SOMETIMES, I would be so lost in the process of intricate crafting that I would be writing for many hours and didn’t realise it had gone from day to night and back to day again before I came up for air! I tend to go into an almost trance-like machine state when in full flow. I love the overall feeling of writing epics and I have very fond memories of doing so. I definitely have what one of my reviewers said is “the stamina and breath for the long poem”. For myself, personally, – in a poetic world where the less-is-more syndrome in poetry presents restrictions – I take great pleasure in and enjoy writing long poems and epics. It is immensely rewarding to gain such a wide range of powerful, critically acclaimed reactions and reviews and the finest being from an Honorary Professor: “No matter how hard I try, I just cannot write as well as you”. I say that with humility-( Poet CASSANDRA SWAN).
INSIDE THE #SIZZLINGHARDPOETRYTALK STUDIO with Medium of English Poetry CASSANDRA SWAN.
Mbizo CHIRASHA.Your writings are raw and crude as well as nerve shredding if not blood rippling, what is the PUSH behind your steely spiking verses?
“In the world there is no power more threatening than the prophetic words of a poet.”
CASSANDRA SWAN.That’s an intense way of describing my work, I like “raw” but not so much “crude” unless you sense the similarity in the presentation of some of my poetry being connected to the Russian Futurists: “A slap in the face of public taste”. I have a variant of bi-polar and have periods of hypo-manic writing and that sometimes influences my work. Being bi-polar is amazing for creativity! I don’t see it as a negative issue because when you’re manic you’re fast and furious and when you breakdown you have all the tools necessary to write confessional works. The combination works well for me.
“My tears dive as thousands of seamstress’ pins, piercing and scratching my senescent, seersucker skin.” “THE EMOTIONALLY BANKRUPT NOMAD” – Copyright C. SWAN
I’d say that anger and injustice influence my work the most. It’s amusing, because “raw” doesn’t have to be “crude”. “Crude” – by nature – makes me think of insensitivity and yet my sensitivity is such that I choose to live alone as a recluse committed to a Muse and mentor in spirit. Sometimes, unfathomable characters conceal conflicting facets of their personality and these facets manifest in personal writing. When I was asked to complete a multi-choice questionnaire, the answers came back that there was no real category I could be slotted into. They said the scores were so high and unfathomable! I have different personalities and there is a distinct change in some of my poetic voices and how they have developed over the years. I don’t truly belong in any boxes/compartments that society needs to tick and I don’t subscribe to any dogmas, pre-packed rules or what would be considered acceptable in terms of life in general. With my writing, it tends to constantly reflect rebellion. I recently did a test online for Asperger’s and the results were conducive with my pre-disposition to it! Perhaps, that is why I strive to challenge everything and everyone. One of my reviewers has said – and I think this sums me and my poetry/writing up better than most and this refers to my epic tribute to Russian Poet Mayakovsky “The Panjandrum of Quondam”:
“”The Panjandrum of Quondam” is written with an uninhibited approach to language. This long poem seeks to pre-empt criticism by the author’s stance as a revolutionary class warrior. Throughout, Cassandra Swan is conscious of her role as a writer in opposition to the establishment, whether defined by academic, political, social or gender hierarchies.”
ADRIAN GREEN – FORMER REVIEWS EDITOR – POET
I accept half of your description: “raw” because my poetry is certainly “raw”. But there is immense depth in my epics and many other works. So, I replace “crude” with “savage”. It’s like beauty being in the eye of the beholder. Each reader reads me differently, and many of my followers are post-Doctoral.
Some of my work has been likened to that of poets J. H. Prynne, Sylvia Plath, Mayakovsky, Allen Ginsberg – because I love to write epics -, Christopher Logue, Peter Reading, E. A. Poe and H. P. Lovecraft. I’m very humbled by those reviewers and readers who consider me in those fine writing leagues. I am often referred to as the “Underground Poet Laureate” one reader – another Professor – sent me a message to say: “Candy Cotton Kid and The Faustian Wolf” was the most extraordinary epic he had ever read and the only comparison was on a par with Ginsberg’s “Howl” Another Psychology Professor said: “Sylvia Plath lives on in and because of you, your work is on a par with hers.” I don’t set out to be like anyone at all! If my work resembles other profound and individual writers it is because the one theme here is the quality of writing. To be likened to writers who have written quality writing is a connectedness, therefore people who have read the other writers are only able to associate my work in parts to these other writers and that is because they have a desperate and insecure need to put their confusion and fears to one side and admit that I resemble nothing tangible or in the framework they work in or any other writer if the truth be known.
“Shine on bright star in heaven’s cerebellum – shine on!” C. SWAN
(For Sylvia Plath)
Readers and critics sometimes flounder in complete confusion without a compartment to put me and my writing in. That is nothing to do with me that is everything to do with limited thinkers who do not have the potential to criticise anything well unless they are comfortable with it and it slots into already available compartments, styles, forms or any pre-conceived, already established writers/written works. I always say that I can criticise a critic as they show who they are by what they say and most of the time they are on the wrong track. I must admit that I haven’t received bad criticism.
My aims are different to most and popularity as a writer usually means that the herd and masses like the work! I am not in that category. I cater to a different arena altogether. I don’t write for the masses. I don’t care if nobody has even heard of me and popularity isn’t part of my agenda, what I care about in the main is suffering and abuse and how to eradicate them from societies throughout the world.
I like shining a light on – and in – darkness, revealing the corruption and evil, that doesn’t mean I am a religious person! I am a deeply spiritual person and I do believe some people are chosen to do certain work in the world.
Some people are chosen to challenge huge institutions and authorities regardless of the power and established, deeply-ingrained longevity these establishments have on mass consciousness. I believe that I am – in part – an individual who confronts and challenges the most rigid of rules, rulers and belief systems in the world. That is what motivates and often creates my “steely, spiking verses” as you detected in my work.
“I’m too intelligent, too demanding, and too resourceful for anyone to be able to take
charge of me entirely. No-one knows me or loves me completely. I have only myself.” Simone De Beauvoir
My appreciation is for all kinds of poets – including Mayakovsky, Thomas Paine, Chaucer, J. H. Prynne, Rumi, Rainer Maria Rilke, Rabindranath Tagore, Sufi poets, Derek Walcott, the Beat Poets, Ben Okri, Lorca, Maya Angelou, Shelley, Leonard Cohen, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Robert Lowell, Marianne Moore, Marina Tsvetaeva, Yevtushenko, Anna Akhmatova, Larkin, Auden, John Donne, Dryden, Plath, Peter Reading – and so many more!
I would describe some of – more likely most of – my work as that of a serious, revolutionary, visionary, challenging, radical and deeply confessional poet whose voice echoes with the ramifications of systematic torture – and abuse – at times. I explore the darkest recesses of the sub-conscious mind and the shadiest underbellies of life that people like to pretend don’t exist! I do all of that with alarming clarity. This is not limited to what some describe as “survivor poetry”, which is very important to those who write it, but a large proportion of my work is steeped in very much more complex psychology, it is also visceral, with a deeper undercurrent and requires much more than one read to understand the epics written in my new literary/poetic style “Graphorrhoealism”, which I will explain in greater depth further into the interview.
I have found that Professors/Honorary Professors don’t just understand some of my intellectual works, but they have been alarmingly consistent with the major reviews and positive critical acclaim my works have gained from them. One Honorary Professor said that my readers should: “cultivate a higher thesaurus in your own mind”, referring to my epic poem “The Warring Harridan” which he considers thus: “Her Athenian entablatures are the final presentation of genius”. This epic was translated and published in Russian and I intend to take it to the stage as a short play and a possible ballet with another international academy. It was such a pleasure to know that it was powerful enough to inspire someone to translate and publish it in the Russian edition of his magazine NEW POETRY. In fact it was two of my epic poems that inspired him to launch a new magazine!
A large proportion of my work is a strong cocktail of anger, injustice, love, deeper spiritual wisdom and the intellectual need to create work that nobody has created before, and I believe that melting pot of brain-liquid language is what truly fuels me. I think it was C. S. Lewis who said he wrote work he wanted to read and he was a well-read child but he hadn’t read what he wanted, so he wrote it himself. I guess I have a similar vantage point.
Sometimes, I would be so lost in the process of intricate crafting that I would be writing for many hours and didn’t realise it had gone from day to night and back to day again before I came up for air! I tend to go into an almost trance-like machine state when in full flow. I love the overall feeling of writing epics and I have very fond memories of doing so. I definitely have what one of my reviewers said is “the stamina and breath for the long poem”. For myself, personally, – in a poetic world where the less-is-more syndrome in poetry presents restrictions – I take great pleasure in and enjoy writing long poems and epics. It is immensely rewarding to gain such a wide range of powerful, critically acclaimed reactions and reviews and the finest being from an Honorary Professor: “No matter how hard I try, I just cannot write as well as you”. I say that with humility.
