How do you feel about solitary vs. collaborative writing?
It depends on the day, the hour, the minute. There are some days where having someone near me, encouraging me to experiment with words is the only damn way I'll write. And then there are other days where I have one and a half million phrases and ideas I want to put down. Those days I turn my phone off and growl at anyone that has the audacity to distract me! I like the happy medium of solitary and collaborative writing the most, where we are typing in the same room and pop up every once in a while and ask their impression of a freshly written line. True collaborative poetry is challenging like a good, hard jog. It plays with all parts of my brain, and I leave each experience feeling for-certain that that poem would not have existed if it did not have co-creators. And that's a feeling that strengthens my brain and my love for poetry.
What does the term “poetic process” mean to you?
To me, "poetic process" is the academic way of saying "shit you do to trick yourself into writing pretty and/or truthful words." Some of the shit I do to trick myself into writing pretty and/or truthful words can be as innocuous and soft as listing the ingredients I need for a recipe.
Do you feel it still is (or ever has) been important to memorize poems?
I think it is important. Not important enough for me to have done it, however. It's always that "skill" that I've put off mastering until, maybe, my mid-life. But I think about it often, how it would be a valuable experience for me to memorize and recite from memory. This question is probably what I needed to motivate me to start doing this. Any suggestions on poems to memorize? Any Poems To Memorize for Beginners book recommendations?
Do you ever get sick of poetry?
Yes, all the time. Every day. While I am in love with a poem, I am still sick of poetry. I have an overconsumption problem but there's no Weight Watchers for people who eat poetry to the point of vomiting.
It's that expressing the sinewy parts of life, love, memory, relationships, the human experience is always going to fascinate me, take hold of me beyond a healthy limit. And that's poetry. Whether I am hearing it, reading it, writing it, or wanting to write it. To me, poetry is the most accessible way to overindulge on life.
Do you have any advice to veterans of poetry?
Never stop writing. Never stop sharing your writing. Never stop reading what new poetry there is.
In your mind, are technology and poetry in bed together or still in an awkward flirting phase?
There's this impulse to make poetry seem more stately, more prim and proper than it is, right? And this impulse to make technology the antagonist to all that is classic and curated. But technology is poetry's best friend, its loving mother, its loudest promoter. And poetry is simply the thoughts and memories of the people living and dead. Technology is the reason I've read basically all of the poetry I've read. And technology is the main way my own poetry is shared. I think technology and poetry are not only in bed together but they share a checking account and have names picked out for their children. They are in the process of building a house together, where the dining room table is as long as the whole world and there are as many seats as there are combinations of words.
Who are five poets, local and non local, dead or alive, that you admire?
This is the hardest question. But, here's what came to my mind just now:
e. e. cummings
Aaron Weiss of mewithoutyou