Two great poems by Andrea O’ Rourke were a part of the November Issue. Andrea responds to questions about a variety of things.
1. Would you rather be the first woman or the other woman? Why?
Neither. Both of these girls are obviously in unenviable situations. Plus, I donâ€™t really like sharing.
2. How do you prefer to restrain someone?
Oh, nothing awfully imaginative: dark blindfolds, fake-leather collars, handcuffsâ€¦ Iâ€™m joking. I do wish, occasionally, to shut some blabbering mouthsâ€”those loud, over-the-top people hell-bent on insisting they are non-stop happy. Their noise is much too tiring.
3. How does not telling anyone make things more intimate?
Iâ€™m not sure I understand the mechanics of it, but we all know that purity of anything holds a special lure. Once stories start circulating, they become colored, likely contaminated, by other peopleâ€™s interpretations, their judgments and their limited understanding. I guess it has to do with protecting personal truth.
4. How does one turn a bloodshot pipe dream into a reality?
The same way we try to breathe life into fictionâ€”we want it to be true. Fantasy is as much part of reality as it is a way of dealing with it and making sense of it. We all cultivate fantasies and dreamsâ€”whether individual or culturalâ€”through storytelling, through myth-making. Itâ€™s a coping mechanism, almost a necessity.
5. How has painting affected your writing?
Painting provides a mental break for me, but itâ€™s still a struggle, albeit a manual one. It can be a challenge tackling a 48×60 when you are barely five feet and half a demi-baguette. The poems, in a sense, have become more muscular.
6. What would you trade your ability to write or paint for?
If I could be Morrisseyâ€™s quiet next-door neighbor, Iâ€™d be willing to never bother picking up another tub of paint.