The poem is a little myth of man's capacity of making life meaningful. And in the end, the poem is not a thing we see--it is, rather, a light by which we may see--and what we see is life.

Robert Penn Warren

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Four Questions for Jessy Randall

Jessy Randall is the author of Injecting Dreams into Cows and other books. She grew up in Rochester, N.Y., where she helped invent a controversial Frisbee game and famously cried at a Dolph Lundgren movie. She is also the guiding force behind the Huge Underpants of Gloom zine series, and she keeps all her secrets hidden in decades' worth of black-and-white composition notebooks. 

DS: Why do you write poetry?

JR: This question was a lot harder to answer than I expected it to be. So I guess the answer is "I don't know" or "I can't explain it." Kenneth Koch says writing poems lets you have your emotions instead of your emotions having you. When I'm writing a poem I feel a way I wish I could feel all the time.

DS: What do you hope to find in poems written by other people?

JR: My favorite poems are the ones that make me say "yes, that's exactly IT," usually when "it" is something I didn't realize needed to be captured. Sarah Sloat's poem "Excuse me while I wring this long swim out of my hair" is one such poem. She has a million bookmarks and can't find any of them.

I also like poems that make me go Whuhh-huUUHHH? such as Scott Poole's "New York Women."

I want poems to have sly wit. I want them to be about emotions, for me the most important and least understood things in the universe.

DS: Describe your works in progress.

JR: Lately I've been making poems out of illustrations in old books I find at the library where I work. I find these extremely satisfying. Most editors do not.

DS: What are your hopes for the future of poetry?

JR: I love the virtual salons poets are creating online. We can't all live in hotbeds of poetry (New York, San Francisco, etc.) but we can make our own through electronic journals, Facebook, and email collaboration.

Go to Jessy's website here.

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