Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Poetic Profile: Paul Siegell

1) How would you describe your poetry?

It’s like that feeling you get when you’re home and you realize, albeit too late, that you’re outta toilet paper and your jeans, yeah, they’re down around your ankles and you have to do that hilarious, wide-legged lurch over to the cabinet to get another roll. It’s kinda like that. Wait, what? It’s nothing like that at all!


what are these words, friends,
shuffling their letters, about? what star
ry-eyed sport could spell and cast them
into asterism, the unheard of listenables?
my notebook’s blanks are becoming few
er. let the nude let the bottle even milk,
let it all hours pour. let the pen drain die
scratch. the draft in the bathroom is flutter
ing the toilet paper dangling from the win
dowsill. waverly. ledge. the habits of the
horizon have my mind on a milk carton.
planet is greek for wanderer. is this wit
ness relocation? athletic letters ceaseles
sly switching teams? perhaps olympians
leapfrogging on and off the podium of
use? and from where will the next note
book come? it’s friends not facilities,
words not worries.

2) How does poetry fit into your everyday life?

If I had a cycle of only three types of heartbeats, one would be my fiancée/family/friends, one would be music, and the other would be poetry.

(My day job, thank goodness, how I bankroll all of it.)

3) What poets and/or authors inspire you?

All poets inspire me, even the ones I don’t find very inspiring. If it’s in front of me, I can learn from it.

4) How does the community of Philadelphia play a part in your poetry?

I go wiz wit, hot peppers. Philadelphia’s pretty much Poetry Central right now. Pick a night, there’s most likely a reading going on somewhere in Philly. Thank goodness I got here when I did. There are so many poets, groups of poets, reading series, all kinds of journals publishing here, plus all kinds of kind souls asking me to read for their series, it’s incredible. Philly’s a great place to be a poet. People really care here, and that encouragement really adds up.

5) What is the last book you have read that you enjoyed? Tell our Big Blue Marble community a little about it.

Sherwin Bitsui’s Flood Song (Copper Canyon, 2009). An all-around magical book of poetry that, if you let it, will open to you a multidimensional realm of perspectives, seemingly all at once. “Flood Song” is the absolute perfect title for such an abundance of imagery and emotional resonance. If you can handle being flooded, dive in. When you’re done, kick me an email and we’ll talk.

PAUL SIEGELL is the author of three books of poetry: wild life rifle fire (Otoliths Books, 2010), jambandbootleg (A-Head Publishing, 2009) and Poemergency Room (Otoliths Books, 2008). Trailers of his books are yours for the viewing [here]. Paul is a senior editor at Painted Bride Quarterly, and has contributed to APR, Black Warrior Review, Rattle and other fine journals. He has also been featured nationally in Paste and Relix magazines. Kindly find more of Paul's work, and get signed copies, at ReVeLeR @ eYeLeVeL.

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