It’s a wild, wild life – with Irene Latham!

In celebration of her 10-year blogiversary, the lovely and talented Irene Latham is celebrating all things WILD today! She has invited many of her fellow bloggers and writers to join her by sharing something on the theme of “WILD.” I’ve chosen to jump in with my own unique take on the subject…

Rather than think about what it means to be “wild” via poem, picture, story, etc. – I decided to take a slightly different route. As I was thinking about the word “wild,” the Talking Heads tune, “Wild, Wild Life” popped into my head and wouldn’t let go. (And when it comes to earworms, David Byrne and crew were excellent at creating them.)

If you’re unfamiliar with the song, here it is:

So…getting back to my plan, I wondered how I could take this earworm and turn it into something productive. Then it hit me: found poetry!

Catch Your Breath coverA ‘found poem’ is one that is made up of lines already written – perhaps from a book, magazine, or wherever. For example, one found poem I recently wrote was included in Laura Purdie Salas’ book, Catch Your Breath: Writing Poignant Poetry (Capstone Press, 2015):


Expressing unspoken thoughts
and burning desire,
a voice that is not part of the narrative
pauses for a breath;
the essential commands
extreme situations
still seem confusing.
Don’t get discouraged.
Slow down,
evaluate your work,
and take your time
through talent,
steely focus,
and faith
to change the world.

– © 2014 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

That poem was created from a multitude of lines I pulled from various voiceover websites! I did not write any additional words; everything above was already written. I just organized the lines in such a way as to create a new work.

That’s what I decided to do today! Pulling lines from various songs that had the word “wild” in the title, I created this poem:


Here on this mountaintop,
feeling like I’m racing
in the wind
I wrestle your conscience; at night
undercover by the water
everything seems
in a state of grace.

I remember a time
there came
a killing frost
reflected in your eyes;
the one that loved you
tried to tame you.

I wonder
if you think about it.

Come, stand
before the mirror
before the wind
catches your feet;
In a world gone crazy, you
reckless and hungered,
can be anything
you want to be.

– © 2015, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

I used a bunch of songs for this, too – from multiple genres of music! Here’s the list:

“Wild, Wild Life” by Talking Heads
“Wild One” by Janis Joplin
“Real Wild Child” by Iggy Pop
“Wild Side of Life” by Hank Thompson
“Wild Thing” by The Troggs
“Pickin’ Wildflowers” by Keith Anderson
“Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf
“Your Wildest Dreams” by The Moody Blues
“Wildfire” by Michael Martin Murphy
“Wild Night” by Van Morrison
“Wild Boys” by Duran Duran

Be sure to visit Irene’s blog and see all the links her friends are sharing – and if you haven’t heard, the second round of “Poetry…Cubed!” just got underway this past Friday, so click HERE to learn more about how you can win this fun contest!


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32 thoughts on “It’s a wild, wild life – with Irene Latham!

  1. Matt! Your wild found poem is AWESOME! All those songs -it’s a WILD playlist! I am enamored of those last 4 lines especially. And that killing frost… oh, wow. Thank you for joining the celebration, Matt. So glad to know you! And now Wild Wild Life is echoing in my head. 🙂


  2. margaretsmn

    Love this wild and crazy idea. How long did it take you? My husband was a Talking Heads fan and we once saw a movie in NYC when I was huge and pregnant with my first child. She’s 30! It’s a wild, wild life.


  3. Catherine Johnson

    Your wild found poem is fabulous, very wild! It’s making me want to do a found poem too. What a fun way to celebrate a blogiversary.


  4. Very imaginative, Matt! That “killing frost in your eyes” makes me a little nervous, though. A person might steal your thesaurus (AND your rhyming dictionary) and tear apart your notebook when they’re feeling that way…


  5. I love this poem! As soon as I read

    I wonder
    if you think about it

    I thought, Moody Blues. But I didn’t recognize the rest. It all just sounded like a truly terrific poem. I love centos, and this idea of creating one from song lyrics all on a theme led to magic. Bravo!


    1. Thank you so much, Laura! I never used to be a huge fan of centos or found poems because they often feel too ‘overworked’; that is, I got the feeling they were made of of disparate pieces and didn’t flow as well as a completely original poem. But when they are done well, they can, indeed, be seamless, which is what I strive for – I never know for sure if I’m succeeding at that, of course, but that’s what I strive for!


  6. Laura Shovan

    These found poems are so cool, Matt. It’s a form of Cento poem, yes? I haven’t heard this Talking Heads song in a long time — thanks for the walk down 80s lane.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great idea, Matt–and you’ve found a terrific poem (that pony she named wildfire is riding through my brain right now. I clicked on the video and my husband started dancing–he was a big Talking Heads fans back in the day.)


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