Late Night Pomes, 1001 Interviews No. 14, Part 1

Pomes, yes, pomes, not ‘poems,’ is a poetry game club that meets every Saturday night at 11pm to write pomes and to read pomes at midnight under the sculpture that swings and looks like balls.

Pomes, for the month of November, is running “Writing Practice: A Pomes Approach to NaNoWriMo,” typically meeting Saturday nights at 11pm at Quality Bar and some Wednesday evenings in various locations in Downtown Portland.

These interviews were conducted by passing notes:

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J____ S______

SCISSORBIRDS DESCEND ON CAT’S CRADLE

INTERVIEWER

How will I die?

J____ S______

Staining the airwaves with one last exhale,

consciousness dissolving into ballrooms.

INTERVIEWER

Blue or Nothing at all?

J____ S______

Absolute Blue as a facet of Absolute White, all forms receding and decomposing into milky soups of pure potential that deconstruct all nothings, the gurgling void that contains every color in which we grow gills or get unmade all at once and forever.

INTERVIEWER

Do you have any persistent fearful image?

J____ S______

Yes.  Or perhaps one would call it a persistent fearful type of image.

INTERVIEWER

How does it appear?

J____ S______

When living things betray a trace of glitchy simulation:

The empty cartoon eyes of texture-mapped homunculi

Who seem always to be on the brink of pixellation.

INTERVIEWER

Does this image ever arise when you experience other commonplace moments of dread?

J____ S______

Shadow of gnosis

Knowing it’s a hungry game

So big, so broken.

INTERVIEWER

Have you ever deliberately manifested a monster from dread itself to at least give yourself a “being” to face?

In cul-de-sac seasons when I run out of reason

And my moments flood with blood from outside time,

Chronopathic Carcinoma wants to put me in its coma,

But the fear of wasted minutes falls away when I begin it,

When I sublimate all fear and hate in fever-steam and thoughtcrime.


INTERVIEWER

Did you have a childhood toy? A favorite one? What was it?

M_____ C______

Yes, I had a stuffed Simba plush that I brought everywhere with me until the stuffing fell out.

INTERVIEWER

What color will the sky turn come Armageddon?

M_____ C______

Mauve.

INTERVIEWER

If you could build a city out of any material, what material?

M_____ C______

Legos.

INTERVIEWER

Are dogs little warlords?

M_____ C______

Yes, they destroy and mark and are terrible roommates.

INTERVIEWER

If a dead bird fell from a tree onto your lap, and you wrote it a two line pome, what is the pome?

M_____ C______

Pushed from the nest too early, poor bird. I can wholly relate to your struggle.

INTERVIEWER

If you stepped on a rat and killed it, it’s dying words were… (2 lines rhyming and concerning the future).

M_____ C______

Betrayal! From my whiskers to my tail!

You too shall know my pain and you too shall fail.

INTERVIEWER

Say you’re in a foggy pumpkin patch really, really early in the morning. You find a diamond ring on one of the pumpkins. Don’t try it on. You’re nervous. Maybe you’ll vomit, but don’t try it on. You have to walk up the invisible stairs to return it. She opens the shutters when you knock. What does she say?

M_____ C______

I thought you were Jerome.

What do you say?

M_____ C______

Is this his ring?

INTERVIEWER

What color is the fish at the bottom of the ocean?

M_____ C______

The fish at the very bottom is a most beautiful indescribable color, but no one can tell b/c it’s too dark.

INTERVIEWER

If it crawled out, it would speak words, wouldn’t it? But not in any intelligible order… (10 word sentence)

M_____ C______

Feet are fins, too. Walk the sky we must, because.

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INTERVIEWER

CHARMANDER BULBASUAR SQUIRTLE

H_____ B________

CHARMANDER

INTERVIEWER

Some degenerate Cubone spray painted some words on your childhood home. What does it say?

H_____ B________

For a good time call 867-5309

LOL JK

INTERVIEWER

Write two lines about Psyduck lost in a psychiatric hospital.

H_____ B________

With one hand on his pounding head, the other moves the door open.

“Welcome home, Psyduck,” the doctor said.

INTERVIEWER

Write a two line pome about Psyduck lost in the woods.

H_____ B________

A single tear rolls down Psycuck’s face.

“Why did she leave me here?” he thought.

INTERVIEWER

You come home (current home) and there’s some dude stuck in the wall. You can’t see him but you can see his arm waggling from the wall. Describe his childhood with a haiku (5-7-5)

H_____ B________

Oh god, what is that?

I’ve seen enough stranger things.

To know what it is.

INTERVIEWER

Imagine it’s been raining for fifteen minutes. You can’t find anywhere to escape it. There is a group of people around a tree, they’re all pressing their ears against it. You try it too. The tree tells you three rhyming lines. What are they?

H_____ B________

Can you hear me?

I’ve had to pee,

For 5 centuries.

