Wednesday's Meet the Poet
Hi folks, I'm Tracy H...
Welcome friends and fans to another installment of Meet the Poet; a weekly spot here at Jingle Poetry, where we introduce you to another interesting poet every 7 days through our grueling and in-depth interview process. Lovely Annie and I are happy to bring these poets to your attention, allowing you too get to know them a little better, and to be exposed to some of their poetry.
This week we get to meet a poet that caught my attention the second time I ever read her work. I say second because the first time I read her work I was struck by the raw emotion of the piece; I wasn't sure I liked so much reality being thrust off the page at me. But, I was hooked by something in her work...some truthfulness, or, as I came to see it, a purity of emotion that is rare in most of what I read. D writes pure. Visceral is a word I often use when I comment on her poems...simple, uncomplicated structures that portend deep emotions and introspection, and make the reader see into her soul and feel what she feels; it's Pure poetry! I have read every poem she has posted (I can only say that about one other poet) since she started her blog, Random Thoughts and Musings, and she just keeps getting better. This is why I asked her to participate in our little interview section here at Jingle Poetry. She kindly said yes to my request, and now it's my pleasure and honor to introduce to you, this Wednesday's... (insert a really cool drum roll here)
Meet The Poet: DiamondsandDogs
Tracy: Will you tell us a little about yourself?
D: I'm very reticent to talk about myself. My poetry is pretty blunt and extremely revealing. It is a stark counterpoint to my "outward" life and only my partner and my daughter even know that I write it. That being said, here is what I am willing to reveal about myself ... my username comes from the fact that I am a certified diamond grader and I love my dogs to distraction. I got certified in 2001 for no better reason that I love diamonds. As for dogs, I own two goofy and lovable American Pitbull Terriers, Floyd and Bella. I am a mom and my daughter is the best person I've ever met in life. Poetry is new to me. The first poem I ever wrote is "Loose Ends" which is on my blog.
Tracy: Tell us about your blog, and what it means to you.
D: My blog came about because I realized I was terrified of revealing my poetry to anyone. I felt it was too revealing, too exposing, but at the same time I needed an outlet of some sort. I was at a very low point in my life. Personally my family was unraveling around me. Professionally, I was unemployed and we were struggling financially. I began writing poetry simply because I couldn't get the words out of my head. I'd experienced that over the course of my life, but never wrote anything down out of fear of ridicule. One of the things that I feel has crippled me in my life has been my unwillingness to face my fears and other people's judgment. When I realized I was doing the same thing with my poetry, I decided to start a blog and put it out for the world. I didn't really think anyone would come and read it, but even making it possible for people to judge it was a real step for me.
D's blog is Random Thoughts and Musings
Tracy: Can you remember writing your first poem? Can you tell us a little about it?
D: I don't remember the first poem to ever come to me. There have been too many over the course of my life. The first poem I ever seriously wrote though was "Loose Ends." This poem is about all of the times I failed to ask the questions I needed to get closure in my life. All of the relationships that ended without any real resolution and how those unanswered questions leave us twisting in the wind. How they actually create holes in your past and your psyche because you can't truly know if your perceptions are accurate.
Loose EndsLoose ends surround me
floating on the wind
Making me feel
With emotions churning
and questions burning
But no answers come
Will I be forever undone?
Tracy: What style of poem do you write most often?
Please give us some insight into your style...I know that your lines are almost always no longer than four words, and usually less. I find the stacked short verses to be one of the things that makes your poetry have an urgency about it...the lines come off the page in short, powerful bursts, and the reader is immediately hit with the emotion of the piece.
D: Wow! Thank you. I've never really thought about it in depth. My writing is very instinctive. It is simply how I write. No other style works for me. I've tried and find that the words don't flow; I have to break them down. Sometimes, I intentionally break down a line to emphasize a specific phrase, but in general this is how the poem forms in my mind.
To me, the lines are more like speech. We don't really talk in long, perfectly formed sentences. There are rhythms and flows. Emphasis in unexpected places. If I had to really break it down, the line length is actually a substitute for those hand gestures and body postures that you can't convey in writing.
Tracy: Are there any styles of poetry you find difficult or annoying, and why?
D: I haven't been writing long enough to have truly experimented with other styles. I don't even know if the way I write conforms to any particular style of poetry. I have tried Haiku though and it was hard to be so succinct.
