Sandy McIntosh can dance, write, cook, shimmy & shake, and invent whole universes in his sleep. He can sing too! Well, not really, but Sandy is super sweet and his poetry is full of friction. His latest work, Ernesta, in the Style of Flamenco, traverses the “fascinating social dimensions of music and its impact.” I have no idea what that means, but Sandy has given me an interview in which he reveals the music behind the music of Sandy McIntosh. Enjoy.
Almost Dorothy: Ernesta, in the Style of the Flamenco is a monumental collection of poetry—experimental, musical, hysterical. Tell us about the process of putting Ernesta together.
Sandy McIntosh: I’d often tried my hand at fiction but was never satisfied with the results. I’d written short stories and even a novel, which I found to be a painful, confusing experience. I realized that my instinct was to write expository fiction as if I were writing intense, condensed poetry. I was at war with myself. In the end, I decided to rewrite from memory these stories as narrative poems. Seen through the lens of poetry, the stories began to make more sense. For example, a story based on a dinner I’d had with a friend, was called “Susie the Idiot.” But when I revisited it through the lens of poetry I discovered that, in truth, I had been the only idiot in the piece. With this as a starting point I made poems of other stories, and several of them are in Ernesta.