1) The poems in ‘Second Date Season’ read at a powerful pace with images and ideas spilling into each other, like a stream of consciousness. How do you direct this flow of energy in your work?
I’m glad you think it’s powerful! But I can’t say I’m really directing anything. The energy driving that chaotic voice is my anxiety, which is inherently undirectable. So that contradictory spillage of ideas and emotion is kind of exactly that: a stream of consciousness. I’m always having about 450 thoughts at once and some of them are beautiful and some are these self-contained existential meltdowns. I guess poetry’s a great medium in which to let those thoughts coexist, side-by-side.
2) The sexual imagery in the suite is so specific and original. Moments like: ‘I reached between your legs from behind you and drew a word from your mouth and the air’ become tangible to the reader. How do you approach this practice of exposure and connection through your writing?
Well, exposing connection – or at least, exposing my own perceptions of connections that I form one half of – is what the whole suite is really about. You know those moments of connection, physical and otherwise, that feel so three-dimensional to you as they’re happening? What I’m trying to do in ‘Second Date Season’ is record those moments, reproduce them in a way that makes them as tangible to the reader in the reading as they were to me in the happening. My approach to that is just to write them down, exactly as I recall them, as laced with anxiety and excitement and fever as they are in my head.
3) Is there anything in your life you feel that you can’t write about? A place that can’t be touched by the outside world? If so, how do you think you can conquer it?
Sure there is. But do I really need to conquer it? “Conquer” is such a gross word; I feel like if I were to try and conquer the more hidden aspects of my self, I’d be pathologising them. I’m not a private person – I’m not afraid to be intimate with my reader. If there’s a place for my secrets in my work, I’ll write about them. But until then, there’s nothing wrong with a little mystery.
Emma’s suite ‘Second Date Season’ can be found here in The Suburban Review Vol. 6!