Noah Eli Gordon | January 11, 2013
1. Where are you now?
I’m in Denver, CO.
2. What are you working on and what have you got coming out?
Learning to live close to the earth. Today, hours from now, my baby will be three weeks old. Things are all beautifully diminished for me right now. They’re grunts, squeaks. They’re reactionary, exclamatory rejections of complexity. Binaries. It’s all in the digestive track. And then, well, it’s all out. Refuse is a noun & a verb, no? So, close to the earth it is. Abstractions just seem unimportant. Although, I did learn to play Warren Zevon’s Carmelita a few days ago. That B7 took me a while to master. Other things on hold, which I hope to unhold soon include: a long, digressive essay on pornography, the history of the lyric, Super Mario Bros, Bashō, and violence; this is going to fold into a book I’ve been writing off & on for the last five years called Dysgraphia (some samples are linked here: http://www.noaheligordon.com/writing); I’ve also begun a work tentatively, preposterously titled An Index to Noah Eli Gordon’s Next Eight Hundred Works. It’s a sort of homage to Édouard Levé’s Oeuvres, a book I’ve only been able to read a few pages of in a really rudimentary and poor translation via Google Translate. As for the imminent stuff, there are a few books in the pipelines, the first of which, The Year of The Rooster, will appear in May of 2013 from Ahsahta Press. But working mostly, when I can, on helping to usher other’s work into the world: editing reviews for The Volta’s Friday Feature page, on & off the phone with folks at places like Friesens & Bookmobile, since I’m currently operating levers behind both Letter Machine Editions and Subito Press. And then there are the diapers. Three weeks ago, I hadn’t ever in my life changed one.
3. Where do you write?
I write prose on the computer, poems mostly in small notebooks, although I’ve written only a handful of poems in the last several years. I’m recalibrating something. Reconsidering something. When I was little, I wanted to be an entomologist, but I hated actually touching insects. That’s allegorical enough, isn’t it?
4. What’s the last best thing you’ve read?
I am afraid it be not great enough, I dare not speak it, I am afraid of destroying it by speaking it.
5. What journals, poets, presses have you discovered lately?
Decades into this thing and I think it becomes more about filtering. I recently taught a course on poetry criticism, more or less on writing reviews of recent poetry books, the ancillary work associated with that, along with the publishing course I teach annually, and the numerous review copies that continue to roll in the door for The Volta means I’m pretty much drowning in this stuff. It’s daunting as much as it’s exhilarating. I mean all these books, so much lifeblood, so much energy & enthusiasm, and, honestly, so much grappling in the dark, shouting in the void, umm, what’s the cliché I’m looking for here? Well, whatever it is, you know what I mean. Who has the time? And funny (or not), when one does actually sit with the stuff, most of it, at least that that isn’t immediately recycled (e.g. Finishing Line Press), really is worth it.
6. Care to share any distractions / diversions?
I have a little baby.
7. What are you looking forward to?
The collected Ceravolo! Actually, I’ve got an uncorrected proof copy right here. The highlight thus far in a previously unpublished long poem called “Interior of the Poem,” which he purportedly dictated to his wife while painting the kitchen.