Monday, April 02, 2012

12 or 20 questions (second series) with Megan Burns

Megan Burns edits the poetry magazine, Solid Quarter ( She has been most recently published in Drunken Boat, Jacket Magazine, Callaloo, New Laurel Review, Trickhouse, and the Big Bridge New Orleans Anthology. Her book Memorial + Sight Lines was published in 2008 by Lavender Ink. She has two chapbooks, Frida Kahlo: I am the poem (2004) and Framing a Song (2010) and two forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press and Fell Swoop. Her second collection Sound & Basin will be published by Portals Press in the summer of 2012. She lives in New Orleans where she and her husband, poet Dave Brinks, run the weekly 17 Poets! Literary and Performance Series ( Her next project is a book called Haunting The Moors: Reading Wuthering Heights through the lyrics of Bob Dylan

All of the answers to these questions are the titles and/or a section of lyric when further detail is needed from Bob Dylan songs. My basic tenet as a writer is to magpie, so I’ve created an explorative musical response that seems to me much more interesting than anything I might have to say. Feel free to listen to the particular song as you envision the answers. Or not.

1 - How did your first chapbook change your life? You’re A Big Girl Now

2 - How did you come to poetry first, as opposed to, say, fiction or non-fiction? Simple Twist of Fate

he felt a spark tingle to his bonesIt was then he felt alone and wished that he'd gone straightAnd watched out for a simple twist of fate.
3 - How long does it take to start any particular writing project? Most of the Time

4 - Where does poetry usually begin for you? Huck’s Tune

makes my heart rejoice,/ play me the wild song of the wind./ I found hopeless love,/ in the room above,
when the sun and the weather were riled./ You're as fine as wine,/I ain't handing you no line,/ I'm gonna have to put you down for a while.
5 - Are public readings part of or counter to your creative process? I Believe in You

6 - What do you even think the current questions are?
 Masters of War

7 – What do you see the current role of the writer being in larger culture? Mississippi

Every step of the way we walk the line/
Your days are numbered, so are mine/Time is pilin’ up, we struggle and we scrape/We’re all boxed in, nowhere to escapeCity’s just a jungle; more games to play/Trapped in the heart of it, tryin' to get away/ I was raised in the country, I been workin’ in the town/I been in trouble ever since I set my suitcase down
8 - Do you find the process of working with an outside editor difficult or essential (or both)? I’ll Keep it With Mine

9 - What is the best piece of advice you've heard (not necessarily given to you directly)?
You’re Gonna Have to Serve Somebody

10 - How easy has it been for you to move between genres (poetry to critical prose)? Buckets of Rain

Little red wagonLittle red bikeI ain't no monkey but I know what I like
11 - How does a typical day (for you) begin? Million Dollar Bash
Well, I’m hittin’ it too hard/My stones won’t take/
I get up in the mornin’/But it’s too early to wake/First it’s hello, goodbye/Then push and then crash
12 - When your writing gets stalled, where do you turn or return for (for lack of a better word) inspiration? To Ramona
The flowers of the city Though breathlike, get deathlike at timesAnd there's no use in tryin'To deal with the dyin'Though I cannot explain that in lines.
13 - What was your last Hallowe'en costume? Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts

14 - David W. McFadden once said that books come from books, but are there any other forms that influence your work, whether nature, music, science or visual art? Song to Woody

Here's to the hearts and the hands of the menThat come with the dust and are gone with the wind.
15 - What other writers or writings are important for your work, or simply your life outside of your work? Isis (Live Version)

16 - What would you like to do that you haven't yet done? Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

17 - Or, alternately, what do you think you would have ended up doing had you not been a writer? Blowin’ in the Wind

18 - What made you write, as opposed to doing something else? Visions of Johanna

The harmonicas play the skeleton keys and the rainAnd these visions of Johanna are now all that remain.
19 - What was the last great film? Don’t Look Back

20 - What are you currently working on?
Desolation Row

12 or 20 (second series) questions;

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