Interview @ 42minutes

Here I talk to William Morgan and Douglass Bolles somewhat coherently about a variety of things. Thanks dudes!


Talking to Emilia Phillips @ OmniVerse

Lisa: I don’t think there is a moment that feels extraneous in Signaletics, or ‘put on’, which can be a danger in that kind of braiding. You’re also agile in terms of form. There are many different forms in this book, which seems unusual for a debut. There are prose poems, and blank verse, there’s a “Ghost Sonnet” … can you tell us a little bit about the forms?

Emilia: Sure. What’s so weird about the forms in the book is that… in one way I’m very conscious of it, and in another way I’m not. It’s not like I set out to say ‘I have to have a prose poem, I have to have this fake sonnet that is not fourteen lines but is close to 140 syllables.’ But I think I ended up picking poems that formally ran the gamut, because if I am going to write on a similar subject in a lot of poems I want the form to rework it, so that the excessive tendencies in subject matter don’t seem so overwhelming.

I think form does a lot to mediate that. It distracts us visually and distracts us sonically, so that we inhabit the subject matter in very different ways. I was trying to provide different landscapes for the reader, and the landscapes may have the same foliage but the view is changed.

Read the whole interview online.

Talking to Daisy Fried @ The Rumpus

“… what I get a little anxious about is talking too much about motherhood. This is not to say you shouldn’t ask. But am I going to be typed as a Mommy Poet? I don’t think I am one—motherhood and politics and sunlight and sex and work and money and weather and, good god, even kittens, are all what we have always with us, so why exclude them from poems?”


Read More Here:

Talking to Mary Austin Speaker @ OmniVerse

“…LW: The poems in the beginning of Ceremony, there’s gentility in the speaker’s regard of these masses of people living together. That seems new to me.

MAS: What do you mean by gentility?

LW: I guess there’s no implied vitriol. I never feel that the masses of people would do harm.

MAS: Most of the time I lived in New York I was constantly amazed by the civility of New Yorkers—as in, I can’t believe all these people aren’t murdering each other right now. You have to deal with quite a bit of adversity to live there. A friend of mine used to say it’s like being at the Olympics, all the time. Like just getting around.

LW: I find it exhausting.

MAS: It’s tremendously exhausting. The overwhelming civility of New Yorkers is extraordinary, given how hard people have to work there, just to be a person…but when you fall down, people help you get up. People will give you directions when you’re lost.

That said, there are certain codified behaviors that New Yorkers adopt in order to function together. Being on an escalator, for example. People who want to stand on the escalator stand to the right and people who want to walk on the escalator walk on the left. This is how it works. And when that system breaks down, people get frustrated. But that’s the main way you see people being angry in New York—when these little modes of behavior break down.

LW: You can imagine the repercussions should it become systemic.

MAS: Chaos! I guess there’s something that’s a little bit fascist about all of it—everyone has to behave the same way in order for all of us to get along. But I think there are certain ways in which that’s true.”




In Conversation with Late Night Library

Today Michael Heald of Perfect Day publishing and I talk to Paul Martone of Late Night Library. We talk about the Portland reading scene, small press debuts, and avoiding each other in Nicaragua.

I Interview Cynthia Cruz @ The Rumpus

“Cruz: Well, regarding the “big, mythological words living next door to convenience store words,” the idea, in other words, of incorporating both the “high” and the “low” in my work: I love to do this, have always done this, exhibit this in my own life, and am a product of this. For example, when I was a child and we didn’t have much money but still, my parents saved up so we could go to the ballet in San Francisco, my mother still brought us to museums, and they saved their money all year round so we could travel to Europe summers. So I experienced beauty and what would be considered “high culture” from a very young age despite the fact that we didn’t have much. I grew up with piles of fashion magazines on our living room floor and so I saw, early on, the possibilities: haute couture, fantasy, art, painting, literature—it was all in these European fashion magazines my mother brought home. So, though I was growing up in a Northern California beach town (beaches, bikinis, skateboarding, etc.), I had access to this other end of the spectrum.”