2 Episode results for "Daniel Brzezinski"

106: Lake Michigan, Scene 3

The Slowdown

05:21 min | 2 years ago

106: Lake Michigan, Scene 3

"Happy national poetry months. Lowdown listeners. I'm Jennifer lie. The producer of the slowdown for us. It's always poetry month. Take a minute to support your daily source for poetry and inspiration. Give to the slowdown, and we'll send you the slowdown mug. As a thank you gift. Give today at slowdown show dot org slash donate. I'm u s poet laureate, Tracy case Smith, and this is the slowdown. I must have been in high school when I first encountered the word surreal, and I took it at face value as something unreal. Or impossible. What happens when fantasy infiltrates reality? I was young sheltered and happy. And so the dark implications of the term were hard for me to grasp flash forward thirty years, and wow, I get it. I understand how perfectly necessary it can be to resort to the dreamlike and illogical when trying to make sense of what we allowed to occur in the actual world because so much that is terrible and heroin and absolutely real feels like it just ought not to be possible ought not to jibe. With the laws of logic or be plausible. As fact I now grasp how the surreal can be a powerful political tool attempting to shake us out of our groggy acceptance. So that we can see an atone for the real damage we and the institutions that act on our behalf are responsible for today's poem lake. Michigan seen three is by Daniel Brzezinski of Chicago, set an imaginary internment camp on the shores of the lake. The poem offers a nightmarish lens on the conditions endured by real communities of immigrants the poor and people of color Lake Michigan seen three by Daniel Brzezinski. The bodies are on the beach and the bodies keep breaking and the fight. Right is over but the bodies aren't dead and the mayor keep saying, I will bring back the bodies. I will bring back the bodies that were broken the broken bodies, speak, slowly, they walk slowly onto a beach that hangs over a fire into a fire that hangs over a city into a city of immigrants of refugees of dozens of illegal languages into a city where every body is a border between one empire and another. I don't know the name of the police officer who beats me, I don't know the name of the superintendent who orders the police officer to beat me. I don't know the name of the diplomat who exchanged my boss. Body for oil. I don't know the name of the governor who exchanged my body for chemicals. The international observers tell me, I'm mythological. They tell me my history has been wiped out by history. They look for the barracks. But all they see is the lake and its grandeur, the flowering gardens, the flourishing beach. The international observers ask me if I remember the bomb that was dropped on my village. They asked me if I remember the torches the camps. The ruins they asked me if I remember the river the birds the ghosts, they say fine hope in hopefulness find life in death listeners locate the proper balance between living and grieving I walk on the lake and hear voices. I hear voices in the sand and wind I hear guilt and shame in the waves. I have my body when others are missing. I. My hands when others are severed. I hear the children of Chicago singing, we live in the blankets of times. The slowdown is a production of American public media in partnership with the library of congress and the poetry foundation.

Daniel Brzezinski Chicago Smith Lake Michigan officer producer Michigan congress heroin Tracy superintendent thirty years
Daniel Borzutsky vs. the Desert

VS

00:00 sec | 2 years ago

Daniel Borzutsky vs. the Desert

"She's the sunny to my over share for any joy and their password for macho fuckers dot com is upper case D A at getting it's the next minute. You're listening to the podcast poets confront the ideas that moved them brought to you by the poetry foundation and post loudness. Wicklow side know, remind me to tell you my critiques of much dot com. My gosh. It was an actual porn site is one of the greatest that has fallen from grace. Are you feeling? Good good to be here. The great state of Illinois and the great state of Illinois. Know that I mean better than Minnesota. Oh, them's is some words. Yeah. I mean, I feel like Minnesota is the best date. We have interesting lakes and trees, and I like our white people sometimes more than other white people. And yeah, yeah. Yeah. I appreciate a Bose into politeness actually get through it helps you get through. We have prints, and I have unreasonable opinions about people from Wisconsin. Because I'm from Minnesota. I mean, I feel like my years living in Rhode Island gave me quite an oversized amount of Rhode Island pride. And I also I think an appreciation for like the rudeness of white strangers, actually. Yeah. You know, there's like a particular kind of like rude. White bus driver that I just like love I'm very into it. Yeah. Yeah. Lava cranky Italian cranky. It's. Since a delicious sandwich. Cranky Italian entre Bata. I mean, this whole state pride thing is like, I don't know. It's sort of silly silly state borders, or maybe one of the only silly borders. But it also again, it highlights the absurdity of all imaginary lines are highly militarized and released and that people die trying to get across. You know? I think it's an absurdity that doesn't mean it's a high stakes and I think that there's something about the work of our guest today. Daniel Brzezinski that manages to capture both the high stakes of a place like the border and a concept like the border. I'm while not shying away from also like the kind of strangeness and absurdity of institutions like aboard. Daniel is a poet and translator author of many collections, including the most recent like Michigan and the national book award winning the