Bringing my work to the world in unconventional ways is what I like to do most. The abuse I cover can be personal experiences of injustice, social injustice, global injustice, human rights, animal rights, protecting children and exposing corruption, these are ongoing themes for me. Injustice and a will to effectively introduce new polarities of thought, and effect positive change – where change is required – is motivation in a good deal of my work.
Injustice has a tendency to inflame my creative impetus and bring forth works of great passion as I write best when I am angry!
“I have psychically unstitched and extracted my poetic heart: it pumps independently, as a swollen, red pincushion in my paternal grandmother’s needlework box.”
“THE EMOTIONALLY BANKRUPT NOMAD” – C. SWAN
I also write deeply confessional works that take “confessional” to a completely new and probably the deepest level a reader could possibly imagine. Another Editor said:
“There is a great beauty and power to the words which flow from her pen…..and a panache and elan which will sweep you along with its eloquence. She is a poet of great integrity – and a very talented one at that.”
When I write, I write from the mind, body, soul and spirit in a kind of ritualistic, alchemical ceremony and these are my collaborative companions who each have their say. I access the higher consciousness to utilise but I also allow my other selves to have various voices.
I enjoy silence and spend much of my time in silence and always alone. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve developed a new Literary/Poetic Style known as “Graphorrhoealism”, this comes from Greek – “Graphien” to write and “Rhoia” – a flow, which is a fusion of psychology – often detailed, technical terminology -, philosophy, spirituality, mythology, synchronicity and prophecy. My epic poems “The Warring Harridan”, “The Panjandrum of Quondam”, and “Candy Cotton Kid and The Faustian Wolf” are all written in that new style. Two out of the three are now in collaboration as choreographed ballet performances with international ballet academies.
“The cerebellum is my only secure home” C. SWAN
As a former hypnotherapist with a wide range of skills – and cultural experiences – I have wisdom to call upon and my soul when writing tends to be like a naked prisoner in a firing line! I hold it hostage until it tells me what I need to write. This is how “Graphorrhoealism” was born. You won’t find this word in a normal dictionary! This is a completely unique style of writing and it was personally developed through my own writing process.
I set out on incredible journeys without a conscious choice, these journeys test how high I can climb with a heavy back-pack full of ideas and words, and in what conditions I can still produce work – it’s like being the Sir Edmund Hilary of poetic exploration only I climb the mountains of the soul – and it is in these poetic explorations I find the full extent of my determination is often inextricably linked with my Muse and mentor the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. Over the years this relationship has taken me to extreme places as a writer and a person. Mayakovsky has enlightened me considerably and his voice echoes in my work because I was chosen to further his work.
Mayakovsky roars: “You are beyond redemption, Cassandra!
You belong to me!
Your veins are full of my blood and poems!” C. SWAN
My words often spew forth like a fire eater/breather and become almost toxic! I then throw a metaphorical match to ignite the words and I blow up a street in one demonstrative stanza! Mayakovsky was a Russian Futurist Poet, Artist and Playwright and some of his words really fire me up. You could say that I am attuned to the complexities of the writing process and the deeper spiritual side of a relationship with Muses and mentors in spirit. I am in another world most of the time and this other world is where I experience visitations from other-worldly beings, human and animal spirits. I am closer to the spirit world than the 3D world in that respect.
comrades of posterity,
to the agitator
Stifling the torrents of poetry,
I’ll skip the volumes of lyrics;
as one alive,
I’ll address the living.”
- V. MAYAKOVSKY
I would say that one has to commit fully to the writing life in order to experience what I experience in my writing process and this is where the deeply confessional work often supports and collaborates with my work as an activist. I have only recently started to take this work much more seriously and begin to put my visions and ideas into action with campaigns/petitions – I have added links to this interview for further details.
The beauty of being alone is that your best companion is your writing and creative nature. To immerse oneself fully and go on these poetic journeys requires total dedication and without interruption. Disruption and interruption are the two biggest blocks a writer can experience. When I knew I wanted to write I instantly wanted to set myself apart from the world, life, people and everyday routines. I pledged myself in my entirety to my purpose in order that nobody and nothing could stand in my way or break my concentration.
It isn’t writer’s block that destroys writing potential, it’s interruptions and I make sure that mine are minimal if I am in a writing phase, or even if I am marketing my work. I simply don’t want anyone around me at all. I find the time away from writing in terms of being able to think and allow the higher mind to guide the next phase and enlighten me, requires all of my time and I don’t like to talk because that actually diminishes concentration, potency and the personal understanding of the relationship one is having with writing and Muses and mentors in spirit. For me this is dedication beyond anything one could imagine and the commitment – for me personally – is all consuming.
“My poetic blood leaves a dripping trail for bards who wish to follow” C. SWAN
If a Muse is cultivating and grooming a poet the way Mayakovsky has cultivated and groomed me, it’s like having a full-time, extremely intense relationship. I have other relationships with Muses and mentors in spirit with my art. I am also developing my relationship with former ballerina Margot Fonteyn for the collaboration to choreograph a ballet performance based on my epic poem about Sylvia Plath. I have experienced an intense relationship with Sylvia Plath and some other poets along the way. It is as though my soul calls out and the Muses sometimes contact me by accessing my clairaudient, clairvoyant, claircognizant, and clairsentient abilities and my mediumistic existence is a strong contributing factor, I am NOT saying I am channelling, I am simply aware and receptive to spirits and their presence is comforting. I have a mentor’s corner in my study with photos of many creative geniuses. My ideas are my own but I do allow access to me by Muses who sometimes direct what I should work on next.
As I am primarily a psychologist a great deal of my work is substantiated – like my theory on the life and suicide of Sylvia Plath – by extensive Notes which enlighten the readers and help them to understand the work more fully, particularly with regard to hypnosis. Plath’s husband was hypnotising her and he introduced her to the Occult, these were not good for her or her character/personality! The Occult can tip the most vulnerable of people into breakdown and a slippery slope to Hell! It was not appropriate and unethical of Ted Hughes to hypnotise Sylvia Plath. It was as though he was fully aware of what he was doing and he knew what the consequences would be.
Back to Mayakovsky! Many people haven’t even heard of Mayakovsky and it is as though he has been resurrected in more recent years.
“I understand the power and the alarm of words – Not those that they applaud from theatre-boxes, but those which make coffins break from bearers and on their four oak legs walk right away.”
For those who may not be acquainted with Mayakovsky and/or Futurism, here is some information about the Futurist Movement: Russian Futurism is the broad term for a movement of Russian poets and artists who adopted the principles of Filippo Marinetti‘s “Manifesto of Futurism,” which espoused the rejection of the past, and a celebration of speed, machinery, violence, youth, industry, destruction of academies, museums, and urbanism; it also advocated the modernization and cultural rejuvenation.
Russian Futurism began roughly in the early 1910s; in 1912, a year after Ego-Futurism began the literary group “Hylea” – also spelt “Guilée” and “Gylea” – issued the manifesto “A Slap in the Face of Public Taste.” The 1912 movement was originally called Cubo-Futurism, but this term is now used to refer to the style of art produced. Russian Futurism ended shortly after the Russian Revolution of 1917, after which former Russian Futurists either left the country, or participated in the new art movements.
Notable Russian Futurists included Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov, David Burliuk, KazimirMalevich, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and Velimir Khlebnikov. A group photo of some Russian Futurists, published in their manifesto “A Slap in the Face of Public Taste.”
In early 2000 I felt an almost overwhelming urge and strong pull towards The Futurist Movement and how they were revolutionary in their approaches to how art and poetry were promoted, performed and exhibited. I liked the overall challenges to the norm and ideas political in nature. I became interested in Cubo-Futurist art. I like the way Mayakovsky designed his political posters and love his poetry. The Futurists/Mayakovsky also damned punctuation and that I loved! I had a very powerful urge to explore everything and realised on my exploration that I most definitely had a past life in Russia around the time the Futurists were making bold statements with their ideology and often experienced flashbacks! My relationship with Mayakovsky became more and more extraordinary to say the very least. He insisted that the first contact he made with me was when I was fourteen! I recall the incident and Mayakovsky said that was my initiation into – and continued commitment to – the Futurist movement. I didn’t realise this at the time.
