Brian Teare | May 1, 2013
1. Where are you now?
The turn of the year, a kind of hinge. The neighbor’s door opened and closed all night, very loud, the interval between click and slam voicing the party going on inside their apartment. Each iteration startled the cat until 3AM, when in silence he settled into sleep. I was reading Robert Duncan’s final book, Ground Work II, especially its last poem, “After a Long Illness”–
No faculty not ill at ease
begin where I must
from the failure of systems…
That was last year. This year the neighbors’ door is closed and I can hear birds in the holly in the courtyard—and the wind a thin whistle over the lip of a green glass beer bottle. It is 34 degrees at 3PM in Philadelphia, everything else outside a sort of aluminum, rigid but shivering. The cat sighs like the heater does, a bit of steam. I am reading Joanne Kyger’s Again: Poems 1989-2000 –
So who do you go to
for help in confusion, seeing
what all humans see.
2. What are you working on and what have you got coming out?
I am working on: healing three gastric ulcers, planning spring syllabi, balancing my gastrointestinal flora, writing critical prose for Boston Review and Jacket2, meditating more regularly, and taking notes for poems for my fifth book The Empty Form Goes All the Way to Heaven.
Recently out: three chapbooks: Paradise Was Typeset (DoubleCross Press), Helplessness (Goodmorning Menagerie) and Black Sun Crown (Fact-Simile). + poems in the anthologies The Arcadia Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral and The Sonnets: Translating and Rewriting Shakespeare.
Coming out: my fourth book Companion Grasses will be out in April from Omnidawn, and a digital chapbook from Floating Wolf Quarterly will also be released around then. This spring season will also see Albion chapbooks from Frank Sherlock, Rachel Moritz and Juliet Patterson, CAConrad and Jean Valentine.
3. Where do you write?
Between sweeping the floor and writing emails and binding books. In the archive. After meditating. On foot. While reading a book. At my desk. Very late at night. In the woods. After acupuncture. On a bench in the art museum. During insomnia. In the one tolerable café. While roasting potatoes. On the trolley. After a long walk. In the big black chair.
4. What’s the last best thing you’ve read?
Where best means most helpful, beautiful, profound, informative, funny or wise, or even the most impressively obscene, but not the work of a friend: Franco Berardi’s The Soul At Work, Susan Briante’s Utopia Minus, Helen Carr’s The Verse Revolutionaries: Ezra Pound, H.D., and the Imagists, Barbara Comyns’ Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead, Tsering Wangmo Dhompa’s My rice tastes like the lake,Hilda Hilst’s The Obscene Madame D, David Hinton’s Hunger Mountain: A Field Guide to Mind and Landscape,Kay Larson’s Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists,Michael Leong’s The Philosophy of Decomposition/Re-Composition as Explanation: A Poe and Stein Mash-up,Carole Maso’s Mother and Child,Sina Queyras’ Expressway,Val Plumwood’s Feminism and the Mastery of Nature,Lisa Robertson’s Nilling: Prose,Evie Shockley’s Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetic and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry, Cecilia Vicuña’s Spit Temple,Elisabeth Young-Bruehl’s Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World, and Ofelia Zepeda’s Ocean Power: Poems from the Desert.
5. What journals, poets, presses have you discovered lately?
Zach Barocas’ Cultural Society.
Brooklyn Copeland: Siphon, Harbor.
Michael Cross’ Compline.
Craig Dworkin: Motes.
Crane Giamo’s Delete Press.
Chris Glomski: The Nineteenth Century and Other Poems.
David James Miller’s journal SET.
Dawn Pendergast’s textile series at Little Red Leaves.
Jared Shickling’s journal ecolinguistics.
Sun Yung Shin: Rough, and Savage
6. Care to share any distractions / diversions?
Anti-fracking legislation. Jay Defeo. Chinese and Homeopathic medicines. The Walking Dead.
7. What are you looking forward to?
Because the future always seems to me quite uncertain, full of possibilities equally felicitous and unfortunate, I don’t “look forward to” it in the traditional sense of the phrase. Mostly I have hopes: to be able to spend time with loved companions, spend days in beloved places, write poems and read poems by others, continue to heal a compromised body, do good where and when I can, and become more balanced and accepting of Being in all its manifestations. If I were able to “look forward to” futurity in an idealistic sense, I suppose I would look forward to a redistribution of wealth, environmental policies that foster a sense of the earth as a companion and not a commodity, an end to wars and colonial occupations, and a shift toward citizenship as a mode of collaboration, participation, and compassion. But like I said, in the meantime I mostly have hopes.