The American Poetry Review


ML Your poems make me fall in love with you. The poet you. That’s because I search my whole life for voices that organically resonate in my bones and spirit and I find one, then I fall in love. These poems in Atomizer make me fall in love in a way that wonders: Do you think, as you have evolved and grown as a poet, that the matters of the heart—love, rage, sorrow, ecstasy, holding—have become more important to write about in a generous manner, for you? These poems in Atomizer are so generous.

They bring the reader so close and it feels like that is intentional. Can you comment on this notion of ‘generosity’ and ‘heart’ in these poems? I am thinking, specifically, about poems like “Killing Rabbits,” “,” and “Escape,” but, really, the whole collection.

ep I think one falls in love when there is a gut recognition about a shared truth or that someone has scaled the glacier of truth that has previously eluded one. Love as truth, truth as love. As French philosopher Alain Badiou has written: “To make a declaration of love is to move on from the event-encounter to embark on a construction of truth.” When we recognize the other in a voice in a poem, too, we are constructing a truth. Truth and Love are abstract feelings and ideas that grow over time and experience, and that’s why the questions that we must live change over time. Like Mallarme, Badiou sees poetry as “chance defeated word by word.” To live is a verb adjacent to the verb to love. Moreover, song and voice lull and lure, they are a way we say to those who might love us, Pssst over here buster…. Let us construct a truth, which is much like … Let us construct a poem.

Regarding “,” that diptych of poems responds to the modern dilemma of online dating and what, in a philosophical sense, that does to love with all its commercialism.

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