Life took me a long way away from what I wanted to do and be, however, ultimately, I came to a place of realisation – decades later – when Mayakovsky told me to go to a book sale, I literally had just pennies, my father was dying at the time and Mayakovsky guided me to a box of books and a red book balanced in one of the boxes was “The Bedbug and Selected Poems” by Mayakovsky and it was 70 pence! My journey with Mayakovsky began!
When I was a child probably age 10, I used to make a lot of creative cards, posters, invites and hand them to people in the locality, they were invites to a play I would be performing in my garden. I would say that there would be free refreshments and my mother had to provide them. I would write and perform either a play and/or dance routines and would play all the different characters myself. Strangely enough, when I started to read everything about Mayakovsky that he guided me to read, I noted that he wrote a play and performed all the characters himself! He was born on 19th July and I was born on July 27th. He has a very powerful and protruding chin and so do I. I felt I knew him so closely that his spirit kept manifesting in my 3D existence! I knew he was there for a reason and little did I know the impact he would have on me as a person, woman, poet, artist, revolutionary, and writer. I am truly honoured to further his work!
The memory store – or human computer as I call it – is undoubtedly a source, foundation, backdrop or extreme landscape for my words and the exploration of various lives I have lived and the re-incarnations my soul has manifested in, are also a theme for my work. It tends to be like a closer look at what one doesn’t know or see unless they take the courage to go on these remarkable journeys of the soul and various re-incarnations.
My words are sometimes like a finely whisked soufflé. Words scramble their way to the surface in the silence, listening to the voice within, the higher mind leans across and whispers to me – like Lao Tzu – waiting for reciprocity and blending the subtleties and forms, then the tidal wave of vowels and consonants tumble like an avalanche adorning the “pallid beggar – the sheet” (blank paper) to unfold and tell a particular poetic tale.
I allow subjects to surface like a wizened guide from a pre-historic cave to take me further into either an abyss I have to swim through and find a way out of, or somewhere I would rather remain and explore for some time. It’s like a calling to a wider understanding of deserts in my imagination. I walk alone to find the very core of the soul and “The Warring Harridan (A Journey to the Centre of the Psyche with the Syntactic Pyromaniac)” is a fine example of the way I intricately craft profound psychological dialogues and narratives in my work. Like Nietzsche as the Superman Zarathustra and Christ being tempted by the Devil. I have spent long periods of time exploring painful depths of the human condition in order to transcend them.
I sometimes use my work to shift burdens, but in an intellectual and eloquent manner allowing the untamed beauty of language to filter fine words into a semblance and order that get completely overlooked by many writers in the face of such subject-matter and I think my greatest asset is expression and truly explicit emotional depth. I like to think readers will widen their understanding of the inner landscape of a poet, as well as the conscious awareness of a world full of injustice by reading my work.
I sometimes make words up myself and I also use a playful way of expression with alliterative-linked words and a fine example would be my epic poem “The Panjandrum of Quondam (The Epic Grenade)” a tribute to Mayakovsky and this will be a choreographed ballet in collaboration with ex-Royal Ballet dancer, Sergei Polunin.
I tailor words into graphic, prototype sketches, then lie raw foundations, finally integrating my work as the architect crafting a fine, poetic, building of worship for those who wish to enter and they do at their own risk of course. One of my reviewers was the Harvard-educated Chairman of the well-respected academic website for the preservation of Soviet Literature Sovlit.com – now Sovlit.net – described me as “The high priestess of the church of Mayakovsky”, which I received as the ultimate compliment. He also awarded me an official award from the website which was another true honour!
“Now, I persist in Rhadamanthine strictness – whisking together idioms, while dull home-makers bear children and bake cakes – abominable tasks” C. SWAN
Muses and mentors in spirit enter my poetic life and universe and they – coupled with my immense discipline – tend to discipline me even more. These are not limited to writers, artists and choreographers etc., they can be scientists, architects, musicians and dancers.
I like to use words as a soulful painter with his sacred brushes to paint a unique image that indelibly marks the consciousness of any viewer/reader expressing extreme, emotional abstractions.
To me, a poem is a multi-tonal voice that fluctuates and often lacerates my soul to write and a reader’s soul to read it, and skating across that thin ice, will I/they fall into the forceful grip of the rapids below and drown? Or will they understand that it is all a poetic journey and their own soul could be challenged by reading it. A poet’s voice will echo through centuries if written well and as inspiration for future versifiers. I don’t write pretty little poems, I use my voice as a world-class protagonist on the map of life and a global stage with precarious stories to tell.
I write about the poet’s role in society and my international contest-winning poem “The Pocket-size Wreath” is an intelligent comparison/juxtaposition of a poet’s challenges and existence compared with that of a regular worker. “Job Description (The Confessional Poet)” is another comparison on the aforementioned theme. I have a natural tendency with anything I do to get to the core of the matter and introduce new ways of doing things. I have an extremely analytical mind that continually manifests original ideas and challenges.
“As an unalterable, contrary, libertine poet, I’m thrilled by my Jeremiad rigmarole in a blue-bell picking, pell-mell hell!” C. SWAN
Having worked as Director in business, set up successful businesses from scratch and ran my highly successful hypnotherapy practice, I have earned the right to share this analytical perspective and make the comparison between being a poet and a regular worker. I find being a poet the most challenging work because it is almost like being a nun! I have been living in chastity, poverty and obedience because I committed to transmute my sexual energy for creative power in my writing, so when you say my writing is “raw” and “crude” maybe that is what you sensed the power of my sexuality manifesting in my words and visions? I tend to feel that my work is simply different and that is exactly the way I want it. I don’t confirm to any rules at all and that is by choice. There has to be people who challenge what has gone before and with Mayakovsky behind me I have a duty to further his work in a radical manner with intelligent similarities but wholesome, pristine contributions to the Futurists! My movement is a one-woman-army at the moment: the Graphorrhoealist Movement.
I have been writing, marketing and promoting my poetry perpetually for 20 years, morning, noon and night and I’ve been celibate throughout to do so! That is a massive statement and testament to my devotion to poetry. I have also been forced to move about twenty times in twenty years to continue writing and even experienced bouts of homelessness and destitution! I have lived in freezing squalor, with no heating, lighting or running water to write.
“The ocean bouncing, a senseless, liquid witness. Drail hooked cold-blooded eyes, dying fish shared the secret” C. SWAN extract “Candy Cotton Kid and The Faustian Wolf”
I haven’t perpetually churned out poems by the dozen, I decided to do as much as possible in terms of presenting my poems to the world and experiment with recordings, music, sound effects, collaborations, short films based on my soundtracks and the zenith of these poetic experiments is now set to be a choreographed ballet performance to my epic poem theory on the life and suicide of American poet Sylvia Plath: “Candy Cotton Kid and The Faustian Wolf”, (This took me a whole year reading and writing every single day and night without fail for an average of fourteen to sixteen hours a day to research and complete this epic poem). The choreographer – with forty-years – experience – and director of the Margot Fonteyn Ballet Academy made the following statement about this collaboration with me and my poem:
“I have been inspired by Cassandra’s poem and I am honoured to work with her to bring this poem to light in a new way. In a world that mainly sees only results, the journey and cumulative damage it brings is rarely considered, particularly with women and minority populations who are dominated by powerful men. We are in a time of revelation and Cassandra Swan is a pioneer for emotional truth.”
- LUDDEN – CHOREOGRAPHER – DIRECTOR – THE MARGOT FONTEYN BALLET ACADEMY – USA
To see the words “I am honoured to work with her” and to know that I am collaborating with one of the finest choreographers in the world of ballet has to be the ultimate accolade and pinnacle of success with my work as a poet. I am truly humbled to accomplish this high honour and respect is truly one of the best moments in my career as a poet and my life.
Ken Ludden is not only and outstanding choreographer he also studied poetry under the tutelage of poet Anne Sexton who was a close friend of Sylvia Plath. The incredible synchronicity at work in this situation is astounding! Naturally, the choreographer also has the knowledge to appreciate poetry and wants to choreograph another ballet to another one of my epics!
Having said all of that, I’m extremely excited about connecting with you, Mbizo because you’re gathering my Revolutionary profile and bringing it into centre stage and along with many other very fine poets and activists including your good self. I am so grateful.
I wanted to be a poet as a child but my life path has always been disrupted by shocking and traumatic experiences and they carved a life I didn’t want instead of one that I did want with regard to my education and evolution in general, however, that has turned out to be a huge, positive asset to me in every respect. I think my work is an explosion of my whole life, and what a life it has been?! But it hasn’t done me harm as a writer and a poet because I have a wealth of knowledge that I wouldn’t have without the tenacity to keep going and even at death’s door in freezing squalor it was business as usual for me as a writer! I wrote some very powerful work in those painful, cold conditions. Sub-zero temperatures and just candle-light to read and write was something I became acclimatised to, in fact, most of my work was written amid extreme existential suffering and I am proud of what I have accomplished against those challenging odds.