performance of becoming human and we're really excited to get into this interview with him. He's gonna start us off with the poem. And then stay tuned for more brilliant on the other side of that. Let's get into. So I will read a couple scenes ten and eleven from Lake Michigan, which is the beginning of the the second active Lake Michigan is divided into. To axe and nineteen scenes, and there are to epigraph the begin a act to the first from the Chicago economist Milton Friedman who says quote, the great virtue of a free market system. Is that it does not care? What color people are had only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy is the most effective system. We have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another and the second from of LA nit Rueda from his poem about the Spanish civil war. Explicable scores us explain a few things, you pour les Gayus last. They lose Nina's guerrillas implemented Cassandra the Nina's enter the streets. The blood of children ran simply like the blood of children Lake Michigan seen ten the police shooting. Boys are like police shooting boys in the Nazis burning Jews or like. Nazis burning Jews and the police protecting Nazis are like police protecting Nazis and the prisoners who are tortured or like prisoners who are tortured and the psychologist overseeing torture are like psychologists overseeing, torture, and the mayor privatizing prisons is like the mayor privatizing prisons and the rule of law being suspended is like the rule of law being suspended and the broken prisoners on the beach, I like broken prisoners on the beach a dream. I am pregnant, and my baby is a revolutionary plan to destroy the global economy, and my baby is like a baby with a bullet in its mouth 'cause like a baby with a bullet in its mouth was like a baby with a bullet in its mouth, and the disappearing public employees are like disappearing public employees and the puddle of vomit from tortured prisoner is like a puddle of vomit from tortured prisoner and hunger of an actual child is the hunger of an actual child and the basic function of the Konami is the basic function of the economy and the politically impossible is the politically inevitable and the bourgeois savage. Ages are like Bua savages and the bourgeois savages who do not see themselves as savages or like bourgeois savages who do not see themselves as savages and the bodies that are expropriated for private purposes like bodies expropriated for private purposes, and when they disappear into the pinhole of capital, they disappear into the abyss of capital when they disappear into the of capital there's silence when everyone refuses to act because they are too concerned with their own material health to care about the broken body of another. And the wasted food on the beach is like wasted food on the beach and the starving. Children who are not allowed to eat the wasted food on the beach or like starving. Children who are not allowed to eat wasted food on the beach and the bourgeois savages do not notice the broken bodies until are beaten in their usual backyards, and they say how dare you use my backyard to beat this broken body. I will look away only you don't beat them in my backyard, and they say one broken body in my backyard doesn't count for anything. And they're like people who think that one broken body doesn't count for anything and a massacre at a black church is a massacre at a black church and a massacre at an elementary school is a massacre at an elementary school and the Nazis with torches are like Nazis with torches and the police who kill are like police who kill and the dying sand is like dying sand and the refugee arrested for speaking the wrong language is a prisoner who never learns to speak the right language, and the bomb is like a bomb and the static is like an aesthetic and the blank Ness of the city is like the blackness of the. City and the language of the riot is the language of the riot. And the blood of the silenced is like the blood of the silenced. And the blindness of the bourgeois savage is like a mouth the can't stop biting a body that refuses to die like Michigan seen eleven. Fifteen men around van from the department of streets and sanitation, the men pushed from the side and back the van is rocking up and down. It is starting to tip. More men come to the side nine pushes and it bounces. But it doesn't quite flip and a bunch of men will walk away as a horn blares loudly as of telling the meant to stop the mechanics of flipping a van over pushed until it's bouncing and once it bounces high enough lift from the bottom eleven more pushes in the van falls over onto the driver's side. And there is a celebratory whoop as the men walk away knowing that no one is a head of his time. A riot is a thing that decides how it is to be done. And who among these men wants to consider the very long history of how he has never acted or how his never felt what do they see when they look at the flipped over van the flipped over van the long pole busting the glass, the fire and the smoke bombs the men and women with scarves their faces taking what they can from the municipal vehicles. The war. That is formed their relationship to the composition of the city. The war that has formed the police officers punitive relationship to the bodies that occupy the city the innocence of rudimentary violence is the devouring power of negation who are the bodies when the bodies are not flipping over the van what do they wish to compose when they are not composing the destruction of the city. What do they feel about the city and its refusal to absorb them? What do they feel about the state and its desire to spit them out? How will they be absorbed? And how will they be ojected there's distribution? And there is despair. And there are the things we decide to