These Three Poems from Eugenia Leigh were published in the February Issue. Eugenia enjoyed answering all our questions.
1. What would be the first thing you did when you get out of prison?
Lie down in a field. Or seek out rain, then lie down on the field in that rain. With spicy Korean fried chicken. Alone.
2. What would your stick father figure wear?
Basketball shorts and horrible, musky cologne.
3. How has spatial perception influenced your work?
I obsess about form and spatial aesthetics in my poems. In fact, I can probably go through every poem Iâ€™ve written and explain why it looks the way it does and how form accentuates meaning. For instance, in â€œUpon Living with a Man Newly Released,â€ each stanza dwindles by one line so that the first stanza consists of seven lines (the number of completeness) and the seventh stanza holds a single line. The speaker in this poem rids herself of her fatherâ€™s memories through drawings, which she ultimately feeds to the moon. At the end of the poem, sheâ€™s finally alone. Hence, the single-line stanza.
â€œStill Life,â€ which fixates on the inability to remember (illustrated by the â€œblack holeâ€ in the brain), is pockmarked with white spaces to visually represent that memory loss. Before you read the poem, you see that the story will have holesâ€”literal holes. Hopefully, this creates the anticipation of an unreliable narrator who will leave the story with figurative holes as well. The speaker in â€œTestamentâ€ struggles with the dichotomy of her parentsâ€™ â€œtragedyâ€ and the truth about her impossibly joyful mother, which explains why several lines in the poem appear to be split into two columns.
Poetic form is one of my favorite elements of the craft, and I owe Laure-Anne Bosselaar a huge thanks for sowing that passion into me.
4. If you could trade being a poet for something, what would it be?
An archaeologist or an astronaut. Someone who gets her hands dirty with the tangible goodness that makes up time and/or space.
5. What question are you the most afraid to answer?
Iâ€™ll answer anything. I love inappropriate, personal questions that the average person finds offensive or awkward. Iâ€™ll tell it all if you askâ€”the worst thingsâ€”possibly because my entire life, I was taught to lie and present an acceptable version of myself to the public. The rebel in me decided to make a career out of doing the opposite.
6. When will poetry stop killing families?
When poets stop caring whether their poetry will kill families.