I am really terrible at writing poetry.
Some might argue I’m really terrible at writing prose, too, and that’s fair enough. Still, at least I managed to get prose published over the years. I have never submitted a poem to be published. The last time I actively wrote poetry it was the stuff I read aloud at the Bahaus Cafe poetry night – sub-Bukowskian observations from the gutter I believed I lived in I was mostly content and angst was strictly the product of an equation (age + temporary poverty x literary ambitions + alcohol & cigarettes x loneliness ÷ actual talent = “Oh, lonely moon, i look upon thee and I see…myself) (and even that I stole from a Henry Rollins joke).
When I recently came back to poetry – reading poetry, that is, not writing it – I found it very difficult. I was used to reading in different ways, with more linear thinking, perhaps. I really didn’t have a clue what anyone was trying to say. Now, at the very least, I find myself able to rest inside a poem, instead of trying to follow its words to the conclusion. It makes a big difference and it’s been a wonderful learning (and re-learning) experience.
Today’s interviews are with two wonderful poets. First up is Phoebe Wang, who I had the pleasure of seeing read at a Lit Live event earlier this. She read from her most recent work Admission Requirements. Next, I speak with Aisha Sasha John, who is a poet and a performer. Her collection I Have To Live is fantastic. I highly recommend them both. Hope you enjoy the show!