see when we look and the things we decide to see when we shield our eyes from the pain. What else is there to be done? Once the van has been flipped over. What steps do we need take to create lasting structural changes? In our neighborhood. Our city our nation. How many vans should be flipped over and in what order they ponder these questions with screams, flames and polls jammed into the glass of cars and storefronts. Jammed into the bird into transact compose, destroy. Daniel we are really excited to be in the studio today with Daniel Brzezinski. So the first question that we wanna ask you Daniel is what is moving you these days, I'm excited to be here. You know? I mean, I'm thinking of moving as being like physically moved and being shaken and being compelled to I don't know not be comfortable in my body. And evidently, I don't know if it's these days, but I'm I'm figuring out how to kind of deal with the like every day horror of right now the ways in which we are treating immigrants and in many ways that's been like a subject in my writing for a very long time. But it sort of hasn't made it any easier for me to process and different ways and over the last month. Right. This is obsessive talk about the wall, which has been this slick utter distraction from like actual human rights violations. That are having all the time that is really central and how I'm feeling about where we are right now. Have you seen like this idea of the wall and? That conversation moving in your writing at all or is it just like part of this long ongoing trajectory. I mean in some ways it's part of a long ongoing trajectory and in other ways, it's so certainly I was thinking about it in the border of site of conflict more directly. Yes. I mean, the shape wrote a poem about the wall. But but also just have a kind of been thinking a lot about the desert of the site of incarceration of of of human rights abuse of the abuse of children. And so that sort of space both of those spaces a incarcerating space in a degrading space has has been president. And a lot of manure writing to can we talk about the one of the poems at you read just now. Sure, yeah, I feel like really moved by the light kind of central operating mechanism. Some of the first seen that you read the one that opens act to can you talk about like what led you into that piece? And like what you're doing there, and what you're thinking through in that poem. Yeah. I mean, so on the one hand there's the quote by by Milton Friedman that I read which I kind of want to emphasize that the sococo that I'm talking about is a Chicago of extreme neo-liberal capital. And and the kind of irony of this economist on the south side of Chicago surrounded by racialist poverty proposing the idea that the free market was somehow going to be a way to get people of different races to stop hating each other. Magin living. It's such a world. That ideology, right? As in many ways, central to the Chicago that that we live in. And then the other, you know, the quote by Nero has I think just thinking about kind of anti metaphor ick way of depicting violence, right and calling things what they are in thinking about maybe the limitations of poetic language, rain when it resorts to how we talk about extreme violence. And so I think this might have been one of the later pieces that I wrote in this book, and there's sort of conjunction of many things happening. I mean, this sort of larger context of the book has to do with police violence in Chicago. But remember writing this around the time that the Nazi demonstrations in Charlottesville were happening. And then I was also reading a amiss zehr. And this sort of. Conjunction of things all came together. Right. And here we were listening to conversations about whether or not there were good Nazis. Right. Like plot twists now. Right. And that this is like a sort of rational thing that we are supposed to like actually debate or something like that. And so the the just fusion of those things of kind of extreme capitalism being a co could join with an extreme racism, and was is I think one on the one hand, very central Chicago central to the United States, but maybe central to the sort of language. I was trying to piece together, you know, this palm and the kind of like mechanics of this poem is, you know, one way of tackling that problem of the limitations of metaphor to talk about violence, but it's also like such a central question, and like problem and limitation that. I think the the book is coming up against again. And again, what are some of the other strategies that you were employing to try to? Wrestle with that. If you would ask me that about the performance of becoming human. I would have said that I I was using kind of like meta poetic strategy where I was maybe not depicting violence directly. But was rather kind of talking about the ways in which we observe and are absorbed by and talk about violence, and that was a kind of strategy that that was happening throughout the book in this one. Yeah, I mean, I think something different happened in this book, which is there sort of like eyeball, and a we we bodies that are like actually experiencing violence in different forms, right? What I was thinking about was the ways in which the city is itself the site and the scene and the victim of violence, right? And that lake. What does it mean that, you know, I don't know a police officer shoot somebody around the corner from your house, right? That's clearly different than being shot by police officer. And it's clearly different than being, you know, the family member of the victim or loved one or whatever. But that's also a trauma that that. Let's say your entire neighborhood has to deal with like all of the time. Right. And so I think that was one of the ways that I was trying to conceive of the