Excerpt from an Interview with Joshua Ware
- Nick Sturm: Food, drink, or eating appear in Thin Kimono approximately 64 times. The most common is ice cream, which appears 6 times. That’s a lot of food in these poems, which is something I like. With Earl Craig’s poems, food often becomes an occasion for the strangeness of the ordinary to leak out. Lately, I’ve been finding a lot of food in my poems, especially as a way to think about feelings related to how we interact or how we are separate, together, both. Do you find food in your poems? If so, are you conscious of those inclusions? What happens when anchovy vinaigrette or a “trunk full of deer meat” ends up in a poem?
- Joshua Ware: On one hand, I’m very impressed that you know there are approximately 64 references to food in Thin Kimono; on the other hand, I’m frightened that you know there are approximately 64 references to food in Thin Kimono. But, however I’m feeling about your Thin Kimono food knowledge, I will agree with your assessment that, indeed, 64 references is a lot of language dedicated to food. As for myself, I don’t write about food all that often; that absence probably says something about my complex relation to it. I have food issues. Although, lately, I’ve been inserting “gorgeous pies” into several of my poems. The hope, of course, is that I’ll write an epic poem about a gorgeous pie. It hasn’t happened yet, but that says more about epic poems in the 21st-century than it does about gorgeous pies. The history of the gorgeous pie, of course, begins with Season Two of Twin Peaks. Gordon Cole, played by David Lynch, comes to the town of Twin Peaks to help Special Agent Dale Cooper crack the unsolved case of Laura Palmer’s murder. For 20 years, Gordon hasn’t been able to hear people speak at normal volumes, so he needs to wear these weird hearing aids. Anyway, one day Dale and Gordon head down to the Double R to get some coffee, and Gordon sees Shelley Johnson, a waitress at the diner, working the counter. He’s so knocked out by her beauty that he walks over to the counter to speak with her. Lo and behold, he can hear what she’s saying! (He still can’t hear anyone else.) He’s so stoked about this fact that he orders a pie with his coffee. Well, as you can guess, he loves the pie and declares: “I’m going to write an epic poem about this gorgeous pie!” (Unfortunately, the only video I could find online with the scene ends just seconds before his triumphant declaration.) So maybe that says something about my relationship to, at very least, gorgeous pies: they act as a strange edible conduit when falling for someone you can hear (or, conversely, with someone who can hear you). With regard to what happens when anchovy vinaigrette or a trunk full of deer meat ends up in a poem? In the former instance, I don’t want to know; in the latter instance, I think it’s the impetus for a killer meat hat party. On a side note, though, I really like coffee, which, yes, reminds me of Twin Peaks as well.
- Nick Sturm: I want all of my poems to be some kind of translation of the moment when Big Ed walks into the RR, waves his hand in the air, and shouts “CUP’A COFFEE!”