“I’m fighting a spell-binding resonance, with bohemian hysteria and scholarly phantasmagoria.” C. SWAN
When chosen by a male poet to receive tutelage it is a very powerful calling and as a female I don’t know anyone who would have committed to the ideology and full-on demands of Vladimir Mayakovsky! I have a strong masculine self as well as a very sensitive feminine self. This Revolutionary path has been a very long, winding and often rocky road to travel and a great deal of my work is Mayakovsky-inspired. My poem “The Emotionally Bankrupt Nomad” is a reflection on the pathway I took and I say in that poem “I have temerariously traipsed many meritorious miles in a dead-man’s boots with vast oval holes….” Meaning that I walked in Mayakovsky’s boots, he insisted that I should and he walked me through his whole life and he held my hand as I did so and often sat me on his shoulders and that is why I say “I stand on the shoulders of a giant” because I do! Mayakovsky must have been about 6ft 6” tall at least and his brain was larger than most and strangely enough when I was born my brain was deemed to be larger than most and a doctor examining my head said to my mother that I would be highly intelligent. These similarities are almost like we were siblings!
“In this dead man’s boots, with vast, oval holes, I flung myself – as a lemming – into the cerebral infinity of the tormented demagogue’s words, curdled blood, and his untimely bullet.” Copyright C. SWAN “The Emotionally Bankrupt Nomad”
The journey with Mayakovsky through his whole life was a remarkable and very powerful experience that I happily went through for and with Mayakovsky. At my most prolific writing output he would stand behind me like a true task master, but I am so honoured that he chose me to further his work! It is unusual for a male revolutionary to choose a female! Now, as I said, my epic tribute to him is set to be a choreographed ballet! This is also part of the pinnacle of success for me to take Mayakovsky’s life – and his presence grooming me – to a ballet performance, this has to be the cherry on the icing of my poetic cake. I have also been invited to the Mayakovsky Museum in Moscow to perform the epic tribute there! When that invite came through I cried because I have wanted to go there for many years and my health has been very fragile after being a Target Individual for a number of years and I haven’t managed to get to Moscow yet but it is definitely one of my ambitions before my time is up. I start Russian lessons July 2020 in preparation.
To sum up what motivates me? It is a burning, insatiable desire for words and language, coupled with a passion to shout about everything that humanity suffers, the human condition, and to actively attain a positive difference in the world. I have a Director/Producer for a screenplay, a sequel and a prequel of my life story, which will include extracts of my poetry as it all tells my extraordinary story. Life is either colourful or drab and whatever happens to you, there has to be a will to fight on and I fight on through my work as a poet. I enlighten readers as a psychologist and I am an open book which reveals what one reviewer said as me and my work being: “the living enclave of the wounded but powerful heart and deep soul”.
Mbizo CHIRASHA. How do your publishers, readers, churches in United Kingdom and the world at large receive your poetry and other writings?
“With rebellion, awareness is born.” – ALBERT CAMUS
CASSANDRA SWAN.Another good question! Some of my work is simply banned! I’m very proud of that! I have also performed in the streets as part of my Mayakovsky themed work. He would impress upon me that I should take to the streets and shopping malls to perform my work!
Take my poem “Beasts & Priests” for instance https://soundcloud.com/cassandraswan11/beasts-priests-paedophile-priests – about paedophiles in the Catholic Church – it is outspoken, it addresses the subject-matter with precision and in a manner that often stuns an audience with my graphic metaphors that bring the issues firmly to their multiple senses in this poem. I like the audience to close their eyes when I perform this poem, as that acts as a direct access to their visual imagination. In indoor, public venues, I would ask the audience to imagine they are in a Church in prayer and simply ask them to listen. I turned out the lights and had a few candles burning. I would play the sound of tainted church bells in a recording to start with and then enter into the opening lines through to completion and it often completely stunned the audience into silence for a long time after I had finished the recital/performance! There was always a very long delay before they reacted, but when they did, it was profound! They would stand up and begin to clap or run for the hills!
It is surprising how people don’t want to address these sick crimes taking place in Catholic Churches and schools. I find that people in general like to stay in their narrow world of sanitised privacy and completely reject or ignore anything that would vaguely or remotely indicate these crimes are taking place. And often they have no concern at all about them and in so doing they remain complicit. It is as shocking as the crimes themselves that people have no moral conscience. It’s like the population are in denial and just won’t wake up!
“My own mind is my own church.” – THOMAS PAINE
The BBC banned “Beasts & Priests” in 2005. They invited me on to a radio programme and asked which of my poems I would like to recite and I refused to do any other poem than “Beasts & Priests” and it wasn’t a green light on that one! What made me laugh was: they then promptly commissioned a documentary about paedophiles in the Catholic Church. So, my work does provoke action even if it is in the form of the BBC taking my lead, which has happened on more than one occasion and with more of my work and other people I must add! I have a strong voice and they don’t want to give it any power because I may start a revolution!
“Will a wild boar, scuffing and snorting its way to the lectern, deliver a sermon as a learned holy parson; then sniff toward bewildered choir boys, cozening, bestirring and defiling their genitals as sex toys; robbing innocents of their choice and one true voice?
My Revolutionary, political, outspoken, standpoint as a poet became a shocking revelation to me! I genuinely didn’t realise until I started writing just how radical and challenging my work is. It is a platform to activism.
I flatly refuse to work within any imposed restrictions and in my own words I say: “I will never conform to lyrical dictatorship”. I expect if I had conformed, my poetry would have been published by poetry publishers other than in magazines and I would gain a wider appreciation, but I don’t care if people like me or my work, popularity is the least of my concerns! I just want to get people to think about – for instance – paedophiles in the Church and how they have been protected for so many years while children are used a sex toys. The hypocrisy of the Catholic Church is simply sickening. My work is completely unorthodox in every sense and I don’t churn out dozens of pretty little poems, my work challenges people to step outside their comfort zones and embrace what is really going on with the ruling elite, the paedophiles, sacrificial rituals at Bohemian Grove with Hollywood’s and the Catholic Church violation of children.
“No! The wild boar hides nothing of his ugliness or motives! It is less dangerous than the sickly, smiling paedophile pastors; who cloister their obscene misdemeanours, as masters, beneath their fanciful, billowing cassocks: while the congregation plop grubby coins in the collection box.” C. SWAN
I refuse to recite or perform for OAP’s in Waterstones Bookshops and won’t allow anyone to edit my work! Therefore I am totally restricted by most publishing outlets. In fact, I have even said: “I am delighted to announce that you can’t buy my work anywhere!” which is a powerful, rebellious standpoint in these technological and narcissistic times we live in.
The Pope, Catholic Church, Catholic Press and the Vatican have all received copies of my poem “Beasts & Priests” very recently.
When the Pope previous to Pope Francis – I can’t even remember who he is let alone be bothered to look him up they are all criminals and Satanists – came to the UK a few years ago, I advocated that he should be arrested as soon as he stepped on British soil for granting sick papal immunity to his paedophile priests and I was banned on Facebook for posting that for some time! Every time I went back on Facebook I would post the same thing again! As people are aware the CIA are the core of Facebook and when I posted an eye-opening documentary about COVID-19 recently they covered it over with a dark shadow saying “This isn’t correct information” and yet it had proof all the way through the documentary to substantiate what I said right from the start that COVID-19 was/is a man-made virus and this was/is germ warfare through the Chinese Communist Party!
Back to my current determination to challenge the Catholic Church with regard to having their “seal of confession” removed and ultimately banished altogether! Because they hear the confessions of these paedophile priests and then protect them by saying they will never break the “seal of confession” and they have the nerve to say they will pray for world peace when they can’t even give peace to the victims of their priests! They use this “seal of confession” as a perverse trump card and a tool to protect their priests committing these diabolical acts and sex crimes on children. This is so out of order that I can’t imagine how confused and disturbed these children must be, because they are supposedly in a safe environment but that environment is sexually toxic and abusive and this simply has to stop!
I have it on good authority from a psychotherapist that when the victims of these perverts in cassocks go into therapy they have said that the priests say to the victims that it is the victim’s fault and that the Devil got into them and made the paedophile priests abuse them!