book, right? And and I want to do like very carefully because obviously it is very different to be the victim the direct victim of violence. But on the other hand, I do want to say that there is a way in which if you choose to look right, which is part of what's happening in that book. It is happening to sm-. If you're a poet who acknowledges that the world is on fire, then you really have to think about what tools by going gonna use this sort of tend to the fire that I'm paying attention to or the fires paying attention to so between Lake Michigan and the performance of becoming. Human there is this really strong voice and style, and sort of sense of character that I think comes across in the books that I think is heightened in Lake Michigan when you get into the accident scene structures. Some wondering how do you find sort of that consistent manner, pained voice or character study kind of that you're doing with the the language of the Poetics? How does that feel useful to you as you're trying to like ten to the things that the books are tending to? I mean, there's kind of like craft answer to that question, which is a lot of it is comedic craft and then give me like the real shit. The sort of craft question and Lake Michigan is one of like sound and rhythm in certain way, and like editing the shit out of the book until the voice becomes a consistent thing. Right. It starting off a little bit more desperate when you're sort of insolently actually mean starting off like more messy in this book, certainly like like it was much longer and the scenes were kind of much more convoluted, and there were like characters with relationships, and you know, shit like that, but God like act out of it and kind of way that was it was like this trying to figure out like the rhythmic intensity to match the kind of intensity of experience and to make that a I don't know a kind of sonic event in some ways as well. Come event. I think the other part of your question is harder. And I don't have. No, I I know how to answer it. I don't know what to say about the lyrics speaker in this book. I think maybe I try to do that through a kind of like coral, we've voice that is threaded throughout there is this sort of communal character that is developing throughout which may be kind of parallel to the kind of communal nature of of of what I was talking about before with the sort of city being kind of like victim of of a certain kind of violence and trauma. Can we talk about this sonic event? A little more. I always wanna like wear a sonic event. I love the idea of like rhythmic intensity as a way of making a poem a thing that can kind of live up to the event that spur the poem. You know, it's a fill in project. Right. It's like never going to never going to do the other failing on the other hand, you know. Oh, we can do is try and in a certain way, I think at the reading level, right? Like, I don't want to read anything that like doesn't like sound good to me. Right. Totally an I'm sure like I have a definition of what sound good means? Right. It's obviously like project and book specific, but I will put books down. If it doesn't sort of carry me in a way that the the like, I'm kind of internalizing the rhythm of the writing in a kind of wet. And so I think as I've grown as a writer as I've grown as a writer. I've learned to care more about my audience, which simply means like if somebody's going to read your book, they're like investing their time and sometimes their money. And emotional energy in in your work. Right. And so of that sonic idea that I'm talking about is like one that I'm thinking about all the time as I'm editing, like what is the experience of reading this book going to be like, and in some ways that idea becomes like at the editing stage becomes much less about like ideas in our content than it does about rhythm sort of reading out loud all of the time in like looking for as much to cut as possible as much to kind of shorten as possible as like trying to get his minute rid of his many words could. So you edit for them. I think so I mean, I'm sure like other writers. I don't know that that's rare. But yes, I I think that I I definitely read edit for rhythm and sound. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I find it hard to add it for for sound. Really? Yeah. I feel like the sound comes in the first draft of the thing. And then I have to like work hard not to. Lose the rhythm have like such a sound based poet. That's so weird to me. But I think that comes with with a I strapped. I think like I'm trying to preserve the rhythm when. Okay. Do you edit further? I feel like I added for them in sound like earliest, that's how I know. The poem is headed in the right direction. I think I can like sort of sometimes like work on like intensity of image and stuff like that. But I think the ultimate thing. I'm looking for is like flow in a rappers mind, like how do I get this thing to sort of sound the best? And I and how do I like make this poem the same and like every mouth and brain is like how can I make my meter as possible that makes total sense to me? I just like I had it for making it, look cute, cute, cute horse. Instagram. You were talking about the desert as a site of incarceration earlier that sparks a few different thoughts in my mind one. I think like the framework is new and enlightening to me 'cause there's a difference between trap and incarceration, you know. So culture leading desert's have always kind of been a source of like. Kind of lost nece, but also experiential freedom and migration, but also like the sort of like wandering into this great unknown rather than being like, but I guess it's also like a sentencing into the desert as well. That's also, I mean, I don't know. I guess we're thinking probably Biblically and shit. But that's one