My friend Austin has been playing with Josh for a few years now (in fact, they've just formalized themselves as the Royal City Band). It blows my mind that of three folks I shared a vegan breakfast once upon a time at DC's Diner, one is touring all over the world, one is now a renowned slam poet, and one has a shot of being selected for Lilith Fair (if you happen to be judging for the Lilith Fair Local Talent Search in Boston, vote for Winterbloom). Good things, happening to good people. It should always be this way.
Apropos of nothing: I am slightly alarmed to hear that they are planning a sequel to The Dark Crystal.
Over at the Best American Poetry blog, I take an observation about my writing process that was originally written for this Clarion-Ledger interview--but cut for space--and run with it, turning it into a short essay on "Metaphors of Craft."
My brain, I've come to realize, is an oyster. It captures some bit of grit (a notion, a face, a sound) and then worries at it, over and over, coating it with language, until the grit grows into a pearl. That's when a poem is waiting to meet the page.
This model helps me grasp why I start drafts after midnight: for me, writing is a process of (semi-)conscious accretion that reaches critical mass, inclined toward lyric intensity rather than narrative structure. I still dislike prompts--but then, I dislike cultured pearls too. And it's my responsibility to give this oyster a healthy bed, which means a reading diet that pumps nutrients in the water. (Goodbye, Us Weekly. Hello, Threepenny Review.)Read the rest of the essay here.