Sandra Simonds is the word Wanderer. She uses phrases like “sack of meat”, “I am the stone testicle”, and “a manatee’s big toe” to woo me into her lair. When she gave me her book Warsaw Bikini (Bloof Books, 2008), which was a finalist for numerous prizes including the National Poetry Series, it had a coffee stain on the cover. I thought: wow, this is gonna be good. And it was. Simonds’ poetry is gigantic, gorgeous and, one more g-word, goddamn good. Her words are diamond tiaras and the coal-world from which they came. She’s my new hero and heroin (heroine) in one. She agreed to this Potty Mouth interview on one condition: that I interview her. So, I did, and I’m happy. Enjoy.
Almost Dorothy: What is a poem?
Sandra Simonds: I’m a lyric poet with political, surrealist and, to a lesser degree, narrative tendencies. Let’s just make that clear right now. So, everything that I write here will be what the definition of a poem is to me and the sort of understanding of poetry that I have espoused and admire. There are other poetic traditions; the house of poetry is large and I am not trying to make any claims about poetry in general though I make here a lot of generalizations.
While I was running last week, I thought to myself—passing the little houses and trees and barking dogs and lazy cats and grandmothers and grandfathers and little babies hanging Continue reading “Sandra Simonds: I Warsaw Her Bikini”