These are evil crimes and nobody can deny that. This evil is being cultivated by Catholicism. Why has nobody challenged the “seal of confession” and forced the Catholic Church into a law whereby they cannot use this anymore? If the “seal of confession” is protecting criminals then the fundamental principles and foundations of Catholicism and everything it stands for, and what it is based on, is simply crooked and knowingly corrupt! They have created their own law to abuse children and be immune from accountability! As crooked and corrupt as organised crime only hiding behind an organised, religious frontispiece! Extremely dangerous! Unholy! There is nothing sacred about this. This remains something so sinister and so vile that it is almost beyond belief that nobody has challenged Catholicism in this respect before!
“Clap-trap! Vile deeds! Official heads in the sand!
The Government, Monarchy and Church go hand-in-hand:
The Police-force covers up! Legal system and Judges join in:
Tossing child sex abuse victims lives in society’s bin!” C. SWAN
Confessions from paedophile priests are ignored, accepted and no action is taken! This is why there are so many paedophiles charged in the Autumn/Winter years of their lives, when they have already exploited hundreds of children who grow into troubled teenagers and then very disturbed adults.
Child abuse in and throughout formative years and teenage years is the core of so much dysfunction in society and it needs to be attacked head on. The cure is in the cause. If society is to succeed in protecting children then these crimes have to stop! I know a high percentage of sexual abuse can be within families but that isn’t acceptable either. It is a long term cancer in the Church and society and there has to be a way to stop this abuse for good!
If we look at society and the problems there are, most of the troubled abused children become adolescent drug addicts or alcoholics, young women prostitute themselves to fund their drug habits and the whole concept of the perpetrators being protected while the victims suffer has to change right now! By enforcing the Catholic Church to break the “seal of confession” and as they do, the core and very fabric of this religion would be ripped to pieces and completely demoralised just like the poor victims, the karma must be sent back to its source where it belongs! And when the Pope tweets that he prays for everyone to have peace, he needs to wake up because the victims of his paedophile priests don’t have any peace!
“I, the Firebrand, challenge you as I gallivant to the gibbet;
I challenge GOD with these woebegone observations” C. SWAN
I recorded “Beasts & Priests” again this year and this soundtrack is now in pre-production as a short film with a female film maker who has worked for BBC Worldwide. The NSPCC is very impressed with “Beasts & Priests” and my work. The Catholic Church isn’t even in denial, as they are fully aware of the damage these paedophiles are doing by violating children and they are all hypocrites, criminals and accessories to these crimes by allowing them to continue and perverting the course of justice in covering for the paedophile priests! What is wrong with this sick world?
In fact, in 2013 I went public with a local newspaper about a campaign I had started to examine the current system in Prisons and Special Hospitals in the UK. Currently, Rapists, Murderers, Serial Killers and Paedophiles in the UK are all given – after incarceration – access to “As many female friends as they wish.” So they commit violent crimes against women and children and then get to correspond with lots of women. It isn’t rocket science that this kind of dangerous criminal will use this to their advantage. In fact, what they do is swap their weapons of choice for a pen! There is a vulnerable section of women in society who have often been abused as children, abused as teenagers and abused in adult relationships and this section of society needs to be protected and they are not appropriate pen-pals for aggressive and manipulative criminals who have committed extremely violent crimes on women and children. Examining this system, speaking out about it and setting up a campaign to change the system and make it less like a playpen for killers and paedophiles – coupled with my poems “Beasts & Priests” and international contest-winning poem “Hammer” going to print in a newspaper – was the precursor to my being a Target Individual or “T.I.” as we are commonly known.
The past 7 years have almost drained all life out of me and the experience of being a “T.I.” is something that has to be experienced to fully understand. The endurance and resilience required to survive the ordeals that are fundamentally mind-bending and aiming to kill the T.I. or coerce them into killing themselves. I am writing about these horrific experiences and recently the troops have been sent in to harass me yet again!
The way I deal with being a T. I. is to remain dignified and never get reeled into speaking to or acknowledging these idiots. In fact, I bless these sick individuals that the Government pays to harass people like me. This supposed “covert harassment” – which is overt-harassment! – starts at Government level and filters down through every institution in society into the community. The best way to describe the sinister over tones is the film “Rosemary’s Baby” when she reaches out to various people she hoped would understand and protect her, only to find that those she thought she could trust were also part of the coven she is desperately trying to escape from.
At worst, they set wild dogs on me and the experiences almost killed me, but I fought on, sedulously, with Christ-like endurance, not allowing the system to break me, section me, or give them a chance to kill me and make it look like a suicide. I was a one-woman-army and in the end they all but stopped. However, this was as I was not reacting or conforming in the usual manner by their abuse and my non-reactive approach was ultimately a deterrent.
I was a woman in my late fifties at the time when this havoc started and dominated every waking minute and they directed microwaves at me at night so you can’t sleep causing the mind and body to steadily break down! I couldn’t eat, sleep and at its zenith I did consider suicide but always called out to the universe, guides, angels, God, Jesus – and everything good that exists even if we can’t see them – to help me.
My tenacity and a refusal to respond in any way to gang stalkers – other than to protect myself from the system – means I have lived to tell the tale and that tale is in the process of being told in my life story. Your question will be answered fully when the productions including my poetry go to the big screen. Every day is part of my story. Whatever anyone inflicts on me is part of my story and will be addressed in that story. I have some superb ideas and the images float in and out of the mind’s eye and gather their rightful place in the creative waves I love to dive into regardless of how deep the waters are.
“Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.”
Mbizo CHIRASHA.When did you start writing and what inspired you to weave verses in your mental box or heart cave?
“Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee” – JOHN DONNE
“I would read dictionaries like novels” – C. Swann
“Verses and words appeared as raised wounds on my skin, forcing their way out of my bloodstream and rising as a phoenix into the air. I carved my words from my bleeding hands covered in blistered, weeping stigmata!” C. SWAN
I had a fascination with words as a toddler and I was having conversations with adults utilising words that a toddler wouldn’t ordinarily be aware of let alone conversant with and integrating into lucid conversations. My parents both realised that words were my passion (my mother also said that when I am about to be buried I will force the coffin lid open and be spouting off poetry before they lower me into my grave). I tend to agree! It won’t end there – I will be heard in this world, the next, other dimensions and my words will carve into hearts and minds for centuries.
I used words that I hadn’t been taught as a child. I was also profoundly clairvoyant. I would read dictionaries like novels as I grew into school age. That passion for words continued throughout my childhood. In my junior school I was chosen to teach children who weren’t doing well with their spelling and reading. Looking back I remember and can still see the children’s faces and it’s a nice feeling to recall that I helped these kids to read and write.
When I was thirteen my English tutor told me I was gifted and a prime candidate for a PhD Literature/Poetry. I loved John Donne’s dirges, Blake, Poe. I like artists Van Gogh, Picasso, Kandinsky, Frida Kahlo, Dali, Max Ernst, Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo and the Pre-Raphaelites. In the main, paintings and poems that told allegorical stories, often had mythological or classical themes and took me as a reader into alternative realities. The idea that art and poetry were symbiotic associations of one another appealed to me. I wasn’t interested in poets like John Betjeman or artists like John Constable, I had a definite leaning towards the more Surreal, Abstract, Symbolist art and often the dark works of Otto Dix and Arnold Boecklin were a source of my fascination.
I was beginning to display very strong signs of rebellion and refused to do what I was told to do by everyone. I remember writing a poem “Spaceage Depression” when I was thirteen and for a young girl to write as I did was the aftermath of much unspoken suffering and the precursor to a wild, tumultuous and extraordinary life! I remember my mother showing my grandfather what I had written in that poem and instead of saying something they both just stared at each other with very wide-eyes. It was like time stood still and it is a memory I have never forgotten. Many years later, before my mother passed on, she read a lot of my work – and I recited to and for her – she would always be silent and at the end I recall her saying “You don’t know how good you are – do you?”
So my “mental box” or “heart cave” came into the world pre-programmed with a soul that had already been here many times and had many lives before and as life went forward I realised I wasn’t like a lot of children and I tried to “fit in” but most of the time it didn’t work. I became quite a loner and would walk for miles and miles alone as a teenager and had a spiritual relationship with Van Gogh at that time. Really, why would anyone want to bother having relationships with humans when there are human spirits already transitioned and calling out for my company! I found the spirits much more exciting and interesting as they had a full life on the planet before departing and those who committed suicide were always my best friends!
“La tristesse durera.” (The sadness will last forever) VINCENT VAN GOGH
Poetry was on hold from then because between the age of 12 and 14, my family had to move from a severely haunted house to a new district, I had to change schools and didn’t know anyone, I lost my virginity in rape at 13 and my parents split up and divorced by the time I was 14. Any plans that I had in my heart were over-ruled by tragedy and an invisible, Saturn-like judge with a big hammer smashing my life to pieces and nothing went to plan. It all went from my passion for the education I had in my heart to being a different person running parallel to myself.