Tracy: Do you write more than just poetry?
Yes, I write children's stories and I'm in the process of writing a non-fiction business memoir.
Tracy: What poem, written by you, do you like the most, and why?
D: My favorite personal poem is "My Body Betrays Me." I feel it truly captures what it is like to have a seizure and how it felt to have them return after so many years. It is something that is so terrifying and now that they've returned I feel betrayed by my own body. I've struggled with Epilepsy since I was 11 years old, but went 13 years without a seizure only to have two in one day about a year ago. When they returned I felt like my body had betrayed me. That particular poem is the one I've written that I don't want to go back and tweak now that it's written.
My Body Betrays MeMy body betrays me
stealing my breath
knocking me to my knees
My hands tremble
my body shakes
as my vision grows dim
The blackness comes
my pulse thrums
in my ears
My biggest fear
I’m unable to flee
to one single moment
of every scent
every heart beat
every nerve ending scored
I struggle in vain
until I can fight no more
Lying there on the floor
unseeing, unfeeling, undone
the dark has come
The betrayal complete
my nerves, synapses and cells
All I can do is wait
for betrayal is now
my inevitable fate.
Tracy: Do you have a favorite poet?
D: Yes, Sandra Cisneros. Her poem "You Bring Out the Mexican in Me" is my absolute favorite poem.
Tracy: Do you have any mentors?
D: Not really. I do have other poets that inspire me and you are one of them. Amanda, Kavita, Ilakya and DeadPoet88 also. Each of you have style that's radically different than mine and I love to read your work.
Tracy: On behalf of the other poets above, very fine poets all, and myself...Thank You for that kind compliment.
Tracy: Favorite place to write/emotions that inspire/trigger writing?
D: All of my poems right now are about pain, betrayal and abuse of one form or another. Self-reflection triggers my poetry more than anything else. I've lived a very dysfunctional life and am struggling to get it all in perspective. As for place, I write anywhere I am. I carry a little notebook around with me.
Tracy: What is your favorite type of music?
D: I love all music really, but if I had to choose only one genre it would be soul. One of my favorite songs is "He Is" by Heather Headley. In direct contrast though, I also love a rap song by Gritz called "My Life Be Like." In my opinion, the best music is truly lyrical poetry so its the words and the vibe of a song that speaks to me and that comes in any genre.
Tracy: Tell me your favorite book.
D: I don't have one favorite, I'm a rabid reader. My favorite vampire novel is Blood Shift by Garfield Reeves-Stevens. My favorite fantasy novel is Dragon Doom by Dennis L. McKiernan. My favorite non-fiction book is Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez. My favorite romance series is the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward and my favorite comic is Elfquest by Wendy and Richard Pini.
Tracy: Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you? Your life or writing?
D: My favorite quote is "A dwarf on a giant's shoulder see the further of the two." I don't think this necessarily inspires me in either my life or my writing, but I always found it profound. The giant is so overwhelming, so unequivocally noticeable and the dwarf isn't. However, the perspective shift between the two creatures is huge. For a giant, the exact same landscape that the dwarf sees is small, up close and bounded, but for a dwarf it's immense.
Tracy: Any other creative passions?
D: Yes, I also love ballet. I danced for 10 years and am thinking about starting up again. I also knit and make jewelry.
Tracy: If you could have dinner with any famous dead person who would it be, and where would you dine?
D: No famous dead people, but the one dead person I would like to have dinner with is my paternal grandfather. I feel like he reached out to me right before his death and I'd like to find out why he waited so long. I'd take him to the Four Seasons in Atlanta. I had the best steak of my life there and he loved steak.
Tracy: Oh, yes, just three more little questions...If you had your own band:
What would it be called?
Tracy: What would be the title of the first album be?
Tracy: What would the title of the first single be?
D: Into the Void
There you have it folks...you have met, and got to know a little better... DiamondsAndDogs.
I told you she was Pure, and now you can see what I mean. D is a talented writer of visceral, pure poetry. Put her in your blog roll...I did!
I would like to extend very warm Thanks to D for her participation in Meet the Poet this week. It was my pleasure, D, to introduce you to our little world.
Next week Lovely Annie will be here with another fantastic poet for the next installment of Wednesday's Meet the Poet.