ Winner of the ‘XYZ Prize for Innovation in Spoken Word’ 2016

Honoured to have been awarded the winning entry for the 2nd ‘XYZ Prize for Innovation in Spoken Word’. The award was presented at the Queensland Poetry Festival and supported by Queensland Arts. A big thank you to the judges and the other poets who entered.

XYZ Prize for Innovation in Spoken Word


~ Social Wilderness ~

I wish I could convey myself to you more adequately
than just words
or sounds
or light
or even touch-
and the reason is no different to your wish to convey meaning to me
or to another
or to everyone.
It burns doesn’t it;
in the hollow of our chests and the ashen pits of our stomachs?
I know you feel it too-
that absence of connection
that intimate reciprocation of being.
I know because you post your attempts to be understood on a worldwide stream of sex and status updates
And you share reflections of yourself from the end of a stick
So that people will validate your existence
and call you beautiful
and wonderful
and amazing
and all the things that nature takes for granted-
And when you’ve barely had your fill you will post another attempt at acceptance
And people like me
– who desire the idea of you-
will click ‘like’
and you will have achieved nothing
and I will have received nothing
And we will continue this charade until it has lost all the meaning that it didn’t have;
and the hollow in our chests
and the ashen pits of our stomachs
will still burn for something real
Something true
Something that cannot be quantified or liked
or depreciated with an emoticon;
But rather something that can be shared
– and only shared-
For that is what understanding is-
A shared truth.
And that’s what I wish I could convey to you more adequately than any of the billboards of ego that we piss against
Or the thumbnail processions of youthful bodies and perfumed beards
And babies who suckle now on the teat of technology;
While the frontier of being truly human
slowly fills
with the wilderness
of our longing to be…

Benjamin W Wild © 2016


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