3 Questions for Robert Lee Brewer

1. What is your personal/aesthetic relationship to the poetic line? That is, how do you understand it, use it, etc.
My feeling is that each line (and each word for that matter) serves the overall poem. The requirements of each line changes from poem to poem. That said, I do think each line in a poem should communicate with the other lines in the poem. There have been times when I’ve written what I think is a great line, but the line has trouble finding a home in any of my poems, because it can’t seem to communicate with the other lines in the poem. The great line just doesn’t fit. So it travels from poem to poem until it finally (hopefully) finds a poem where it belongs.
2. Do you find a relationship between words and writing and the human body? Or between your writing and your body?
I do know that the more time I spend writing the less time I spend working out. Then again, I find that activities such as walking and running seem to get me thinking and writing. Long distance driving does this for me too. Outside of that, I suppose I’m always trying to trim a few extra pounds from both my body and my writing.
3. Is there anything you dislike about being a poet?
I don’t have any gripes about being a poet. It would be nice if I could make a living by just sitting around all day and writing poems, but that’s not realistic. I’m a poet, because I’m passionate about writing poems. Writing poetry is part of who I am.
Bio: Robert Lee Brewer is the editor of Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market. He also maintains two blogs: Poetic Asides (http://blog.writersdigest.com/poeticasides) and My Name Is Not Bob (http://robertleebrewer.blogspot.com). Named co-Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere (with Sina Queyras) in 2010, Brewer’s first collection of poetry, a chapbook titled ENTER, will be released April 1, 2011. He’s married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their four boys.
Poem: (originally published in OCHO and featured in my upcoming collection)
Solving the world’s problems
I began as eyelashes blocking the sun,
and my father was a digital clock.
In a dark cave, my father counted
out the minutes as I kept myself
from myself. In this way, we learned to kiss.
Years later, when I became a horse,
I ran the hot blood out of my body.
Father turned into a dream filled
with fire and a horrible laugh. I
burned into a cloud of smoke.
Father became a phone call and then
silence. I worried what I might
transform into next. I worried
what I might already be. Then,
I forgave father.

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