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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Chase is On

As part of Rattle's newest issue themed "Buddhist Poets," the journal offers an interview with poet Chase Twichell. If you want to read an excerpt, they offer one in their always-free always-interesting online eIssue (no.11), beginning on page 28.

And if it's not too silly to say this, here's an excerpt (or two) from that excerpt:

"Well I think one of the dangers of writing for a long time is that you become more and more conscious of what you’re doing, which eventually becomes a kind of reflex of self-consciousness so that you start to write something and you think, “That’s no good,” and you censor yourself, you pause, and it’s very hard to just put the stuff out there and worry about it later...."

" that point I started working on the computer instead of longhand. Because I used to keep every draft, in case there might be some gem in there that I’d overlooked, and I’d go back five years later and think, “Oh, I really was a genius, I just didn’t know it at the time.” And basically I go back through that old stuff and that’s just what it is, the throwaways; that’s where they should have gone. And so I began to work on the computer , which I’d never done before, and it meant letting go of things all the time, just as part of writing. “I don’t like the way this is going, am I going to stick with it?” “Nope, gone.” Or just getting to a sticky part in a poem, being able to make the choice between saving it for later, throwing it away, or working it into the poem. And so I have two notebooks. One of them is called “The Compost,” and that’s where all those little scraps that might develop into something go, and usually that’s where they stay, although every once in a while I will be able to use something somewhere or some snippet will turn out to be the seed of another poem. And then there’s one called “The Orphanage,” which is for polished, perfected bits in poems that look like poems, sound like poems, but are really fake poems. They all go live in the orphanage and I hope someday I can adopt some of them but so far they’re all still in there."

Love Chase Twichell, love Rattle. Enough said.

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