INTERVIEWER

There’s a shivering Pokemon up in the branches of the tree, what Pokemon is it?

H_____ B________

A Pachirsu, duh.

INTERVIEWER

You had planned to meet up with your friends but you can’t seem to find them. Carve 5 words into the tree where your ear had been. What words are they?

H_____ B________

The tree took me.

Sorry!

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INTERVIEWER

(before opening, please go to a cafe. buy yourself a little treat you wouldn’t normally allow yourself and put it on a plate)

Sit across from it (the treat), give it eye contact. Squint on it, as if it’s making a point. Lick your finger, touch the treat, lick that finger then wag that finger like you’ve understood. Please write a five line treatise on death:

P____ R_____

Are you going to timidly lick the finger of life? That scone will only get more stale. Squinting, wagging a finger like you’ve grasped some truth. Not so, only boldly chomping will allow you to get at the densely breaded, berry-filled heart of the scone called life. Enjoy, for now.

INTERVIEWER

Don’t eat your treat yet. Don’t even bite it.

When did you eat something like this last?

P____ R_____

I almost never eat a scone.

INTERVIEWER

Blood

Black Bile

Yellow Bile

Phlegm

P____ R_____

Phlegm

INTERVIEWER

If you were a crocodile, would you eat lost children?

P____ R_____

Only when hungry.

INTERVIEWER

Put the treat into your hands (messy or not) and look at the plate. What’s wrong with us? Eat your treat without taking your eyes off the plate.

Write down one word:

P____ R_____

Coprophagia.

INTERVIEWER

Do you want to raise kids?

Y / N

P____ R_____

Y

INTERVIEWER

Do you want to live on a boat?

Y / N

P____ R_____

Y

INTERVIEWER

Say if you dig your hands into a pond for clay, what’s the first thing running through your mind?

P____ R_____

No bugs! No snakes! No slime! No bugs!

INTERVIEWER

Lick your lips. Are you drinking coffee?

Y / N

P____ R_____

Y

INTERVIEWER

What’s the average lifespan of a baker?

P____ R_____

58

INTERVIEWER

Do you do anything regularly only to avoid feeling guilty? (please write three lines that rhyme, in each line you should be lying)

P____ R_____

Give often to charity

Fight income disparity

Promote digestive regularity

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INTERVIEWER

Who is your fav Greek god?

L___ B______

Athena.

INTERVIEWER

What is your fav animal?

L___ B______

Blue bird.

INTERVIEWER

SOOT

(choose one)

CAKE

L___ B______

one

INTERVIEWER

OK—Pokemon don’t exist, they never did. But you throw a Pokeball at a rock, it cracks open and black ooze flows out. You caught it! All of it! When will you open it back up? Under what circumstances? (2 lines)

L___ B______

Never.

Forever captured in a spherical hell.

INTERVIEWER

Death by:

FIRE

or

DISAPPEARANCE

L___ B______

DISAPPEARANCE

INTERVIEWER

Death by:

FIRING SQUAD

or

LETHAL INJECTION

L___ B______

LETHAL INJECTION

INTERVIEWER

You hands down won the Yo-Mama Tournament. You blew us away. You’ve since left us in the lurch. What gives? Don’t answer that. But say, if you were so scared you were petrified while your 3rd grade teacher adds the last few bricks to surround you. You’re trapped. It’s dark. You’ve got limited air—how do you feel? Really feel for a second. There’s some lurking feeling there hiding (almost the sneaking suspicion of deja vu). This feeling belongs to some other moment. Can you tell what moment?

L___ B______

birth

INTERVIEWER

Do you have or don’t you have a brother?

If yes, who is he? What does he need to become?

If no, what’s wrong with him? What does he need to cut out of his life?

(please write 5 lines)

L___ B______

In fact, I have two

He was my first fear

He was my first friend

He has become who he is

As we all do.

INTERVIEWER

It is Fall and we need delicious things and wonderful smells. Pumpkin bread, cider, cloves, cinnamon, spice tea. Please write a haiku about a dead body:

L___ B______

filmy eyes dry lips

peeling skin a stench so foul

zombies really suck

INTERVIEWER

You’re in a corn maze, you’ve lost your friends. You call out to them but all you hear are occasional foot steps. You see seven words attached in a line, as if on a string, or the tail of a kite, they are moving through the air into the thick of the corn. You follow them, do you see them? What do they say?

L___ B______

You could save hundreds on car insurance.

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INTERVIEWER L___ B______

If you had to chose three nouns to describe memory, what would they be?

B____ E________

nous

rain

neck

INTERVIEWER L___ B______

You are crossing the street. An absurdity and confusion overcomes you in a way you’ve never experienced.

What do you do?

or

Who do you tell?

or

How do you forget?

