Illustration for Wildness by Rah Gerg
Image of Wildness by Rah Gerg
Image of Wildness by Rah Gerg
Image of Wildness by Rah Gerg
Image of Wildness by Rah Gerg
Image of Wildness by Rah Gerg
Image of Wildness by Rah Gerg
Image of Wildness by Rah Gerg
Image of Wildness by Rah Gerg
Image of Wildness by Rah Gerg
Image of Wildness by Rah Gerg
Image of Wildness by Rah Gerg

In the terrain of the feral, bodies flee, escape, hide, and seek.
They express themselves not simply in same-sex or opposite-sex orientations,

but through murderous desires, violent longings,

flights from time,
chaotic and illegible political associations,

and deeply felt relations to animals and the wild.
—Jack Halberstam, The Disorder of Desire

☾ I’m scared of living in the city

I need to see where the moon crests the horizon,

Sight line unmarred
☾to see my future ahead, where to aim for☽

What if I can’t see the moon and go fucking crazy
Rip my skin off

Like tearaway pants Magic
Maul the audience

Birds pick off tufts of my midnight fur To add to their nests

☾a protective ward- not to be fucked with☽ Now they take on the auxiliary guise of were-tit,

were-sparrow ☾disappear into the night☽ They build their nests on the crafty form of my den,

which took after their construction

Biologists will find this dwelling come spring thaw And have no reference for what they find,

no chart, no known relationship:

Wildness is not the lack of inscription;
it is inscription that seeks not to read or be read,
but to leave a mark as evidence of absence, loss, and death.

So they pretended to forget about it,
left a question mark in their file,

☾ ◯◑☽ `◯

wer(e)wulf murderous
◯ weerwolf desires,

warwulf violent

◑ wira-wulfaz time, chaotic ◯

Úlfheðinn political

Vṛkājina ◑ and

werwulf longings, waer-ûl(e) from

wazi-wulfaz and

☽ ☽ garwal(f) felt

leus warous relations

◑ varulv to

werwolf flights

luchthonn associations, vargúlfr deeply

and threw it in the mud.

úlfheðnar illegible ☽

vьlko-dlakь and wiro-kū ☾ wild

◐ ◐ varulf animals vukòdlak the ☽

◯ lukanthrōpía

Sitting on the toilet
wrapped in a towel with my dripping mane

Imagining ripping my tits off and fleeing into the night

into the tide where the moon beckons to all those always half strange

And collaborates with the ocean
to piece ourselves back together

to make peace with things
beyond what a shower can do.

people see Others in me.
◯ther people I’ve been.

People I’ve consumed. People I’ve passed:

identity might best be described as a process with multiple sites for becoming and being.

Matter moves through me
and there are moments where

In the bathroom, luckily vacant,
in the historical texts scrawled on the stalls.

where paranoia and rhetoric lurk

Washing my hands, scrubbing my filth, making sterile

Before passing through the binary door,
performing domesticity for possible onlookers

Ready to make me prey
if not for my camouflage,
if not for the moon’s gracious ☾rescent.

Passing as a narrative assumes
that there is a self that masquerades


cohere into something

akin to identity.

as another kind of self and does so successfully;
at various moments, the successful pass

I wish to access some grit I was not raised with Some toiling angst untamed,

not shoved under my bed or the back of the closet.

The axis of


From within The Well of Loneliness,
The creature inside me explains


“You’re neither unnatural, nor abominable,

of what people call nature only you’re

Do I want the bite or is it just my Would I regret

as anyone else; unexplained

the prick of it

as yet”

entering my bloodstream,

I feel the desire to become
feral, peculiar, and unknowable:

nor mad; you’re as much a part

The acute sense that some form of wildness could be contracted and experienced vicariously,

with unfathomable intimacy ◑◐

To be unrecognizable is to
subscribe to beautiful

grammars of madness.

To have a fast-tracked means
of bulking up

of having presence,

☽ limb from limb, ☾

of growing hair,

of looking mean,

rowdy and in good company,

To rip the phylogenetic tree apart, until

all of evolution is mulch.

Now Now

To lift a leg and pee on it.

genealogy smells as foul as
what violences it perpetuates.

all the embarrassed
and reluctant epochs meet

at the family gathering

serving primordial soup. ◯ ☾◐◯◑☽

Rah Gerg is a mixed media artist, working across painting, sculpture, textiles, print, drawing, and installation-based-practices and graduates this spring with a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. They have been exploring ways of writing which feel more enmeshed with their artistic practice, and after this fall’s research and work with paper pulp, they identify more with the term ‘cryptid’ than ‘painter.’

Instagram: rah_paints


Accompanying video piece for “Wildness”