How do you feel about solitary vs. collaborative writing?
To me, the idea of collaborative writing is a nightmare. I can’t do it. I have tried, oh goodness, I have tried. I would rather go to the dentist. I would rather go to the DMV. I would rather eat twelve overripe bananas in a row. That said, I’ll wake you up in the middle of the night, begging for edit suggestions. Is that a collaboration? I suppose it is.
What does the term “poetic process” mean to you?
What even is that? Semantics? When I think of the word “process”, I think first of a book I own but have never read, titled Trust The Process. I also think of processed meat, which is gross. Poetic process is like gravity: Something that happens to me, that I have no control over, and am often in arguments with.
Do you feel it still is (or ever has) been important to memorize poems?
I remember once sitting quietly while a suitor softly spoke pieces of works by Pablo Neruda to me. I remember bursting into pieces by poets, myself or others, on the sidewalk in the middle of the afternoon, while especially moved by something painful or lovely. You know how songs stick with us? How, years later, lyrics to songs we have loved creep into our heads and find their way into applicable moments? Songs are poems and poems are songs and moments are poems, and so many things are poems. Yes. I think it has always been important to memorize poems. But I think the most important thing is this: When you love something, stare into for as long as possible so that it is burned into your brain, so that you have it when you really need it.
Do you ever get sick of poetry?
Poetry makes me sick all the time. Lovesick, heartsick, homesick, seasick. I have written poems about how writing poetry is not unlike what I imagine dysentery to be like. I think that if a poem doesn’t make a person slightly nauseated, it’s not doing its job. This is why being in love is so stressful for me.
I realize that’s not what you asked, but it’s the best I can do.
Do you have any advice to veterans of poetry?
No. I am adamantly against giving advice of any sort, to anyone, ever. It gives me hives.
In your mind, are technology and poetry in bed together or still in an awkward flirting phase?
It’s 2016. Everything is in bed with everything. I saw an advertisement for taco bell breakfast waffle tacos, recently. Everything is just in bed with everything else all over the place. Hopefully there are enough blankets. Everything was technology, at some point. Pens and papers and typewriters and even written language. If that is the case, then technology has been in bed with everything, especially poetry, which is arguably one of the purest forms of cultural reflection. I think also, that it's possible to be awkwardly flirting with something you're already in bed with. I wouldn't know how not to.