Is there one subject you feel you return to in your writing?
There are a few, but they tend to crop up more as underlying themes than as overt subjects. Opportunity is a quite common one, whether it’s a subject sitting on a bridge reflecting on a lost opportunity or another one dropping everything to size an opportunity that may or may not be there. It seems I spend a great deal of time thinking about that crux point where opportunity exists (or a subject thinks it exists, which of course may not be the same thing at all).
What brought you to write “The Devil’s Wife Beats Her Lover”?
Some people have gap years, I have breakup years. This was written during one of them, after a string of failed attempts at relationships, when I was thinking, in the words of Paul Westerberg, “anywhere is better than here”. (I was, of course, wrong; every time you think you’re in the fire, if you get down far enough you’ll find the floor of the frying pan us still beneath you.)
How do you feel about traditional poems and free verse? Which do you feel fits the present time? Can the coincide within one poem?
Can they coincide within one poem? On one condition: that the pieces of the poem that are anomalous are set off in some way. (One example I’ve used more than once: in a free verse piece, having one character’s dialogue be formal and metrical.) Barring that, however, especially when I encounter a couple of rhyming lines in a poem that’s otherwise free verse, it tends to make me think someone forgot to proofread and should have revised once more.
What do you feel is the most important thing about poetry and its dialogue with the community at large?
Poetry has a long tradition of activism, and poets will, in general, jump when they see injustice. In many cases, poets seem to act as literary first-responders; when something stupid crops up in the culture, there we are. (Think, for example, Poets and Numbers starting @nofuckingborderwall within days of Trump being elected.) The journalists and the essayists shine the spotlight; the poets are the guys who go in with the shaky flashlights and show everyone else what they should be aiming the spotlights at in the first place, no?
Do you have any previously published pieces you’re particularly proud of?
A bunch of them are print-only (mostly because I’m a dinosaur and have been doing this forever, but “Sever the Limb to Spare the Body” popped up online last year and I’ve always been quite fond of it:
You can read Robert Beveridge’s new piece “The Devil’s Wife Beats Her Lover” in Issue Nine of The Ginger Collect!