Interviews for the 51st So and So Reading

 

 

I had the pleasure of listening to and interviewing three poets for the 51st installation of the Birds, LLC So and So Series at the Morning Times coffee house.

 

====

First was poet Jim Goar. His most recent book of poetry is The Lousiana Purchase (Rose Metal Press).

 

ME: Where were you born?

JG: Tuscon, Arizona

 

ME: Who is your favorite actor?

JG: Peter Sellers

ME: Yeah, I loved him. Especially in Lolita.

JG: No, for me it was Pink Panther, and the next one... Dr. Strangelove.

 

ME: What would you do if you wanted to make life feel more real?

JG: I don't think I understand that question.

ME: This is good stuff, Jim, really good stuff.

 

ME: What is either the best or worst book you've ever read?

JG: Catch 22 for both. The first time I hated it, but the second and third time, I couldn't stop reading it. Oh, and the same for Under the Volcano.

 

ME: Why does America love Vampires?

JG: Just because they're dead.

ME: Just because they're dead?

JG: And sexy...dead sexy.

 

====

Next was Vincent Cellucci. Vincent's most recent book of poetry is An Easy Place / To Die (CityLit Press).

 

ME: Where were you born?

VC: Rex Hospital (right here in Raleigh, NC!)

 

ME: Who is your favorite actor?

VC: I'm going with...Don Cheadle, baby!

ME: I love Don Cheadle! He just lights up a room. Which movie?

VC: Ok, Deja Vu. Cheadle isn't even the lead, I just love it because Denzel

            gets in a car chase

                       back in time

                                 with himself

                                             to get some ass. Only in Holywood.

 

ME: What is either the best or the worst book you've read?

VC: I loved The Stranger, and I'm reading a book right now called The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker. It's nonfiction--rounds out a lot of Freud's bullshit. He grounds it in existentialism....I always liked a quote from one of my teachers. He said, "Now that Freud's discredited by the scientific community, it's safe for poets to study."

ME: Damn....I like that.

 

ME: In The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Eliot writes, "Streets that follow like a tedious argument / Of insidious intent / To lead you to an overwhelming question…. // Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” / Let us go and make our visit." What is the overwhelming question?

VC: For me or for Prufrock?

ME: Either.

VC: For Prufrock I think it's will you sleep with me. I teach that poem a lot, and there's no doubt about it. For Prufrock, it's will you take me home?

 

====

My last interviewee was Christopher Shipman. Christopher's most recent book of poetry is Human Carrying Flight Technology (BlazeVOX [books]).

 

ME: What items do you keep on your desk?

CS: I have a lot of Superman memorabilia. I love the mythology of Superman, and monsters. I love monsters.

 

ME: What is it about monsters?

CS: Well, if you look at Superman in a different light, he could be a monster.... Monsters and Superman--those are a collection of our own monsters and our fears....It's not like the makers of Superman were aliens.

 

ME: In The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Eliot writes, "Streets that follow like a tedious argument / Of insidious intent / To lead you to an overwhelming question…. // Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” / Let us go and make our visit." What is the overwhelming question?

CS: I think the question.... is every question.

ME: Every question?

CS: I think the question is where do we go when we die? What is happening in the universe? To understand that--to ask that question can be overwhelming and tedious.

 

Interviews conducted July 7, 2012 by Michael Johnson.

 

 

 

BACK