Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Interview and Featured Poems in The Bitter Oleander

The latest issue of
(Autumn 2017)
features an extensive interview,
along with twenty pages
of poems from 
three unpublished manuscripts.

There is an excerpt of the interview and a sample poem on The Bitter Oleander website (current feature page) that you can find here.

Many thanks to
Paul B. Roth
editor of The Bitter Oleander Press,
(the press that published 
All the Beautiful Dead)
for doing the interview
and publishing such a large cross-section 
of current poems.

I have posted the beginning of the interview 

PBR: Thank you so much for allowing us to speak with you about your work. For those of our readers who may not know much about you, would you tell us about your early years and those influences that brought you to where you are today as a

CG: My father was in the Navy, so I moved around a lot as a child. Both the swamps and woods of northern Florida (near Jacksonville) and the canals and fields and towns of southern Belgium (near Mons) had an immense impact on my writing. I now think of it as American wilderness and European civilization mingling in my mind and body. These two things can easily be mistaken as opposites — but I think they inform each other. Or, they inform each other inside me.

Death is pervasive in the wilderness. And this death is inextricably linked to life. They can't be separated. There are few words that can contain the wild. But what I can say about it is that I perceive it as beautiful. And, at the same time, I experience a terror within that beauty. Like life and death in a swamp, beauty and terror cannot be separated from each other. 

Because home was a rather tense place, sometimes frightening, I spent quite a bit of time wandering around and fishing in swamps alongside moccasins and alligators and the occasional wild dog pack (run!) and all manner of strange insects (so many that I imagine some of them had probably never even been named), and that beauty/terror feeling has stayed with me and is probably the main source of my work.

Being in the natural world, mostly alone, I would spontaneously perform rituals for no reason at all. Here's one: after I gutted a catfish, I'd cut the head off and place it in the crotch of a live oak*. The next day, when I returned, it would be gone (gone, gone, always gone). I think there was a sense that something mysterious — a spirit, a god, something I couldn't name or fathom — was taking my offering at night. At the same time, I knew it was probably a raccoon. But I held both of those things in my mind together — they didn't cancel each other out. The catfish head is part of some mysterious interaction with the invisible world and the catfish head is also food for a raccoon…


To read the entire interview 
and poems,
you'll need to buy the issue
($10.00, shipping free).

You can buy it at the BOP website

The issue also includes poetry by 
Stephanie Dickinson, Anthony Seidman, Anirban Acharya, Steve Barfield, Laurie Blauner, Lara Gularte...

Fiction by 

Jeanine Alberto, Ye Chun, Mitch Zigler...

And translations of work by 

Alberto Blanco (Mexico), Astrid Cabral (Brazil), Andres Ehin (Estonia), Siomara Espana (Ecuador), Ute von Funcke (Germany)...

among many others.

* I'd like to add here that I'm a vegan and the only thing I gut now is the occasional squash or pumpkin. 
If you want to know more about the consequences of eating meat, 
see Michaela's blog on the subject (it's short and sweet), 
called: Dead Zones 
(avec recipe for mashed potato enchilada casserole). 

And this:
Animal Feed Crop Feed Needs Destroying Planet (Guardian Article, October 5, 2017)



And this, from "Our Revolution":

"Right now, fifty Registered Nurse volunteers from National Nurses United's disaster relief program, the Registered Nurse Response Network (RNRN), are on the ground in Puerto Rico delivering critical health care services to people who are in desperate need of help.

"The situation is dire. Hospitals are overwhelmed and local clinics and doctors' offices are still closed due to lack of electricity. The collapsed infrastructure is keeping patients with storm-related injuries and long-term health needs from receiving care. Without food, clean water, adequate shelter, medicine, or electricity, we may be facing a humanitarian calamity.

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