...That is where poem-trees come from—they don’t come from real trees. What is a real tree anyway? Or I sometimes think of that scene from Flight of the Navigator where the boy returned home after a short walk in the woods (turns out, unbeknownst to him, he was abducted by aliens for a few years) to find another family living there, and all the furniture had changed. And when he found his family they were all so much older than him. His younger brother was a man. Maybe it’s about being untethered from reality, being let go from reality, from family, from home, from self, in the moments of making a poem. Meaning is like blood. Heather even said that when you look at a thing, it swells up with meaning. She also said something that has echoed in my brain for days now, “To keep living (and writing) as if unaware of the wild meaninglessness is the saddest happiness on the planet.” The wild meaninglessness. We can’t live like this, aware of the wild meaninglessness. We can’t just stare in the mirror until we become trees. Matthew said there is room for everything along the spectrum of dream and reality as long as it is human and good. It is probably good to remember that poetry isn’t supposed to be anything. A poem is not necessarily more surreal according to how far it sits on the dream end of that spectrum, but perhaps more surreal if it confuses the spectrum, if it confuses hurt and light, meaning and meaninglessness, just good warm sad blood spilling out in the forest.
The new issue of Gulf Coast is out. I am part of an interview discussion about the contemporary definition of S/surrealism moderated by Hannah Gamble with Heather Christle, Matthew Zapruder, and Matthew Rohrer. That passage from above is the last thing I said in the interview.