that's just like fascinating to me. But also, this is such a place based project one, I guess like a very basic question of like why the lake and like how does place operate in your work? So I want to go back to the desert kogo. Yes. And they're both kind of related because at some point. I'd been thinking a lot both in poems and indifferent. Essays that had written about the interconnections between Sheila or my family's from Chicago. The desert as this site of disappearance was was something for me. That was MS Feerick. Continuum the. Was was happening between I dunno Teela and southern desert rights, though, famously the military dictatorship would disappear bodies in the desert, and there are also prisons in the desert as well. Remember reading this New York Times article, I think in two thousand thirteen that talked about all the unidentified bodies and the Arizona desert and at the time the summer something like six hundred fifty unidentified bodies again. It's like, I I try to be really careful about talking about scales. Right. Like there. It's very different scales of violence. Right. But it just for me. It was sort of linkage, right? This was to places where bodies were literally disappearing and so like my initial thinking about how Chicago and Sheila were related was originally based in Konami famously Milton Friedman and the Chicago boys designed to the economy or the the dictatorship implemented. And it was one of the first neoliberal privatization based experiments that was happening. Right. It was their chance to to try out these ideas because they had a oppressed population. That was to scared and traumatize to speak out. Right. So that included a mass privatizations of public services privatizations public education of healthcare of social security of destroying labor unions. So in two thousand twelve the Chicago teachers union has a strike and for strike in twenty seven years and in Sheila there at the time had been a year long student strike both a high school on the college level. If we take race out of the picture that the issues were very similar. They're both about the privatization of public education. You know in Chicago. For instance, Rahm Emanuel at the time the famously closed fifty neighborhood school. Rules, right and Chila. They have eliminated as much as possible public education at the elementary school level than Chicago. They're replacing many of those schools with privately run charter schools, Jill has a voucher system. The effect of that has been something. Like, I don't know the numbers, but it's something like twenty to thirty percent of students and Sheila Goto to public schools. So it was just kind of struck by the fact that this education policy and privatization policies were linked between Chicago and Sheila and then in two thousand fifteen we started getting reports about home in square in Chicago, which was a prison, but they refer to as a black site where prisoners were being disappeared, essentially like prisoners were being taken there and not registered and for several days. They might be there. Apparently people have known about the site for a long time. But investigations and the guardian brought it to light, right? And so. The term black site is certainly racialist. One ninety percent of the prisoners. There were African American their kiss torture when prison died, and of course, again, like the the scale of disappearance is very different between, Chicago and Teela. But the fact that we are now talking about prisons in Chicago where torture and disappearance was happening, which is again, something torture in Chicago in the police began in the seventies as did the military dictatorship. But this kind of notion of disappearance was one that made me think about the interconnection between economic policy and over policing at the end of the performance of becoming human. There's a poem that takes place on a prison site and on the lake and again, I was kind of thinking about Sheila because there were prisons on military ships that were parked along beaches. But it was thinking about the lake as a place of violence and the lake represents all of these. Contradictions on the one hand the lake is beautiful on the other hand. It's I dunno polluted and disease, right? Like, it's closed down many throughout the summer often because of bacteria in the water, we think of it as being a natural site, but it's actually like an artificially constructed site. The landfill along the lake was created from destroyed houses from the west side of Chicago. So that were brought over to the lake right? So like, the the beauty of the lake is literally built on the structure of the on the destruction of the west of Chicago, right? It's kind of sight of segregation right now, it's the site of water privatization issues as well. Right. So I think the lake signifies really deeply all of these many complex contradictions that happened in Chicago. You know, you talked about all of these interconnections. Came out between Chilean politics, and Chicago, politics, etc. You know, things that were happening at the same time in the news, even and the the connections that those lead you to make how does poetry fit into how you understand these interconnected things that you encounter in the world. I mean, I I've done a little bit of essay writing where he sort of think about it more analytically. I mean, okay on one level poetry is like this way of making art out of it. Right. And that's fraught with all kinds of problems. But like, it's what we do and another level to me other than making sense of of it. I would say it's like a way of documenting these things that are happening communally, right? But it's also like, I don't know a form of documentation of of the various couples shit holes. We live in an American story. An American