“Wild” Featured Artist Joan Mazza

Synkroniciti is pleased to welcome poet Joan Mazza with three fascinating poems: “To Touch a Wild Animal,” “Armillaria mellea” and “Rewilding.” The first is a marvelous modified villanelle–such a tricky form to master, but Joan knows her quarry well–exploring the difference between seeking physical contact with wildness and hunting. If we wish to experience wildness, we cannot confront it but must rather contend with our own fear, the vestigial trace of wildness left behind in our minds. “Be ready for the shaking when you’re close to touch.” The second talks about a form of mushroom, the Honey Fungus, Armilaria mellea, which, for decades has been considered edible, but seems occasionally responsible for cases of poisoning. Joan postulates that “Life is too short to gamble for mushrooms just because they’re free and abundant.” She prefers to take pictures of them instead, hunting only for beauty and knowledge, not to possess or eat. The final poem explores the dangers of trying to undo our our human damage on ecosystems, in this case by rewilding wolves in Yellowstone. While it stabilized the ecosystem, it also created dangers for humans. “Who will learn to live with all kinds of other life when it’s so difficult for humans to live with humans?” Joan explores nature with abundant curiosity tempered by empathy, revealing the same tendencies in the gentle clarity and razor-precision of her verse.

Experience Joan’s intelligent poetry in Synkroniciti’s “Wild” issue: https://synkroniciti.com/the-magazine/purchase-individual-issues/.

Joan Mazza worked as a microbiologist and psychotherapist, and taught workshops on understanding dreams and nightmares. She is the author of six psychology books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam). Her poetry has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, The Comstock Review, Poet Lore, Slant, and The Nation.

She lives in rural central Virginia and writes every day.

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