Question & Answer 1 – Nic Stringer

Question 1

I was forced to break
so I could be reborn,
naked from the top down,
covered in the shame
of my failure to exercise.

Have you ever
been reborn?

They fed me sweet lies,
controlled me,
commissioned me,
lead me astray.

Gave me weapons –
SA80, pre-loaded lack of moral compass –
to serve,
or destroy.

‘Be Triomphant’

I shaved my head,
my beard.
Killed any semblance to the outside world.
It no longer
…………….‘you no longer exist’

– Aaron Kent

Answer 1

This thing called self
is a working girl……running
backwards and forwards in filthy clothes……a Devil’s urn
of pearls…………and penitence……in her hands

…………and breath……in this light…………burns

For those who idealise panic…………& permanence
nomads of fancy roaming about…………for sentiment
……long goodbyes and a comprehensive range
of pharmaceuticals…………with intent to supply

She is not a series of events…………marked by festivities
She is not a romance
……………………………………to be kept in a mind’s eye
She is movement……taste…………bounded by skin
a hole to pull dirt from……then to take cover in

She is a bell-like breath…… fought for in a dry as dust sky
which will never be caught

And she will never be caught…………Not I

– Nic Stringer


Question & Answer 3 – Cooper Wilhelm

Question 3

I invented a language
and made three words
to signify a boat:

Övvurbåt – when a boat is on top of the water
Ündderbåt – when a boat is below the water
Båt – when a boat is not on water.

But really, Cooper, what is a boat
when it isn’t on water?
Surely it isn’t still a boat?

It’s not a wreck either,
because that is ündderbåt
[and so are submarines

…………………………..which basically are floating,
…………………………..shipwrecks as a form of
…………………………..transport and nuclear

destruction]. I guess it is still a vessel
like my body will still have blood vessels
when I’ve dried up. And neither boat

nor blood will serve it’s purpose.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 3

I think of boats as the hardened gelatin
that makes pills from piles
and makes sure sailors aren’t dissolved
until they’ve gotten where they’re going safe.

Do you know those pill capsules
are made from what rises to the surface of the water
in which you boil bones?
It’s like if your coffin were an exoskeleton
protecting you from the earth until

it sent tendrils through the rot
and your body made it well again.

Though thinking this makes me wonder if the purpose of blood
and bodies and talking to your friends
were not a kind of drug thing:
the earth deprives its body of ourselves
so it can get first tension then release.

And you are an individual, with your own name to put on a ticket
to sit forever on a manifest (which I assume ships have
so that there is a sense of revelation
when the dead will all rise saved)

and when you board your coffin
and those who love you send it on its way,
it looks like sinking
but is really just a body
letting in a pill, a mouth swallowing the specific
word it made.

– Cooper Wilhelm

A Year Of Poetic Interviews! 

A year ago today I started the Poetic Interviews website, and began with a wonderful Q&A1 with Simon Barraclough. In the time since, I have had the pleasure of taking part in a poetic dialogue with such amazing poets as Siddhartha BoseRoss SutherlandAmanda LovelaceEmma HammondEmily CritchleyDaniel Roy ConnellyLuke WrightLuke KennardJeff AlessandrelliSarah CaveCharlie BaylisRupert LoydellCyrus ParkerDean Rhetoric, and tonnes more.

The project started 6 months before I started the site with a 5 question Poetic interview with James Franco, which I hope to publish before the end of the year, and has since come to include over 70 poets. In the time since beginning the project u have earnt a masters degree, a pgce, got a full time lecturing contract, got married, became a father, moved house 3 times, donated bone marrow, had one book published and another accepted (due 2018/19), and met a whole load of wonderfully creative people.

Poetic Interviews is tough to run, it requires me to write a lot of poetry with no editing or drafting process, to run the site singlehandedly, and to find new poets to get involved. All the while trying to work on my own projects and promoting the site via Twitter etc.

Thank you to everyone who has taken part, shared the work, or just read a post they’ve liked. The next step is to scout out potential publishers for a best of anthology.

Thank you again, you all rock.