My underlying anger was sometimes repressed and manifested in depression and then rebellion on a mammoth-scale that rose to proportions I wasn’t truly aware of at the time – but I knew I was different and I knew I was angry! My troubled identity, character, personality – whatever you like to call it – became fashioned by necessity and those who depended on me meant I had to be strong for them and completely lost everything I had planned in that process and a rebel with a cause emerged as a result.
But I thought deeply and carefully – if I had no life experience how could I be a writer? I went about living a full life and my life is my poetry. Poetry was my first love and it will be my last. Poetry comes above everything and everyone. One has to be prepared to die for one’s poetry/words.
To summarise: Poetry was in me before I was born into this particular life/existence. Poetry was and still is in my DNA! I am the “pre-ordained, long distance sonneteer.”
Mbizo CHIRASHA. Your poetry is exuding rhythm, the inner whirlwind emotion, presence, deeper meaning and nerve wrecking echo, Explain this?
“Too long I have walked a tightrope riddled with razor-blades” – Cassandra Swan
CASSANDRA SWAN.When I decided to make a literary/poetic silk purse out of a cynical sow’s ear it is surprising what the soul is capable of. When you purposely repress reactions and emotional expression/responses to life experiences over long periods of time without processing them there is a natural, regulating undercurrent at work and the fail-safe mechanism of the psyche constantly seeks and strives to process, reconcile and integrate these runaway feelings/experiences. When life throws too much at you and you develop a tendency to repress feelings as a safety mechanism, those repressed feelings become the finest creative fuel and inspiration anyone could wish for. They are like a fine wine fermenting over the years and it becomes more and more powerful. The more chaos the better! Nietzsche said: “You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.”
Mbizo CHIRASHA. As a Poet and a Writer, you read other writers or you have read other writer poets, if so, which poetry books you have read and who are the authors?
“Of all things, I liked books the most” – TESLA
CASSANDRA SWAN.I have read and studied a wide selection of books about my Muse and Mentor Mayakovsky. My reading and the books I have read are not just about poetry. I have a very wide appreciation of many subjects including psychology, philosophy, mythology, synchronicity, prophecy, spirituality, magic, and I don’t restrict my knowledge or reading habits to just poetry and poets. However, as this is a poetry interview I have listed some of the books I have read about Sylvia Plath in order to write my theory on her life and suicide. I also travelled to her grave at Hebden Bridge.
Earlier in the interview I did quote a number of poets before I reached this question. Therefore I am going to list some of the books I read while researching Sylvia Plaths’ life and suicide before I wrote my award-nominated epic poem theory: “Candy Cotton Kid and The Faustian Wolf”.
“Science and Poetry” – Mary Midgley
“The Savage God – A Study of Suicide”- A. Alvarez
“The Journals of Sylvia Plath” – Karen V Kukil
“Bitter Fame” – Anne Stevenson
“Ariel”-The Restored Edition – Sylvia Plath
“Letters Home” – Sylvia Plath
“The Other Sylvia Plath”- Tracy Brain
“Sounds from the Bell Jar” – Claridge, Pryor, Watkins
“Sylvia Plath Collected Poems”- Sylvia Plath
“Rough Magic – A Biography of Sylvia Plath”- Paul Alexander
“Poetry and Existence – Sylvia Plath” – David Holbrook
“The Haunting of Sylvia Plath” – Jacqueline Rose
“The Poetry of Sylvia Plath” – A reader’s guide to essential criticism
“Ariel’s Gift”- Erica Wagner
“Burnet Diaries” – Emma Tenant
“The Bell Jar”- Sylvia Plath
“Birthday Letters” – Ted Hughes
“Collected Poems” – Robert Lowell
“The Columbia History of American Poetry” – Parini and Millier
Poet Ted Hughes
This question is not something I can participate in to its full extent because I would be here until next year listing all the books I have read. I like a big cross section of poets and some I have already mentioned. My home is full of books! I have one – of many – full bookcases that consists of just Russian Poets and writers alone. All of the walls of my home are adorned in books and bookshelves some floor to ceiling!
Remember, I am not just a poet! My skills are in many different areas and subjects all with huge success, so my bookshelves are full of all kinds of works. I am interested in mainly psychology and it became my focus for many years and I qualified as a hypnotherapist and I am a deep-trance subject and only a very small percentage of the population are deep trance subjects. I can hypnotise myself within seconds! I also love philosophy, mythology, synchronicity, stigmata, human combustion, the paranormal, mediumship, clairvoyance, exorcism, demonology, the paranormal, spiritualism and I am also studying for a PhD Philosophy and Religious studies – specialising in Metaphysical Parapsychology. I graduated with speciality hypnosis and parapsychology.
I am a medium and I’ve lived in silence for the past seven years to develop further as a medium and now a physical medium and I have always been clairvoyant from a child. I have received apports recently and this is quite an extraordinary experience!
I am interested in past lives and otherworldly dimensions. I have visits from human and animal spirits, and multi-dimensional beings. When I wake up and see a human or animal spirit right next to my bed staring at me it can be quite shocking, however, I am so used to it now that I miss them if they don’t come!
There is another universe to me as a person and there are no boundaries. I’ve even worked in the sex industry to research the industry for a book I have written. These exploits will also be in my screenplay.
I am going for a second PhD after this one and that subject I am keeping to myself. I read about anything challenging, strange subjects that have been considered inexplicable, crop circles, aliens attract my fertile imagination and naturally inquisitive mind. I have been like that from childhood. I also knew I wanted to explore hypnosis and spiritualism as a child. I enjoy Taoist works, many different religions and spirituality and delving deep into the chasms of the human mind. I like neuro-science and cultivating the higher consciousness, feeding my spiritual and intellectual interests to the full.
I have been described by one of my reviewers as a “very well-read poet.” If you want me to list all the books I have read I would never finish this interview. In the books I read about Sylvia Plath, much of what I read was still falling into the category of what hadn’t been said, and I found myself not only reading between the lines but Sylvia was guiding me every inch of the way. To write a theory on the life and suicide of a poet as an epic poem seems to have infuriated some people. However, Sylvia herself was in full support of how I presented my findings to the world. I can hear her reciting her poem right now – “The Disquieting Muses” – “What ill-bred Aunt or unsightly cousin…..” .
If I listen to Sylvia Plath reciting her poetry within a few minutes I am inspired to write. I consider her work far superior to that of her husband who drove her to death! I won’t even say his name! I call him – among other things – “the evil, vulpine wizard!” extract from “Candy Cotton Kid and The Faustian Wolf.”
Mbizo CHIRASHA . How do you want to see the world in 10 years with regards to respect to poetry, truth, human rights and social economic balance?
“Trees are earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven”
CASSANDRA SWAN. In ten years? I would hope that poetry would be the central cog in a rapidly moving wheel of great positive movement striving for world peace and bringing souls of sentience together on that global scale. Because we have the internet it gives us a perfect global voice. I hope that poetry and poets will not just write poetry but aim to inspire other poets and people to read it and that political poetry will not be rejected but embraced and for the poetry fraternity and Literati to dismantle and put down the strict framework they work within to embrace independent voices more.
Poetry should also speak loudly of the good in the world while eradicating the bad and extraneous in that process. We have to be realistic. I would like to see that radical, political poetry should have a place in the world of poetry and the critics to realise that there are superb political poets who can speak loudly to the world and have a place in the scheme of things. Instead of rejecting political poetry it should be embraced because anyone can write about pretty little roses but the roses will always be the same and politics are always changing but often going round in circles like a marble in a tin can. Political poetry and poets must be revered and respected for their challenging works!
Human rights with online campaigns and petitions effectively bringing about change and should continue to do so. I always have a poem that heads any of my campaigns. Poetry should bring the world populations together and helping to find a level of global peace never experienced before. The planet, mother earth, Gaia, – whatever we call it – everyone must respect.
Politics have to change dramatically and the sociopaths, psychopaths, narcissists and megalomaniacs that seem to be recycled throughout history must be a thing of the past and the psychological profiling I am campaigning for should put an end to those who seek power and control for evil and destructive means. Countries and continents require better leaders to effect the right changes and make the world populations cohesive.
Perpetrators must pay the price and the victims/survivors must not be further victimised.
Economy is another world entirely. This pandemic that we are still experiencing has impacted the economy worldwide negatively and businesses have fallen by the wayside. But it has also encouraged people to be more active on line and creative about how they earn money.
