Next Big Thing



What is the working title of the book?

I’m not sure. The file on my computer is named “Pupils” but I’ve been thinking about the title “Mirage Repair” ever since I saw a cleaning service truck in Denver advertising “Mirage Services.”

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The manuscript only consists of a handful of very short poems so far, so the idea is very much in development. I’m guessing it is still several years away from being completed.

There is a poem called “Lost Moat” which is an adaptation of a dream I had about an octopus that was bumping my knee and trying to lead me through a confusing house (e.g. a bathroom that when you opened the door it was really a bathtub room, complete with tide). I’m pretty sure the octopus is a dream version of Virginia the cat, who lives in my real life house. The octopus was gentle and slightly annoyed with me for not understanding where to go. The poem feels like narrating what it would be like to die. I hope Virginia the Octopus Cat is there to show me where to go when I die.

Another poem is called “The Rain of the Ice” and that title evokes, for me, both Breton’s book L’Air de l’eau and also a mental erasure of the title of the Roland Barthes essay “The Grain of the Voice.” It includes a horse that is in various states of presence/illness/decomposition and perhaps it’s about animal consciousness in relation to physical pain/shelter/relief. It is also about a view of a storm I had once when driving through Iowa at night with my sister.

What genre does your book fall under?
Poetry. Prose Poetry.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
There are no actual characters other than an “I” and a lot of objects, environments, and animals. Since it is a very young manuscript, maybe a child actor doppelganger makes the most sense. I have been told that from a certain angle I look like the middle brother, Dewey, from the t.v. show “Malcolm in the Middle.” I think an MRI image of that actor comes pretty close.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
The shore grew sails.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I am not even close to a first draft of the manuscript. It has taken me about a year and a half to write the first few pages.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The inspirations tend to be poem-specific and in some cases line or phrase or title specific. Steve Reich’s “It’s Gonna Rain” (echoed in a poem called “Mute Casting”), Mequitta Ahuja’s “Tsunami Generation” (inspired the palinode “Echo Solvent), a dream about a centaur in a fight with a horse mutated with the title of a book on electronic music The Ambient Century (inspired the title “Ambient Centaur”), a poster diagramming the internal organs of a bird (inspired “The Diagrammed Ear”), a grasshopper in my old backyard (“Pupa Deluge at Bastille Labs”), Brian Lucas’s visual art (inspired the title and some imagery from “Nova Compost Extract”), dehydrated lamb lung (aka “Lamb Crackles”), my space heater pointed at my cold limbs while I write.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Another source of inspiration was this sheet of paper that Andrea Rexilius found at her old job at the Denver Public Library. It talks about “pupa.” This “pupa” appears as a figure in some new poems.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
This book is a larva. Let’s not impose expectations on it just yet.

Thanks to Kathryn Pringle for tagging me for this.

I tag: Brian Lucas, Curtis Crisler, Trevor Calvert, Danielle Pafunda, Dorothea Lasky. If you feel like it, tell us what you’ve been making lately.


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