– Aaron Kent (@GodzillaKent)

Question & Answer 1 – Amy Lawless

Question 1

A halogen moon shakes
with all the words I cannot muster
when asked to describe the weather.

you can’t structure the rain
but you can forecast its downfall,
the moon’s current stage, and cloud coverage.

cats fight in the forest at the
back and I fight internally with the
desire to enunciate grander and grander gestures

before finding myself oblivious to my own inspiration.
Is this the way it always is? Deleting my words
to find new words to delete.

coyotes howl somewhere in a foreign land, and that’s
all I have to tell me the world
doesn’t stop for us

I make a tofu stir fry and watch
the world come to terms with the lack
of summer. Only the cats seem to care for outdoors today

and I guess it’s because
they don’t know you can structure
a sentence, but you can’t structure the rain.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 1

[Sure, Start with Weather]

Listen, I get it. When you don’t know someone, you ask about
the weather. And you want to know if they own any cats, pets,
as this might gauge sanity, ethnographic insights. Sure. It’s Brooklyn.

Weather unremarkable in the part of the year that leaves open talk about
whether the soul is a chemtrail, marble or song. The wind is a feathery tickle.
Playful. I’m putting this into tercets to show that I am social and can mirror

the behavior of others. Survival. Do you get it? When you don’t
know someone you want to behave, notice their moves, at least at first.
Eventually, a true sociopath continues to remain in tercets and twists

that knife so that the other person is misty or even crying and staring at
his marbles. Staring at his life. I won’t ever do that to you, but
now you gotta wonder, right? You’re thinking about things differently now.

And there’s a storm named Irma building in the Atlantic north of the equator.
She’s deciding how much of a little bitch she’s going to be to the Haiti, DR,
and to Cuba. You realize your window’s weather was never the problem.

It was the weather outside of that frame that will fuck you up.
The weather of others. Who’s crazy now? Who’s crazy now?
I deeply admire the trickster coyotes. Coyotes beat humans

at their own games. Ranchers blame all their problems
on coyotes which is totally insane. While they are tricksters,
they’re also small, forty pound dogs. If you watch their playful bows,

leaps, and how they raise their necks up in an arch into the sky to howl,
you might agree that these animals are indeed godlike or even god,
come to teach us a motherfucking lesson. A good lesson we need to learn.

Only solitary coyotes howl. Only the lonely take to the sky
before the moon, bend their bodies to expel all of the air
to talk to the others out in the cool crispy night.

– Amy Lawless

Question & Answer 3 – S. J. Fowler

Question 3

How methodical
can I be
when öwllwö
become möllöm
and I try
to opaalí
I pearløst?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 3

how does method
how does new life
speak new
without our
every mother has ever been ever
speaking a new language
to a new child
and in this finding for them
a way into the poetry that’s not popular.

that that is supposed to rework
the boring utility miracle of language
into something that has no communicative use
is instead drawing
new life
into babytalk

– S. J. Fowler

Question & Answer 1 – Annie Harrison

Question 1

The ghosts of suicides kept us
awake polishing
our boots
and bleeding on our frostbitten
lips. We ran
gauntlets, chose to be beaten
until the vessels
on our asses

When have you
been kept awake
under a sky
you swore
wasn’t yours?

We marched
naked as the paint
slapped our palms
and our knees buckled under
the weight
of naval pride. And

then we bled in the shower. And

then we shaved our faces raw.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 1

I spend every night under the sky of strangers.
There is no blanket of stars
to wrap around my lost
lonely body
a suffocating haze
of fumes and artificial light
collecting under the glass jar
that stews this metropolis
I march to work
with the same resignation
on my face
in my heart
the taste of blood
on my teeth
from lips I’ve been biting
in my sleep
my skeleton
a puppet to be manipulated
by strings that are past my reach
eventually left limp
in the shadow of the wilting sun
I spend every day under the sky of strangers.

– Annie Harrison

Question & Answer 2 – Andrew Fentham

Question 2

A seascape but which seascape?
The ocean wrapped me
in the kitchen,
kept me warm in the knowledge
it was not my blood
on the shower floor.

I washed in the sink,
shaved my head with cutlery,
burnt my skin on the morning sun.
‘eighteen watts and inconsistent.’

Wait for the fire alarm,
feed me to the church,
the others will never notice,
I’m still marking in Hertz.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 2

Answer 2 (1)Answer 2 (2)Answer 2 (3)

– Andrew Fentham