1. What is your personal/aesthetic relationship to the poetic line? That is, how do you understand it, use it, etc.
My idea of the poetic line is still evolving. It started with “The end of the line is where the rhyme goes” when I was a kid. I like Allen Ginsberg’s idea of the line as being tied to the breath, but I don’t think I’ve ever applied it. For a while I shaped my lines primarily on the principle that the end of one line should pull the reader onto the next. I still follow that idea, but more selectively.
In more recent poetry, I’ve tended to be more intuitive about line breaks. It was useful in developing my craft to study line breaks and other elements of form, to understand different aesthetic perspectives and consider them in relation to my own work. Now I find it most useful to set those considerations in the background, to draw on them when they feel right for a poem and be uninhibited by them when they don’t apply. That’s pretty much how I approach aesthetics in general—more rules to learn the better to break them.
2. Do you find a relationship between words and writing and the human body? Or between your writing and your body?
Writing and body are inseparable. My body is the filter I perceive the world through, the point of view that shapes the worlds of my poems. Readers’ bodies are the medium that connects them to those poems.
The long bout of clinical depression I’m going through makes this an interesting moment to reflect on the connection between my body and my writing. For me, depression is very much a bodily thing, both in origin and expression. I’m not sure yet exactly how that’s influencing my writing (other than supplying the subject of some of it), but my writing certainly has changed. Where I tended to favor subtlety in my earlier work (represented in “god-chaser”), now I tend towards explicitness. Depression has a nakedness about it—being unable sometimes to conceal it, having lesser emotions stripped away. Perhaps I am making my poems as naked as I feel.
3. Is there anything you dislike about being a poet?
It’s hard not to be able to write poems on command. Prose writing I can usually manage with or without inspiration, but poems seem immune to intention—or at least my intentions.
Sari Krosinsky writes about the mundane in mythology and the sublime (and sublimely awful) in the ordinary. Her first full-length book, “god-chaser,” is available from CW Books. She received a B.A. in religious studies and M.A. in creative writing from the University of New Mexico. She lives in Albuquerque, N.M., with her partner and cat.
A newish poem
First visit to the Locked Ward
Ariel looks on the blue-skinned
“Mulan” characters tacked
to the wall among others
from the stack of Disney color-ins
and says, “At least they’re
the same color.” I think,
“They’re not” and “Did I
make friends with a bluist?”
I pencil flower patterns in pastel
colors in the stained-glass
coloring book mom brought me.
I gave her the same sort of book
with nativity scenes for her birthday
in May. Despite the pastels
and flowers, drawing fills the minutes
my hands can’t stay still.
We share the atrium between the wards
for Taco Day and when musicians
come to tame the wild patients
with flute, piano and drawing supplies.
I select colored pencils to draw the same
comic book dyke I always draw, begin
a starfish, but the dots giving it texture
take too long and I leave off.
The stained-glass coloring book
languishes on a shelf. The sheet of paper
with its dyke and starfish crinkles,
folded in the clear plastic bag
I took things home in. I don’t try
to color my way back to the safety
of guards and locked doors. I hold on
to you ’til life stops coloring me blue.