This post is part of a game of poetry-tag. Various writers answer questions about their writing. I was tagged by Adam Horovitz and Anna Wigley who were tagged by Katy Evans-Bush. Please do trace the stream back to its source. When the people that I have tagged have responded, I will post links to their site on this page, they will link to mine, and the chain will grow a little longer.
What are you working on?
Right now, I am playing with the sonnet form. I am writing three-sonnet double-acrostic sonnet cycles exploring the contrast between the physical reality of animals and the mythscapes that humans have built up around them. In some instances these myths are appropriate. Crows, for example, always appear as intelligent trickster/creator figures. As animals they are incredibly intelligent. if you leave a tall glass on a table, half filled with water, a place a piece of meat or sausage in it the crows in your garden will very quickly figure out that, in order to raise the water level of the glass, they need to go get some rocks. Hyenas, on the other hand, are much maligned. Myths present them as lazy, stupid creatures composed of appetite wrapped in a patchy, unpleasant pelt. In reality they are a complexly hierarchal matriarchal species. In tests of cooperation and organization they actually perform much better than humans. I also think that they are ridiculously cute, but that’s just personal taste. I am very interested in limits and extremes and double-acrostic sonnets allow for a great deal of play in that area. The acrostics run down both ends of each line, they read like a crossword: Down left, down right. each poem is separated by a 5×5 (a poem composed of five, five-syllable lines) that touches on myth.
How does your work differ from others of its genre?
I don’t think that ‘genre’ really exists. I think that work has tendencies. One poem might veer into the Romantic, another might wander into Magical Realism. My prose is often described as Southern Gothic because of the setting and the weird family relationships. I think that genre is a handy term for describing what something is like. It doesn’t really say what a piece of work is. My poetry is itself, because I am myself. You could say that I am a slender 31-year-old female from America, and that would be accurate, but it isn’t what I am if you take my meaning.
Why do you write what you do?
Because of my history Because of the formation of my brain. Because my mother craved raw steak while she was pregnant. Because God wants me to. Because I was raped. Because I feel really wonderful after a good hard fuck. Because my husband has broad shoulders and terrible breath. Because it is my best form of prayer. Because it is the best of myself and I want there to be some record of it. Because I loved a woman, once. Because I must. Because I have no choice. Because I will die if I don’t.
How does your writing process work?
I write every day.
I write in notebooks and typing into my tablet while using the stepper at the gym. I am writing in this manner right now. I’m here for about three hours every day. The management has gotten used to it.
When I write novels, I sink into the paper and do not surface until the reel has run out inside of my mind. I will write about 250 pages inside of two weeks. Then I buckle down and spend a few months editing.
My poetry is more planned. I use a notebook. I write the acrostics first, then I fill in the lines. There must be congress between the contents and the acrostics. I have posted a step-by-step how-to guide somewhere on this site if you want to try.