Light blue and the same red with purple makes a change. It shows that there is no mistake. Any pink shows that and very likely it is reasonable. Very likely there should not be a finer fancy present. Some increase means a calamity and this is the best preparation for three and more being together. A little calm is so ordinary and in any case there is sweetness and some of that. (Gertrude Stein)

14th February 2013

Post

The Next Big Thing

What is the working title of the book?

loaded arc. I like the way that the lower case suggests an equality between all letters. Also, I wanted a bit of a double-entendre here: the idea of a plot arc that’s already been determined/the fully ready-to-go ark of Noah.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

From a few things at once, which is the way that I like to work. First of all, I was returning to New Orleans to visit with my friend Clare. I hadn’t been there since I lived there briefly in 1995. I hadn’t been there since Katrina. I was reading Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man and thinking about how the news of Katrina reached and affected the nation, myself included. I took the idea of short, packaged bits of media and used that to come up with the form, which is small squares of text on each page, like a TV screen. I was also really influenced by Harryette Mullen’s way of capturing the catchy and eery rhythms of how we’re fed information and ideas. I thought this coincided with what I was reading by McLuhan as well, actually. And I was interested in comparing Katrina as a media event to the flood of Noah as a media event and how both were used, ultimately, as propaganda for how people should formulate their beliefs about solidarity and who should be saved and who should be sacrificed.

So that became the title piece for the book and it takes up most of the space of the book since it is around 50 pages. There are two other poems in the book. The next one is Inventory, which is 26 pages long and deals with how the inception of vocabulary, through connotation, creates conceptions and beliefs. So it is related… And the last poem is called Features of a Father, which is about patriarchy, presidency and patriotism. And belief. And media.

What genre does your book fall under?

This is poetry. One might also consider parts of it prose poetry, but that’s just because the formatting sometimes uses longer lines or no line breaks. It is experimental poetry.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Since most of my poems don’t really have characters, I think that it would be more of a montage of real people. George H.W. Bush and George Bush could be in it playing themselves, but I’d rather use clips of them than hire them as actors.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Three poems that each constitute a sideways glance at the structures that produce the power surrounding language and offer us our systems of perception and belief.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I wrote the first draft of the first poem rather quickly after I returned from New Orleans, like 3 weeks! I was going to the library and writing there, looking at various books on floods and the Kabbalah. The second poem I wrote the first draft of almost ten years ago. The second poem was written sometime in the last couple of years. I write first drafts rather quickly for the most part and then edit for years.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

First of all, the amazing and unique culture of New Orleans that I feel very honored to have been a part of when I was. Second of all, the conditions of our culture that produce our perceptions, like media and government and the power that it exerts over people’s lives. Third, the power of language to find a way within itself to search and discover the systems that could be critiqued and dismantled. Finally, all the poets and the poetry that has used language in these particular/peculiar ways.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

Since you already know that this is a loaded arc, I hope that you take the invitation and challenge to search and discover what excites you most about the ideas or the language here, and what makes you think, and what makes you feel.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It is being published by the extraordinarily exciting Trembling Pillow Press, located in New Orleans.

Thank you Marthe Reed for tagging me! My tags go out to Jen Tynes, Michael Sikkema, Nikki Wallschlaeger, Michelle Taransky and Josef Kaplan

Tagged: poetryexperimental poetrynew orleanspolitical poetry

9th February 2013

Quote

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

— "The Waking" -Theodore Roethke

9th February 2013

Photo reblogged from Tumblr Staff with 6,551 notes

staff:

As New York Fashion Week takes over our town, we’re elated to partner with Milk Studios and many others to bring a team of local Tumblr voices to cover the week’s events and personalities for the fifth straight season.
You can follow Brandon, Dillon, Freddy, Ira, Jaimen, and William, and everything Fashion Week by tracking our NYFW tag.Photo by Brandon Stanton.

staff:

As New York Fashion Week takes over our town, we’re elated to partner with Milk Studios and many others to bring a team of local Tumblr voices to cover the week’s events and personalities for the fifth straight season.

You can follow Brandon, Dillon, Freddy, Ira, Jaimen, and William, and everything Fashion Week by tracking our NYFW tag.

Photo by Brandon Stanton.