Hexes+Numbers is a new interview series where all the questions are randomly generated hex color codes (#000000), and randomly generated numbers without any context provided. It’s up for the interviewee to interpret the questions and answer them however they want.
To kick off this series, I interviewed Sophie Jennis, whose new poetry collection–Hot Young Stars–can be purchased here from House of Vlad Press.
The Hexes+Numbers graphic is designed and credited to Alex Saunders.
Andrew Byrds: 8?
Sophie Jennis: 8 is the last digit of my lucky number, 228, which is also my birthday. While driving to Long Island for my second date with my boyfriend, I was behind a car with the license plate # 666. Angel numbers are three digits of the same number that are said to contain messages depending on which number it is. 666, as you might have guessed, is bad luck. I pulled over and called my spiritual friend, anxious over what could be a warning sign. As I was walking down a residential street discussing this with her, it got too warm out so I slid into an air-conditioned Burger King bathroom. She assured me that 666 was a message toward internal turbulence and reflection, unrelated to any external person or situation. I hung up and got in my car and drove.
SJ: I think Almond is a beautiful name for a boy. I’ve spent actual time in my head thinking of ways I could spell the name to avoid judgment for naming my kid almond.
SJ: The poetry I wrote at 23 is better than the poetry I wrote at 24. Growth and development are not linear. Time is inherently neutral.
SJ: One of the central themes in my philosophy towards my poetry is anti-structure. Other themes include youthfulness, naiveté, force, anti-formal education. I have never given in-depth context for my work and have never previously discussed this.
SJ: When I was 13 I bought a pair of black stilettos from a thrift store and pretended to be a precocious teen actor getting interviewed on The Ellen Show in my bedroom.
SJ: I had brunch the other day at a friend’s house. She made breakfast tacos. I bought two bottles of Prosecco from a liquor store I’d never gone into before: the two women behind the counter were wearing all black and fedoras.
SJ: The year after I lost my virginity
SJ: Will I really be married? Will I really be 50?
SJ: I am intoxicated by confessions, by personal anecdotes, by autofiction, by personal essays, by secrets, by intimacy.
SJ: Thinking of the film Daddy Longlegs (2009) by the Safdie Brothers; I really enjoyed it.