Tabs open on your screen right now:
The New York Times, Twitter, Bernadette Mayer’s poem “Failures in Infinitives,” Danez Smith’s answers to this same Q&A (which I really enjoyed reading), UNIQLO page for a basic shirt that is always out of stock whenever I try ordering it.
If you had to brag about yourself:
I’m an exceptional listener.
Your writer crush:
I have two but I can’t possibly answer this question so I’ll go with my dead crush, the poet Rupert Brooke. One is blond and the other is a brunette, if you want to start rumors!
Probably Stevie Nicks’s line in Fleetwood Mac’s “Storms”—“Never have I been a blue calm sea, I have always been a storm.” Also Tusk is a better album than Rumours.
Any place in the world:
New York City. Like Ted Berrigan wrote, “For my sins I live in the city of New York…where love can stay for only a minute / Then has to go, to get some work done.”
Black coffee and an orange.
Favorite online places right now:
I took a long break from Twitter when I was writing this second book and now I’m back on Twitter so perhaps Twitter, although not really a favorite, more like I’m there.
Having known someone for more than a decade and seeing them for a long dinner on a Saturday night. It also helps if they’re the smartest, most engaging person you know.
Your rituals (writing or not):
Every day I write the last thought I have before bed and the first thought I have when waking up in my notebook. The last thought is difficult because many thoughts come after it’s been written down. But that says something in itself. Nothing is final. It’s a good reminder for me because I’m a perfectionist and very hard on myself.
Least impressive thing about you:
Anything to do with physical appearance to be perfectly honest. The rest is so much better.
Favorite space to write:
What should we know:
That poets are telling the story of America and of our lives and the culture should listen to us and provide us with time. As well as stop asking us to prove our “relevance.”
Guilty literary pleasure:
Oh god. Biographies. A very good friend of mine always teases me about how much I love to read biographies. It’s the same with documentary films. She’s a very serious academic so I think she thinks most of it is just fluff and you know what, she’s right. But I can’t stop.
Best book nobody talks about:
Agnes Martin’s Writings.
Character (TV, book, movie) you most identify with:
This is impossible. This summer I felt like the little boy in Flannery O’Connor’s story The River.
Last time you lied:
If I didn’t say I was too busy or too tired in response to something during the week, I’d never have any quality alone time…or quality reading time…or quality writing time. If anyone wants to rescue me from my own life…I’m on the internet. Come find me. I’m serious.
Question you secretly want to be asked:
I like whenever anyone seriously asks me how I feel about a specific book or work of art and wants to have a sustained and engaged discussion about it and not just a flippant “loved it,” “was interesting,” “didn’t like.” I loathe the word “interesting” and how it conveys almost nothing. Susan Sontag has a great essay in which she talks about the word “interesting” and also the word “beautiful.”
I’m waiting for it, babe. I’m waiting.