Just a bit from one of my favorite interviews in the “One Question” Series I’m publishing on BeingisaVerb.com:
I love this guy’s work. I mean, I REALLY love his poetry. As in, not only do receive updates from his blog in my email daily… I actually ALWAYS make time to read them. I’ve attempted to copy his style once or twice because it really speaks to me on many levels…as an occasional poet who struggles for several hours to create a poem only five or six stanzas long, as a reader who enjoys writers that show an obvious love for a carefully crafted phrase, and as a creative explorer who admires people who are adept at integrating multiple disciplines into their work.
All that is my small attempt to explain why, in this particular interview, I broke my own rule.
I asked Anansi to tell me what inspires him.
Okay, I didn’t ask as simple or as straight up as that. See… if you read his work (trythis, or this, or this that I love so much), you’ll see that EVERYTHING inspires him. So really what I told him is:
And so that makes me curious about how you choose what to write about, how you take the seed of an idea and then shape it into one of your distinctively styled poems which not only tell a story, but also contain the lyrical quality that I associate the best poetry. I suppose, in a way, I’m asking you to share a day in the life of the poet Anansi, as he crafts a poem…
And he responded:
Everyone has a medium in which they communicate best. For some its painting, for others its dance or feats of strength, and for a few it’s language. Words are stronger and more far reaching than even the meanest rhinoceros, if used the right way. With them, I try to put careful kindness into topics un-talked about.
The way someone writes tells a lot about why he/she writes. To me, its a compulsion to try and help people with creativity. If I can make them smile, or think something that they wouldn’t otherwise, my job is well done.
The goal is to draw harsh realities with a fantasy face in the hope that people can relate to them. This country is highly desensitized to inequality, but if it’s written about with whimsy, like from a villain’s perspective or during a zombie invasion, well…there’s hope.