I believe in Divine Intervention, Divine Timing and Divine Order. The world at present is like the Tower Card in the Tarot deck, everything is crumbling but a new world will emerge once the metaphorical scythe chops down the laurels the ruling elite are leaning on and as they fall into the pits of their own making we have the golden opportunity to plant new seeds of hope and faith! This time right now, will determine the future because now everything is on line and technology has the upper hand and voices gather momentum, like minds gravitate towards one another and start a brave new poetic world.
- I. is a rapidly growing and a highly cultivated phenomenon that will probably fall into the wrong hands and the wrong arena if we don’t rid politics of megalomaniacs. Everything can be utilised for good and those who use it for evil, power and control must be stopped. It is our duty to protect and nurture – not exploit.
Who knows? What one would like and what one strives for is individual and it is the collective that we need to govern but with a sound mind and no power crazy, evil characters.
Human nature can be at worst evil and at best good but give the wrong people power and history will simply continue to repeat itself with dire consequences every time. Genocide, War…….this is something as an individual I find hard to absorb, it seems to me that War as an answer has to be dismantled – once again – like a scaffolding that was wrongly erected, the world needs re-building and we must find the right balance. All hatred must dissolve like tea-stained sugar.
Only love can save each human and in turn the whole world. We have to look at the current planetary aspects to understand what is happening. A wise person always knows the planetary aspects and the points in history where radical changes were made. Martin Luther King in the 60s had a dream but look how that dream still needs to be a reality. With George Floyd so recently murdered in broad daylight by police is a horrific reminder of the evil in this world and those who exploit their uniforms and power. The Black Lives Matter protests remind us that we haven’t come far enough and that there is still a long way to go to eradicate evil from this planet.
I will never forget the image of George Floyd being murdered recently! They scooped him up from the ground and his neck and head fell limp and lifeless as he was laid on a stretcher. It was a horrific reminder of centuries of suffering and that worldwide wound must not only be healed but measures to eradicate racism must be taken even more seriously to counter attack it so that hate crimes end completely and to make way for a cohesive world to emerge.
“We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or we will perish together as fools.”
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
The trouble is: every act of aggression, violence and murder has far reaching consequences.
The Native American Indians who were treated so badly are now scattered skeletons in burial grounds over various parts of America and some of their burial grounds have been destroyed for development on the land, this awakens their spirits and souls from whatever peace they had at all and they rise up and create havoc as spirits and this is a fact! It has been proven time and time again when paranormal investigations take place that many homes have been built on hallowed ground and the spirits then occupy those homes. The same applies with slaves throughout history who were treated so badly and many died as a result of their owner’s vicious cruelty and abuse. They buried them under their houses or in their gardens or on land inappropriately in shallow graves and with no respect! These human spirits never rest they rise up and try to find a way to tell their painful stories and haunt homes and the land. Many spiritual mediums have become rescue mediums to help show the spirits into the light and to peace. This is yet another painful truth.
Human life and death has to be respected because troubled deaths and unfit burial grounds will simply perpetuate suffering and beyond the grave these spirits will return to have their say. People don’t always understand this but whether they do or not it is true. I am keeping this very simple and could go much deeper and more specific but this is a poetry interview.
“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” MALCOLM X
I would like to see the Oceans clean and the preservation of marine life. There is a very uplifting website https://8billiontrees.com/ forests with new trees growing. I’d like to see tribes who still live as tribes with their ancestors way of life to be left to do so and to have support to preserve their ancestry as well as present day living. They must have the right burials when they transition to the afterlife so they can rest in peace. There is a tendency in people not to believe or understand the importance of the soul and spirit being connected to where they are ultimately physically laid to rest. There has to be respect for all human lives everywhere.
“To us it seems incredible that the Greek philosophers should have scanned so deeply into right and wrong and yet never noticed the immorality of slavery. Perhaps 3000 years from now it will seem equally incredible that we do not notice the immorality of our own oppression of animals.” BRIGID BROPHY
The animal kingdom should be respected and the species bordering on extinction must have dedicated and nurturing environments to reproduce and then be set free back into the wild. The key is nurturing: the planet, the animals, and the global population. So we need sound minds to take the reins in this battle and for raising human consciousness to evolve so that we care about those in need and make sure all human lives are sacred and everyone has the potential to lead a better quality life. I would like to see total equality of races and creeds and everyone having a measure of love for one another.
We must never forget kindness and always strive to walk in the light as beings of light. Maybe, I have a Utopian vision but that sums up who I am deep down inside.
I worked as a hypnotherapist and used to treat 60 people a week and to see them change before my eyes into the person they wanted to be and giving them the ability to understand their truth and that it was fine to be who they were, made me realise I had a profound gift of understanding and resurrecting souls and that gift is still inherent. I’d like to feel that I could make a difference in this world for the better and I just wait for God to show and tell me how?
I introduced hypnosis to the medical profession and had referrals from Doctors and Hospitals. I wrote regular health and medical features for newspapers and public speaking about hypnotherapy. It was a very rewarding profession but the over-riding urge to be a writer and poet full time continued to eat away at my soul.
“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows will fall behind you” MASAI PROVERB
I travelled to Kenya for a holiday and became involved with the Masai tribe. I abandoned the Hotel I was staying in and it’s quite a story I have to tell! This will be part of my Screenplay. I lived with a Masai Warrior and learned HIS customs and dancing. The women adorned me in the incredibly beautiful hand-made jewellery and they called me “Mama Masai”! I was so happy with the tribe and their way of life. In the end, tourists were paying me and my warrior to have photos taken together! I was part of the tribe and my regalia was exactly as it should be and reflected my love and respect for these beautiful, kind people.
Mbizo CHIRASHA. You had a stint at BBC Worldwide with your writings, how was the experience?
“I rise – as a dazzling, Dionysian apparition – from the Melpomenian ashes of time, as the intellectual hellcat: a poetic hero extraordinaire; the syntactic pyromaniac, with a jugular full of flares.” Final lines: “THE WARRING HARRIDAN” Cassandra Swan
The BBC interviews you mean? I’ve had three BBC interviews. These were about specific epic poems and a poetry collection. I have also been interviewed about more controversial experiences from when I was a hypnotherapist testing my hypnosis tapes on severe mental illness cases and the most dangerous of criminals who supposedly don’t respond to hypnosis, did! I proved that psychopaths can and do respond well! The feedback I have I put into a book that includes personal letters with the patients confirming their enjoyment from my hypnosis. So this was a type of landmark for psychology but my work isn’t main-stream and I am just an off-beat woman who doesn’t get the recognition or respect I deserve according to many underground comments about my poetry and writing. The main-stream media in the UK has continually blocked any features about me and all of my work.
Radio interviews are good for poets and I do enjoy them. Maybe, one day, – just as I found and was directed to Mayakovsky -, someone somewhere will find my poetry and will be inspired. Radio interviews are good for poets and poetry, as it helps to give listeners a deeper understanding and insight into my work, but even though my work is internationally acclaimed the BBC limits me to local radio and makes a determined effort to block my international profile and collaborations with international major players working on my poetry.
On one of the BBC radio interviews I recited one whole stanza from “The Warring Harridan” and it was word perfect. I loved it! Once again I found myself in sub-zero temperatures doing the interview in five layers of clothing without any heating and I usually resort to wearing five coats and the top layer is that black and white cape I am wearing in one of the photos that accompanies this interview.
I have noticed that my work can be interpreted in many very different ways and often gains lengthy discussion and debate. The BBC has a strong foothold where poetry is concerned and has for many years. I like listening to old interviews with poets from the past on BBC radio. There are a number of interviews on YouTube with various poets and part of being a poet is to appreciate poetry from the past and those who wrote it, the voices still echo around the world. I like the idea that a poet never dies in that respect. You can read or listen to a poet and through their words they live forever and that is the part I explored in my international contest-winning poem “The Pocket-Size Wreath” – the final stanza reads:
“This wage-less wordsmith’s spine-chilling lines –
Will outlive the mechanised hands and face of life and time!
By sculpting denticulate epistles
With a scalpel – into epidermis then epitaph!” C. SWAN
Mbizo CHIRASHA. What are your current projects?
“My glyptic wisdom will scroll poetically into cryptic diction.”
“The Warring Harridan” Copyright C. Swan
CASSANDRA SWAN. My current projects are all long-term projects. They are all huge and have far reaching consequences. I want to leave behind a fine body of work in my wake and this requires dedication, discipline, passion, determination and a will to exclude anything that detracts from the projects.
