Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I have a brief interview or "snapshot" with Sawako Nakayasu forthcoming on Coldfront so I figured I'd give y'all a quick preview:

Insect Country (A) and Insect Country (B) (Dusie Press) are very ant-centric so let’s talk about ants— did you have a fascination with them as a child, perhaps a proud owner of an ant farm, or did they just appear in a poem and then the appearance triggered the idea that you could write a series of poems around them?

S: I’ve also always found collective energies really fascinating too, like when I used to go to concerts when I was younger – in those giant American stadiums – I loved the thought of being with so many people who were interested in the same music, being so in love with the moment and the music – but then again some very atrocious things can take place via collective masses of human energy too, so I can’t really advocate for it, but it’s nonetheless fascinating to me. I remember something Endo Shusaku once wrote, about how he couldn’t stand to go to baseball games because he couldn’t help but think about the fact that the huge number of people collected in this one building was a result of twice that many people having sex, and the thought of all that sex was just too much for him. Funny prudish man!

I suppose there’s also something endearing in the fact that ants are relatively small creatures. I am a relatively small creature too, so there’s some sympathy there. If only I had an exoskeleton too…I do remember one fine day in Providence, RI after I had purchased my first-ever set of full hockey padding, so that I could learn to play ice hockey. I put on all my pads and ran around the house crashing into walls and furniture, marveling at the fact that it didn’t hurt at all!

Anyway…on the other hand it’s not that I’m such an ant lover either – I do squash them if they invade the house, and there were some that once got sacrificed in the course of their involuntary participation in a performance piece. I just find them interesting, and for a while they served as some kind of poetic medium. It was only recently that I read The Earth Dwellers (by Erich Hoyt), and now I’m looking forward to reading those giant ant tomes by Edward Wilson and William Brown. Oh, and of course I loved that film, Microcosmos

No comments: