Wolf and Pilot
In the innovative world of Farrah Field’s Wolf and Pilot, magic and fantasy seep through the cracks of actuality to engender a creepy, comical narrative centered on four runaway girls, a detective, a witchmother, and a beloved teacher. Half-phantoms, half-feral animals, the runaways tiptoe through Field’s poems, hiding from a grotesque mother who “can pull her face off at the nostril” while seeking everyday childish delights: “We want our tongues blue with lollipops. / The little one thinks she would like bubble gum ice cream.” Through this intersection of the bizarre and the quotidian, eeriness rises. These poems resemble dreams, nightmares, and reality as they redefine the poetic narrative.
Field melds together fragments of each sister’s voice to create a collective consciousness, where the girls know each other’s words and thoughts before they are spoken aloud: “The girls can talk just by thinking.” Bound to this girlhood closeness, these poems reach into the world of fairytales and explore that world through a voyeuristic eye with the creative attentiveness oft unique to a child: “We think her ear looks like a fetus.” Collectively, these poems remind us that “Girls are prey to everything,” for even as the sisters build a reality that is presumed to be safe— we cannot forget the witch-mother: “Someone’s always watching, / but never where you think.”
“Red Onion Paper,” from Wolf and Pilot:
See the crocodile noses as they sleep in the water. Whoever thought a body could hang like that. Suspended in the pond, bottomless brown. When we swim, we'll roll our hair around our faces one hundred times. A pair of claws works as good as hands. The crocodiles will assume we're already caught. They won't trust the commotion. We avoid being eaten by pretending the thing has already eaten. There could be a bus-sized catfish down there. Our mother drinks the debris in a mug. Our mother waits behind a log. With her hair caught on the reeds and her mouth open.