Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Interviewed by Monkeybicycle

Today the literary journal with arguably the finest name, Monkeybicyle has posted an interview with me about the piece 'Clockwork Dog' which appears in their latest issue.

Enjoy an excerpt here and follow the link after the break to read more about the joy of baseball, why I write prose poetry, and the gentleness of Iowa:

‘Clockwork Dog’ is built on a disparity of terms – ‘friendly
friction’ / ‘retrieving discarded’ / etc. – how important is this
discord to your poetry (or this poem)?

In poetry, and contemporary poetry in particular, I think that the
pairing of disparate words and contrasting language is a common
strategy. The goal, I’m pretty sure is to be evocative, but often it
results in obfuscation. You could say the same about the very title
and subject of this poem. I understand that an initial reaction may
be something along the lines of, what the hell is a “clockwork dog”
anyway? Well, I don’t want my reader surrounded by a jangle of words,
so while the exact form of the dog is left to the reader, by the end
they have an idea of this dog’s motivations, and I think would agree
that he is a “good dog.” So rather than discord, in this and other
pieces I work to create chords from unlikely notes.

There is also an aggressive use of range in this piece –
running the reader from a ‘tornado’ to a ‘merry-go-round’ – can you
talk to us about what you hope this scaled-variation will do to

Simply, the range makes the poem livelier and more engaging. The
reader has the opportunity to fit their own rotations and clocks
somewhere between bottle caps and planets, and make their own personal
connections to time with the Clockwork Dog as a guide. . .

For the full interview visit the Monkeybicycle blog

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