My screenplay, sequel and prequel are all based on my life story and will carry some extracts from my poetry.
1/ Writing a screenplay – done 125 pages
2/ Writing a sequel
3/ Writing a prequel
4/ Choreograph/interpret a ballet performance in collaboration with the choreographer and director of the Margot Fonteyn Ballet Academy USA based on my epic poem theory on the life and suicide of American poet Sylvia Plath.
5/ Choreograph/interpret a ballet based on my epic poem tribute to Russian Poet Vladimir Mayakovsky in collaboration with ex-Royal Ballet dancer Sergei Polunin who has his own Ballet Foundation. Sergei will be Mayakovsky and the choreographer from the Margot Fonteyn Ballet Academy wants to choreograph this ballet too!
6/ A SHORT FILM based on my poem and soundtrack “Beasts & Priests” I am currently looking for a short filmmaker/collaborator and have some very serious ideas for this short film which will be 3 mins long.
7/ My campaign to officially cancel, legally have removed and break the silence of the “seal of confession” the Catholic Church currently uses to protect paedophile priests.
8/ This link is to a campaign to instigate and implement a mandatory psychological profiling/test for politicians in the UK. I hope that this will become a global vision and the UK will encourage other countries to follow. This is to stop sociopaths, psychopaths, narcissists and megalomaniacs from trying to run for office to run this country and I would encourage other countries to follow with this as a global vision to rid the evil in the world. This has to be the beginning of a better world. The results must be made public for the public to read the profiles before they vote for a leader before our next election!
10/ Another poetry collection (possibly)
11/ PhD 1
12/ PhD 2
Mbizo CHIRASHA. What is your moto, I mean your artist statement?
“Did you know a poet can die from a lack of exposure? It comes with a WARNING: POETRY KILLS!”
“Let me tell you sisters! This is NOT a man’s world.”
“People ask me what kind of business I work in? I say: I am in the business of kicking up a stink! That’s what I call business!”
“Integrity is hard to find and easily lost.”
“I rise – as a dazzling, Dionysian apparition – from the Melpomenian ashes of time, as the intellectual hellcat: a poetic hero extraordinaire; the syntactic pyromaniac, with a jugular full of flares.”
Final lines: “THE WARRING HARRIDAN” Cassandra Swan – all rights reserved
CASSANDRA SWAN. An ultimate vision is for a global political activist/arts movement:
P olemicists, Poets, Playwirights, Philosophers
A rtists and Activists
L uminaries and Libertines
POET EXTRAORDINAIRE CASSANDRA SWAN
Cassandra Swan is an internationally acclaimed, widely published, award-winning poet, author, artist, revolutionary, visionary, political activist, medium, clairvoyant, PhD student and former highly successful hypnotherapist. She delves deep into the human mind and condition in her intimate, confessional poetry to explore the human psyche utilising voices, landscapes, characters, images, emblems, motifs, myths, symbols and archetypes, which embrace death and re-birth. This collection of selected works reaches back as far as her adolescence. Some of her works are tragic, humoresque, ironic; some serve as a map to her own unique, imagistic journey, addressing existential, social, sexual, emotional and synchronistic insights, which emerge as an awareness of the unavoidable stages of life from puberty through to middle-age.
Cassandra has developed a new Literary/Poetic Style: “Graphorrhoealism” (From Greek graphien to write + rhoia a flow) a written counterpart of logorrhoea. “Graphorrhoea” represents defiance: an uninhibited approach to language; and cultivates the importance of compelling, descriptive detail,This playlist has no tracks yet a fusion of poetry, psychology – often technical terminology -, mythology, synchronicity and often, prophecy. Unearthing and revealing the deep, inner revolution and landscape of the poet. A style developed through the cultivation of the higher consciousness and relationships with muses and mentors in spirit.Cassandra’s dark poems: “Hammer” and “The Pocket-size Wreath” both won international poetry competitions and the soundtracks are now produced short films. Her poetry has been featured on BBC Radio and regularly on www.audiobookradio.net. She has been widely published in poetry magazines and gained outstanding reviews for her challenging poetry. She always seeks to bring her beguiling poems to an audience in ways that overlook outmoded, traditional, conventional forms and styles. She has collaborated with composers and DJs. Her work has been hailed as works of “genius” by Honorary Professors and she has been referred to as: “The Underground Poet Laureate”. Cassandra has worked with Turner Prize nominee artists Jake and Dinos Chapman and Sam Taylor-Johnson in work subsequently featured in Saatchi exhibitions and international venues. Her couture standard hand embroidery has been exhibited in Fine Art Galleries and her controversial performance art exhibitions in various London locations. Cassandra is writing a screenplay and a sequel based on her life story and has a Director/Producer for both productions.The State Mayakovsky Museum in Moscow invited Cassandra to perform her epic tribute to Vladimir Mayakovsky: “The Panjandrum of Quondam (The Epic Grenade)” in Moscow and Sergei Polunin formerly a dancer with the Royal Ballet is now collaborating to choreograph a ballet based on Cassandra’s Mayakovsky epic tribute. “The Warring Harridan”, *“Beasts & Priests” (about paedophiles in the Church), *“Job Description (The British Serial Killer)” soundtracks, are in pre-production as short films. “Candy Cotton Kid…” is in early development with the Margot Fonteyn Ballet Academy to be a choreographed ballet.
https://twitter.com/swancassandra11Cassandra Swan by Photographer Ian Treherne
MEET THE TIME OF POET REPUBLI CHRONICLER
MBIZO CHIRASHA, Chronicler at Africa Writers Caravan. Founder and Author of the Time of the Poet. UNESCO-RILA Affiliate Artist. Featured Poetry Artist at WorldBeyondWar.Org. Freedom of Speech Fellow to PEN- Zentrum Deutschland,Germany..Literary Arts Activism Diplomatie 2020 Poet in Residence at the Fictional Café (International publishing and literary digital space). 2019 Sotambe Festival Live Literature Hub and Poetry Café Curator. 2019 African Fellow for the International Human Rights Art Festival( ihraf.org) , Essays Contributor to Monk Art and Soul Magazine in United Kingdom .Arts Features Writer at the International Cultural Weekly .His Profiles , Interview and Poems are featured on poesis.si ,in Slovenia. Founder and Chief Editor of WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS. Founder and Curator of the Brave Voices Poetry Journal. Co-Editor of Street Voices Poetry triluangal collection( English , African Languages and Germany) initiated by Andreas Weiland in Germany. Poetry Contributor to AtunisPoetry.com in Belgium. African Contributor to DemerPress International Poetry Book Series in Netherlands. African Contributor to the World Poetry Almanac Poetry Series in Mongolia. His latest 2019 collection of experimental poetry A LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT was released by Mwanaka Media and Publishing and is both in print, on Amazon.com and at is featured at African Books Collective. Mbizo Chirasha is the Originator of the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign. Founder and Creative Director of Girl Child Talent Festival and GirlChildCreativity Project. 2003 Young Literary Arts Delegate to the Goteborg International Book Fair Sweden (SIDA AFRICAN PAVILION) .2009 Poet in Residence of the International Conference of African Culture and Development (ICACD) in Ghana.The Vice President of Poetsof the WORLD,poetasdelmundo.com ,African Region. Global Peace Chain Ambassador. 2009 Fellow to the inaugural UNESCO- Africa Photo- Novel Publishers and Writers Training in Tanzania. 2015 Artist in Residence of the Shunguna Mutitima International Film and Arts Festival in Livingstone, Zambia. A globally certified literary arts influencer, Writer in Residence and Recipient of the EU-Horn of Africa Defend Defenders Protection Fund Grant, Recipient of the Pen Deutschland Exiled Writer Grant. He is an Arts for Peace and Human Rights Catalyst, the Literary Arts Projects Curator, Poet, Writer, publicist is published in more 420 spaces in print and online.
TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC -An Internet based Poetry Center, Archiving Theme based Digital Poetry Anthologies and Profiling Iconic Poets and Writers The Journal – This journal is published four times a year and Its selection of ten best poems from well established poets . The Journal will also feature prolific poetry book reviews by world class poetry reviews. Time of the Poet Anthology Series– a global poetry call platform that have matured from being a single profile blog article into a globally acclaimed theme based anthology series with the latest SECOND NAME OF EARTH IS PEACE – a multi-genre collection of short stories ,hybrid essays,flash fiction and poetry for peace and freedom of expression reflections. INSIDE the Poetry Cafe– This section features Profiles of established Poets , Writers and Artists from around the globe and Submissions are by invitation. Drum Beat Vibe- News on Fellowships ,publications , poetry stories and hot news.