KUAF Arts Beat: Poetry Flung Into the Kingdom of Consciousness

Feb 4, 2019

An attempt to translate Rainer Maria Rilke's poem "The Panther" at age 14 really resonated with Cody-Rose Clevidence. That impulse to dissect and deconstruct is on full display in Clevidence's new collection Flung Throne (stylized Flung Throne).

Loosely organized in a three-act structure, Flung Throne meditates on the evolution of consciousness—from the bacterial building blocks of life billions of years ago up to the complex concept of the "individual" today—a concept that is communicated in form as much as in thematic content.

"In painting you have the movement towards thinking of paint as one of the things actually being tactilely encountered, and I want to use language like that," says Clevidence. "I want my ideas to be embodied in the way that I'm using language as particulate." 

Flung Throne is formally complex and pulls from disparate sources, including geological textbooks, mythological references and the modern social experience. This formal experimentation serves as a vessel for emotional vulnerability. 

"I was bone-crushingly heartbroken and having a brutal time of existence, and for some reason I decided to blame all of that on evolution itself," explains Clevidence, who recounts a deep depression followed by healing after moving from the east coast to live on the land in in the Ozark Mountains. "I was also falling in love with the woods and the wilderness here in the Ozarks as I was writing it, so I'm both in deep pain and also having this ecstatic joy of finding myself in the wilderness."

Listen to the entire KUAF Arts Beat conversation in the streaming link above.