This interview with Mathias Svalina about his poetry book Destruction Myth was conducted during the month of May, 2010 by seven poets: Wendy Burtt, Cory Phare, Robert Petrick, Robyn Sablosky, Claire Potter, Sean Thomas and John Rossiter.
Q: I found Destruction Myth to be, for me, one of the most readable and accessible books of poetry I've read. In your book I found a lot of the characteristics I enjoy in fiction. I felt connections between the individual poems that pulled me through, almost like chapters. Also, much of the poetry reads somewhat like flash fiction. I'm very interested in the ground between poetry and fiction. So, do you set out to intentionally write poetry, or do you just write what comes to you, no matter the form?
Mathias Svalina: Thanks for the kind words! Not to be snide, but I'm actually not very interested in the boundaries between fiction, poetry & non-fiction. They seem to me ways of creating false senses of expertise & exclusion rather than better allowing a writer to express something that is particular to their experience of the world.
I wrote a lot of these creation myths, about 150, I think. Many of them were in prose, many in lineation. As I cut back to the set of them that I wanted to be the book, I found that I more often liked the prose ones more. Many of the ones that are in lines in the book could easily have been in prose as well -a few, the registrar one, the one that begins "Human life begins / at the moment / of contraception," & the one that ends "No one can feed the baby" needed to be lineated. The line breaks make some of the meaning in those poems.
Kristy Odelius is the author of
Strange Trades (Shearsman Books, 2008) and
Bee Spit (Dancing Girl Press, 2007). She is Associate Professor of English at North Park University on Chicago's northwest side, where she teaches Creative Writing and British Romantic Literature. Her reviews and poems have appeared in Chicago Review, Notre Dame Review, GutCult, ACM, Diagram, La Petite Zine, Versal, Moria and others.
THE VIRGINS OF CHICAGO (3)
The virgins of Chicago
work nights at "Federal Screw
Products." They like welding,
sweating and wearing
"I can't feel anything,"
I sigh as the elevator rises.
The meta-galaxy slips
like a ring on my finger,
Randall Mann was born in Provo, Utah. He currently lives in San Francisco and is the author of Breakfast with Thom Gunn (University of Chicago, 2009), Complaint in the Garden (Zoo Press, 2004), winner of the 2003 Kenyon Review Prize in Poetry, and co-author of the textbook Writing Poems (7th ed. Pearson Longman, 2007).
EARLY MORNING ON MARKET STREET
The moon, once full, is snow.
The line of transplanted trees,
thin and bloodless. The pink neon
bakery sign, Sweet Inspiration,
a mockery of loneliness—
but no one cares to eat, we souls
of this hour jacked up on what-
ever. And though desire
The Northern Saw-whet Owl - Aegolius acadicus - hunt mainly at dusk and dawn and most often use the "sit and wait" tactic to drop down onto prey on the ground from low hunting perches. All text from www.owlpages.com
Susan Slaviero's first full length book of poetry, CYBORGIA, is forthcoming from Mayapple Press. She is also the author of two poetry chapbooks: An Introduction to the Archetypes (Shadowbox Press, 2008) and Apocrypha (Dancing Girl Press, 2009). She has a BA in English / Creative & Professional Writing from Lewis University. She is the editor of blossombones: a literary journal and she blogs occasionally at mythology-and-milk.
BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN 2.0
I wake in a state of clitoral arousal.
I hear the cadence of my own dissection.
Dark, festering segments replaced
with long curves of choreographed glass.
The clink-tink of a wrench in my
pelvis. What magic? An after/image of generativity.
I am the (dys)recognition of a two-sexed
system. My metalhood is evolution.
See, Zombie? You've always wanted a terminal
Kiki Petrosino was born in Baltimore and received her BA from the University of Virginia. She spent two years in Switzerland teaching English and Italian at a private school, after which she earned graduate degrees from both the University of Chicago and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Poems have appeared in FENCE, The Iowa Review, Forklift, Ohio, and elsewhere. She lives in Iowa City and is the author of Fort Red Border (Sarabande, 2009).
After Thomas Sayers Ellis
Or oreo, or worse.
Or spork. Or smorgasbord.
Or tender lure of colored blood
Or Moorish curve of orchid.
Or fork-scraped pate, or orphic word.
Or minor saint in darkened