The Next Big Thing: You Are The Meat

February 20, 2013

Long (enough) ago I decided to let this blog languish in internet purgatory, for all practical purposes dead to me and anyone else. Tyler Gobble, however, has given me some legitimate license to drag it up from its grave for a moment by tagging me in his Next Big Thing post, in which I’ll answer ten questions about my (chap)book and tag writers (up to five) who I’d like to see respond to the same set of questions. Here we go.

What is the working title of the book?

You Are The Meat. It is a chapbook.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I mean, it’s poems. Poems come from all sorts of planets. Sometimes that planet is a drive home from a famous ice cream shop, sometimes it’s a Jimmy Eat World song, sometimes it’s Stevie Nicks. Several of these poems came from a series that I have a feeling isn’t done, is taking a brief nap, whose titles are abstract words that I’ve tried to focus on in some total intense whoa-ness that kinda takes that undergrad shame of like, “…so, I guess this poem is about love” and turns it into “Yeah this poem is about love and fuck it, I fucking love everything, here’s why.” Really, at this point in my life my central, “writing planets revolve around this star” goal with everything is to have that sort of total, thundering union between fragility and ferocity.

What genre does your book fall under?

Poetry

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Jennifer Lawrence would play all references to music I primarily listened to in high school and my hometown prior to 2007. Aaron Paul (Jesse from Breaking Bad) is every reference to the post-industrial Midwest. Tom Jones simultaneously plays and eats a sandwich. Katy Perry and Stevie Nicks play themselves.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Slicing open your own belly with a pocketknife and landing on a continent that has never felt acid rain.

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

Everything in the chapbook got chopped and sewn and polished over the past three years on wildly differing timelines. Some things are not much different than their original drafts, some have emerged from a frustrating number of cocoons.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I mean, feelings? But really, one of the smartest things I’ve ever been told by a significant other (thank you, Tyler) is that I’m a “feeling it” writer and that I should run with that, hard. At times that’s a frustrating thing because, you know, you get that “write every day” or “schedule your writing time” thing branded into your butt from undergrad, but a simple, solid thing I remember Sean Lovelace saying during a large Q&A session at a writers’ event at Ball State University is that if you want to write, you just will. Scheduling and goals yes, establishing discipline is valuable yes, but if you ultimately don’t want to do this shit, you just won’t. That’s a comfort to me, because I know I don’t just want to want to write, I want to write. I haven’t been doing this very long but I know now dry spells are that, spells. I’ve learned to not brush off those tiny flames of feeling brought on by whatever–and sometimes they’re small, have to be fanned–and take down whatever it is that’s feeding them in the first place. That isn’t to say I never write when I’m not absolutely “feeling it,” or ascribe to, fuck no, “the muse,” because hard work and perseverance is of course vital, but I realize there’s nothing wrong with prioritizing times/moods in which my writing work is going to result in the greatest benefit for my effort, which for me just isn’t going to be every single Tuesday from 5:30 pm ’til midnight.

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

One poem mentions three fast food restaurants and Joyce Carol Oates. Another says, “Voila, beef hat!”

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

H_NGM_N will be so graciously birthing this thing in the foreseeable future.

* * *

My tagged writers for next Wednesday are:

Ben Kopel

Joseph Scapellato

Austin Hayden

915

November 15, 2011

The planets were touched by her playful whispers, at a loss to understand her departure.

914

November 14, 2011

Left for North, those ballrooms of leaf-patterned light.

911

November 11, 2011

Some were trying to speak, and they clustered around her feet and even tried to pluck at her leggings, though the taboo held them back. She could tell why, poor things; they missed the heavy solid warmth of their humans’ bodies; just as Pantalaimon would have done, they longed to press themselves against a heartbeat.

906

November 6, 2011

when he held her wrists hard against his collarbone the blisters smoothed over into translucent globes, enormous pearls spattering her belly and back

903

November 3, 2011

Dog screams hurtled across the ceaseless ice.

902

November 2, 2011

The Intercessor was a plump, elderly man known as Father Heyst. It was his job to lead all the College services, to preach and pray and hear confessions. When Lyra was younger, he had taken an interest in her spiritual welfare, only to be confounded by her sly indifference and insincere repentances. She was not spiritually promising, he had decided.

901

November 1, 2011

I’m in elimae, which feels nice.
*
He put the lamp down and did as she told him. When she commanded, in that imperious way, she was very like her father, for all that her face was wet with tears and her lips trembling.

831

October 31, 2011

Oh, the wicked liar, oh, the shameless untruths she was telling! And even if Lyra hadn’t known them to be lies…she would have hated it with a furious passion. Her dear soul, the daring companion of her heart, to be cut away and reduced to a little trotting pet? Lyra nearly blazed with hatred, and Pantalaimon in her arms became a polecat, the most ugly and vicious of all his forms, and snarled.

830

October 30, 2011

A raven aria in seven movements.


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