(five lines, please)

B____ E________

I have to choose someone, anyone, walking up or down the street

And show them I’m scared

I will pull them down with me, holding onto the wrist

If I can get situated onto their back

I can have them walk and live on there, as still as a hump

INTERVIEWER L___ B______

It is Saturday at three PM in the psychic bookstore. It is silent. Books shoot off the shelves into the correct customers’ hands, they never even speak. A customer approaches, startling you. His hands are empty—something’s gone wrong. It’s not working. What title is refusing to cooperate?

B____ E________

YES

INTERVIEWER L___ B______

There is something almost no one knows. You think about it every day, all day.

You cannot stop.

A rift forms.

You become a projection

People reach out, see the light on their fingertips, but find nothing

to grasp on to.

How do you become solid?

(as many lines as necessary)

B____ E________

I tried to be solid. I stared into a black circle in a wall to see if I could see myself from inside the circle. I tried to stand in people or sit in them, to be totally still. They’d move a toe or a finger, I’d move the same, but always late. It was obvious to me, the delay. To them, it made them shiver. I wrapped myself in medical tape like the invisible man. OK, pretty good. I took a bath though, I poked a hole in my side. I fill up with candy. Sometimes I go to parties and ask—“There’s this itch on my back I can’t scratch, maybe you could try it?”

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INTERVIEWER

Who is your favorite goddess?

K___ R__ G______

Kuan Yin

INTERVIEWER

Who is your favorite god?

K___ R__ G______

Thoth Dionysus.

INTERVIEWER

Since we just had Mabon, and we’re moving close to Samhain, the veil is thinning, there’s a sort of atmospheric loneliness, it’s cold and our bodies and spirits might feel especially closed off, distant from others. (please describe, in the space below, an important ritual we can do this time of year)

K___ R__ G______

The Ritual of Caring Staring (2 people)

Make eye contact

Hold it.

Give a sincere compliment or truth about how you feel about this person.

INTERVIEWER

Take all of the enclosed words (about 30 scraps of paper, each with a different word, that fell out of the note like confetti) into your hands until one word falls out (if more fall out at the same time, no problem, we will consider them just as significant). Write down your word or words here:

K___ R__ G______

WINE SKIN

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INTERVIEWER

What country do you most want to visit?

R___ S_______

Chile.

INTERVIEWER

Write a haiku about it.

R___ S_______

Chile is shaped like

Chili, but does it taste

As good as it sounds?

INTERVIEWER

What one word do you most associate with it?

R___ S_______

Primate.

INTERVIEWER

Your eyes and my eyes tend to do the same thing at work. Have you ever been unsure of whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert? Write a limerick about being stuck at a party fully of ass holes.

R___ S_______

Ryan was stuck at a party

He was low on the social hierarchy

No matter how much he drank

The party still stank

So he played with a dog named Marty

INTERVIEWER

There’s a flash flood at the party, it’s suddenly an aquarium, but everyone’s breathing fine. Write a haiku.

R___ S_______

Fuck these Merpeople

Their party sucks and it’s wet

Hope the dog’s okay

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INTERVIEWER

NETWORKING

Y or N

K_______ N_____

I die when Instagram dies.

INTERVIEWER

CATS

or

THE SKY

K_______ N_____

CATS.

DUH.

INTERVIEWER

…but if we didn’t have the sky, would we only look at the ground?

K_______ N_____

People would instead look in each other’s eyes.

INTERVIEWER

Please write a haiku as if you were jinxed JYNX and you found your whole family dead:

K_______ N_____

Jinx the cat or Pokemon?

Where is my mother?

She must be gone. At least she left me this lipstick.

INTERVIEWER

Please write three lines about resisting death:

K_______ N_____

I hide, deep, burrowed

in my blankets

the sharp creature waiting

in the other room.

If I’m very still it

might not find me.

INTERVIEWER

Please write three lines about installing an Internet router and modem:

K_______ N_____

It finally arrived in the Amazon box! Now I can use the Internet to buy more socks! Too bad bobby smashed it w/ a bag of rocks.

INTERVIEWER

Say everyone dies at once but the last person you’ve just seen. What is your advice to them, as they’re about to be the last person on earth?

K_______ N_____

Harvest the flesh off the bodies before they start to rot.

INTERVIEWER

Marv shows up at the cat cafe. He’s there at a desk with a tabby. He recognizes you. But he’s unsure, confused. He thinks you’re saying something and cups his ear in your direction. You should say something. 6 lines:

K_______ N_____

Thank you for all that you’ve done.

INTERVIEWER

He’s still having a hard time hearing, he seems frustrated. You pick up a tabby, it’s identical to his. You hold up yours. He holds up his. 6 words leap from you as if from your chest:

K_______ N_____

You were too hard on yourself.

INTERVIEWER

Pick the fourth—you’re cradling Marv’s head as he’s dying. You explain how you’ve learned to love life in a way he can understand, by using that fourth word and expanding on it:

K_______ N_____

It’s a daily practice to accept

myself for where I’m at

and to not be hard on

myself because of my

failures,

faults,

or inadequacies.

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