draft of self interview I'm chucking out
Why bother to interview yourself when there are interviews of you by other people?
I interview myself using other people’s questions for other people and put the answers on my blog Plus, I’ve been interviewed before. Some of these interviews are still online (but more of them are gone)
LA Lit (audio)
Like this question, which Tan Lin asked himself here: Why are you so prolific?
I tend to avoid writing that takes a long time because it takes me a long time to write. I’ve been writing for a long time, so I have a huge backlog of items I’ve written that aren’t published, though. I tend to get an idea or an area and try to exhaust it. I try to push, pull, prod, and generally make taffy of it. I think about Ted Hughes making fun of Sylvia Plath making (silk) poems out of her “sow’s ears.” Go Plath.
I also have an experience of corporate scale in writing, having written hundreds of pages a week for pay.
Your writing is all over the place. It is as though you are a bundle of poets. Why?
People seemed distressed that I spent half my time working with technology and half my time writing, yet didn’t combine the two, so I started to explore ways to make people more comfortable, but that didn’t merely make them comfortable by satisfying preconceived notions of what combining technology and writing might be.
I also split my master’s thesis into two manuscripts, which keep dividing and dividing. Then, I deliberately wrote a manuscript to suit a particular audience, to see if I would have a first success that way. I finally did, so I kept doing that. But I get ideas that don’t fit, which I then develop separately. I began thinking of my work being in different “modes.” I operated under this assumption until Rachel Loden pointed out that all my work sounded like me.
My works haven’t gotten published in any sort of order, either. Since I get encouraged when things are published, and since I try to keep learning, the idea of “progress” doesn’t seem to apply. Though reviewers argue with my authorial coaching, I still try to give them starting places: this was written before that, these are similar in this way….
Your work is weird, experimental, “page” not “stage.”
No, or maybe yes, hey I’m not the one doing binaries here. I have found it easier to get my more experimental work published in book form than my noir LA poems, or my gurlesque-before-gurlesque poems, or my confessional narrative poems. I also think my “poetry of place” (or, pick a category, for example) should be different from everybody else’s, and it is. I am invested in the idea that poems unfold themselves over time; that they are deceptively simple. I predate slams; I first went to the Nuyorican with Alan Kaufman as a judge. I’m into performance art. I’m not an actor. My sister and husband have been very involved with film, television, and theatre, but I haven’t. I’m often in the position of following someone reading or reciting serious confessional narratives with an audience participation of folding fortune tellers out of poems and reading them, or following someone’s opera libretto with funny poems written using pop song lyrics. Oranges and sardines, as they say.