Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Interviews and Inspirations

The always talented interviewer, Serena Agusto-Cox, has two interviews up at the 32 Poems blog (go here for an interview with Sidney Wade and for an interview with Erika Meitner, go here) and several on her own blog (go here for an interview with Clive Matson that isn't on the 32 Poems site).

I love these interviews because they always make me want to go straight to my notebook and write. And these days, I need that inspiration. I've been travelling too much, which I've enjoyed, but which always leaves me feeling like I've left some part of my brain somewhere else.

Or maybe it's just this time of year. Mary Biddinger writes a blog post about feeling like she's written the last poem she will ever write. I felt similarly, before reading the interviews that Serena has done.

I love the window that these interviews provide into the different writing processes that poets have. Sidney Wade says, "I also don’t think it’s productive for poets to insist on writing every day. Poetry is so intense an involvement that I can’t even write more than three days or so per week, even when the going’s good." What a revelation to me, a perfectionist who not only thinks I should write every day, but at least 4-5 hours should be spent on writing tasks every day. My current life will not support that goal. Yet I still have these ideas left over from when I had more free time.

I notice the same dynamic with exercising. I used to be able to exercise not just once a day, but several times a day. I wish I still could, but I have an administrative job that requires 40 hours a week to be spent in an office; it's a more corporate life than I ever anticipated, and I'm having some trouble getting my expectations and hopes to bend to my current life circumstances.

Maybe this trouble should be telling me something . . . Erika Meitner writes about her current project: "Many of the poems deal with the human geography of urban border-lands—people on the margins of society. Who do we leave behind or look past? What do we discard, as purposeful markers or accidental refuse? How can these people, places, and objects be woven into larger ideas about nature, sense of place, home, exile, and both personal and collective memory?"

Maybe I, too, am in a marginal land, albeit a margin that often isn't considered. I tend to think of margins and exile in terms of gender, race, class, or homeland, by which I mean a physical land on a map. But so many of us start out our lives thinking we'll be in one profession, only to end up in something radically different. We inhabit a marginal landscape too. Like many exiles, we may adapt and thrive. But we shouldn't discount the grieving process that may need to accompany us on our journey.

1 comment:

Serena said...

wow, thanks for reading my interviews and for posting about them. I'm happy to hear that they inspire you. I hope that they provide everyone with a little something.