Stay tuned all month for poet interviews in honor of National Poetry Month.
1) Why poetry?
The Boiling Forest. Marie in Gold. Marie in Tar. It is hard for me to write after it. To write after The Blood Barn. How else. How else to describe how a body experiences / thinking. We should try to describe how a body experiences / thinking / a difference in thinking / an offering. Shitting Flowers. Marie in Gold. Marie in Tar. The Woman Ironing / The Blood Barn. The folding ocean / I am her / I walk / beside her. I will never write poems that look like poems / No, I won’t repeat language that way. It is hard for me to write after it. To write after I walk with S in little 5 points / having just bought some rocks / some fucked up shit gone floral / gone glittering. What did you get? What did you / or the poem / need? Their rock, something physical / something meant to address déjà vu / a feeling that the body’s edge is lit by a past they might not yet have language for. What did you get? What did you / or the poem / need? My rock, something meant to trust air / my thoughts moving through it. The April page of my calendar says this: A migration in the house / in the essay.
2) Do you feel like poetry is more or less important & relevant today?
Poetry / Reading / The feeling of it in my body has continually created a question / a red thread. What can I do?
3) Tell us about one poet who has greatly influenced you as a writer and a thinker.
Bhanu Kapil. When I teach, she is the first thing I read to my students. How else can I say / how much it means to me to be with them? My body wanted a book / the act of the book / to be also part of the body’s life / its movement / pain. The book continues / endlessly / but it also has pages / Shitting Flowers. (See also: Raúl Zurita, Etel Adnan, Brandon Shimoda, Edmond Jabès, Alice Notley, Dot Devota, Stephanie Young) The complexity of edges that continue away from and also gather near to / against you. To create the poems that are present in you / to have the bravery to move the Hurt Cardinal out of the road / when before / you didn’t. To describe all that surrounds you. To search for the words to describe all that surrounds you. To be able to include it all. To not be able to include it all. To include it all anyway.
4) Tell us about one lesser-known contemporary poet who you’d like more people to know about.
Jennifer S. Cheng / Ashley Chambers / Sean D. Henry-Smith. I’m sorry to give multiple names. I had a dream about Jennifer’s book / the important texture of it and how it felt to be inside of it / the color and shape and feel of it. I was stuck in ATL traffic with her in March. I have been re-reading and reading her book House A. Sometimes you meet someone and yr dumb, raw heart glows / shares. Ashley Chambers teaches me so much about seeing my body / about using it to create / about connecting it to my thoughts and how they move. Connecting it to pain / feeling / energy. Once, an art teacher asked me to draw a self-portrait and I drew a pug in the headdress. A question about how someone sees the body they perform with. The pain of that. The flower of that. I know Ashley Chambers understands this impulse / this headdress / holding ice cubes dyed red / that insists on writing to you. Sean D. Henry-Smith. What if a sound emits from an image / from the body / from outside the poem / and also from inside it? Sound can have so many layers in the poem / in the performance. To search for the words / the images to describe all that surrounds you. To be able to include it all. To not be able to include it all. To include it all anyway. To be able to sit with someone and ask them questions.
5) Share with us one of your recent poems and tell us a little bit about its context.
The Blood Barn – Leora Fridman wrote me a letter. I wrote back. Her letter is here / and my response.
The Blood Barn – city of tingling spring / coil The universe. It is hard for me to write after it / after The Blood Barn for L. I woke up in the middle of the night and my mouth was covered in blood. A photo of my mother taken by father. Illness that is also feeling / My life it comes it goes It comes and goes.
Carrie Lorig is the author of The Pulp Vs. The Throne (Artifice Books), a book of poems and essays. Her chapbooks include The Book of Repulsive Women (Essay Press), Reading as a Wildflower Activist (H_NGM_N), and NODS (Magic Helicopter Press).