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"Poetry is the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash." Leonard Cohen

Saturday, May 3, 2014


Oulipost Exit Interview: 
Oulipost Ends Where the Work Begins

Question 1:
What happened during Oulipost that you didn’t expect? What are the best (or worst) moments for you? 
I didn't expect to get so thoroughly snowed under that I was unable to come back. I knew going in that writing a poem-a-day for Poetic Asides plus doing an Oulipost might prove formidable, but I didn't figure in a few surprise family duties (very few if I'm honest) nor some obligations that I'd committed to with the Edmonton Poetry Festival, again, very few but enough to throw me off my game it seems.

Best and worst moment for me was the sestina...I expected it to be horrid and hard to write. It came to me easily and with very little revision. The worst moment was as I realized I was getting all of my information from a very fresh tragedy when 5 young people were stabbed to death in Calgary, by another young seemed wrong somehow.

I guess the other "worst" moment was having to come to terms with not being able to finish the challenge which I quite liked. I will probably do the rest of the exercises, just not immediately.

Question 3:
What does your street look like?
Finally, today - my street is starting to look like Spring my be sprung at any moment. Since it's May 3rd, I would say it's past time, but until now (and if I'm being truthful and paying attention to weather reports...even past now) there have been many mornings where frost has had to be scraped from the car, or snow blanketed the ground...However, if I stay at my desk, writing in the family room, which is on the floor and a half above ground, I only see the top of my pussy-willow tree (I say "my", rather than "our", as I planted her and love her; the rest of the family would cut her down in a heartbeat)...She is faithful to what should be happening and has all over her branches, thumb-sized silver-furred catkins that even a furious blizzard can't intimidate...Is it any wonder I adore her?

Question 4:
Who is your spirit Oulipostian?
It turns out my steadfast wolf is my Oulipostian. Always with me - day or night - he can be counted on to listen and inspire. Of the others that posted...Margot has been a muse for me many times and this time is no exception...James also, he often kicks off my quirkiness with his.

Question 5:
What are the top three poems you wrote during this project? "To My Most Remarkable One" - Day 13's Epithalamium; "Music Follows" - Day 16's Chimera; and "Death in a Blue and White Split Level" - Day 19's Sestina

Question 2:
What questions do you have for your teaspoons? What questions do your teaspoons have for you?
My questions for my teaspoons are entreaties - be more at the ready, shinier, closer, I promise, I will use you soon.
My teaspoons as always, inquire why I am always wielding a tablespoon when they are so willing to be of use.

Question 6:
What will you do next?
I finally put the finishing touches on a chapbook I've been meaning to enter in a contest for a long while. I have mixed feelings about it as I'm not sure it's as good as it could be but it's gone and on time so, I'll let it go. I have another two on the go so will turn to them now.

I want to try my hand at more found poetry so will try to answer some of the challenges thrown out by FPR.

And, last but not least, Khara House, a poet I've written with for many years, does these incredible "Submit-A-Rama" challenges on her blog, where she gives tons of encouragement and levels and advice to get poets submitting on a regular basis. She's doing another one for May and I'm signed up for the basic boot-camp level, which means only 3 submissions per week. Here's the link for anyone interested...I think the name this year is

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed your exitview, as I have enjoyed your company [while you were there]. I'm sorry you weren't able to stay, but hope we write together again, next April.


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