Caged – Memoirs of a Cage-Fighting Poet – A Review
Cameron Conaway reaching out to his dad
The Good Men Project is the link between Cameron Conaway and myself. I’m not sure when that link was made and why out of all the contributors to GMP that I began following Cameron on twitter. Maybe it was the Cage Fighter slash Poet paradox that intrigued me.
And that he looks more like a Poet than a Cage Fighter.
But even when Cameron was fighting and looking like a Cage Fighter than Poet he was writing poems and into poetry.
I’ve not been one for poetry really. Not writing nor reading it. Mainly because I think it’s because there’s nary been a poem or poetry style that’s attracted me to it. Reading Caged has changed that. I don’t think that I will now suddenly become a poet, even though I’ve had a crack here. But I will write shit down. There’s a style that Cameron refers to early in his book, or as he writes it’s a “tactic” poets use called Enjambent. I like it. And like I said, I’ll give it a crack.
I know I’m going to read Caged again. The first lines I drew my pencil under were on page 8 – The Warrior Spirit. But they were also the last. I wanted to read the book, not study it this first time round. The purposeful intricacies of MMA and BJJ as life metaphors that Cameron brings to light amazed me. It’s like he’s created a road map to life or at least a guide to perhaps follow or a stencil to which colour in however you want. Hell, even colour outside of it.
Admittedly while reading Caged I didn’t feel inspired but rather validated within my own sense of maleness and masculinity. But towards the end I did get inspired. Inspired to write more. This year I’ve really only just gotten into it (writing). My third for the GMP is coming up and an Op Ed I wrote has been widely circulated. Plus a Book Review for a Medical Journal should be out in the coming months.
The next time I read Caged though, will be with pencil, ruler and notepad. There is so much to unpack and explore and reflect upon. Well, for me anyways.
The biggest reward for me from reading this book is that I’m excited about poetry, as a method of story telling.
Cameron’s website is here
Cameron has a new book of poetry out on November 1st called Malaria Poems.
Malaria ? Poems ? How’s that for a juxtaposition.