lyric. Oh god. We just attach that ever. Trembled eggs in American League. Can we talk about some of that Newark? Yeah. To that. What do you what do you make the new book right now is cloud written after a massacre in the year twenty eighteen but title came later in the year? But certainly I was thinking about again like various forms of violence on home kind of respond to them both sort of immediately personally culturally. So that's part of it. I think there's a few different things that are happening in the book, those kind of ideas of of border conflict happening both in the US. But also one of the starting places for this book was a border conflict over a block of ice between Chile Argentina in Patagonia that I don't think anybody occupies and had been going on for very long time at one point almost evolved into a kind of war where it read something like the Argentine military had brought coffins to the border in the event that it turned into a kind of. International conflict. So that I was thinking a lot about. That idea of border conflict as a sort of way of provoking different kinds of nationalism. And then the kind of ramifications of those things I'm also like fascinated between sort of borders in the United States Ling mortars between states like via sort of notions of state identities. We have some friends who like love being from Ohio. And then we have friends who thinks Chicago is a state. Yeah. You know, so performance becoming him in all these pieces that like took place on the border between Indiana, and Illinois that I was sort of that's imagining a conflict between just like fascinated by the Gary Chicago wars. Yeah. The notion that we are somehow identified with our states, I think are funny. So anyway, different kinds of border conflict was a starting point. And then in the fall, it may be coalesced a little bit more following the shooting at the tree of life synagogue in Pittsburgh, which is where I grew up in which was the synagogue that. I grew up going to I'm sort of tentative to talk about it. And haven't really talked about it. I'm publicly, but certainly been writing about it, but you know, directly affected my community and people I know and again like I've been writing and thinking about these things for a really long time. But like just totally unprepared for what I was going to feel when that happened. And so I think since, you know, couple months after that more like a means of me trying to kind of right through that right with that experience. I don't know in mind in a certain way, what is it about like the year twenty eighteen as kind of like this constraint? What's? Appealing about that those fucking awful. It was just like just awful shitty year like over and over again, like the amount of types of violence, the politics of the year, the sort of personal effect on me, and you know, many people I knew so I think part of it is like I was like a way of like what to be done with a year. So as to exercise year twenty teen from my life. I remember like in November or something when someone was like, hey, all black panther came out this year. And everyone was like fuck this felt so long. I don't want to say this to be like. Oh, yeah. Twenty teen. We all too. But like also kind of I mean, I think that like for so many people twenty seventeen was sort of like the urgency of dealing with the shock of that regime coming into power, and then twenty to eighteen has been the first like. Living in this leg in this new kind of like chapter of the of the dumpster fire of America without a reprieve from the grief, right right or living without like, oh, the women's marches coming up like, you know here. And then like, here's everyone like, you know, getting together to write letters to their congress people or whatever like cropping up of a million kind of like social activist groups per hour. It's like the post emergency year two thousand eighteen I mean, so I'm always like careful to try to, you know, the Trump presidency didn't come out of nowhere like we've been evolving towards it. And you know, lots of other years worth of Chitty yours to read. But yeah, I think the like emboldened -ness of racists in the year twenty eighteen right? Was just shocking over and over again. Right. And we just kept seeing in incident after incident that was somehow seemed like race. Violence was being granted like permissiveness. Yeah. Any year where one has to encounter the forgiveness of Nazis again? And again seems like a bad year for the books. I think you know in chronically year violence in that way. I think in one way can kind of just become like archive, but I'm also wondering what have you learned from that archive will process like we're any new things about two thousand eighteen or sort of the state that are states are in was revealed to you sort of in that chronicling of that year. Again, I think to be personal as somebody who identifies as both Latino and Jewish right of a had been thinking a lot about immigration and the way Spanish speakers are treated in the US. I guess I don't talk about the ways in which I had dented is Jewish being a all that much. Right. But twenty eighteen definitely made me think and deal with the fact that there's still a lot of people who want to kill Jews. Right. And that that's just a reality. That is as local as possible, right? Like when it like hits the place that you grew up going to in your neighborhood and people, you know, there's no way around of dealing with that. And so I think that who was a reinforcement of something that was maybe sort of late tint in my mind. I just saw drawn back to the title writing after a massacre. I mean, in some way. As those words next to each other kind of like highlights the sort of like, I don't wanna say futility, but you know, writing and massacre are just like acts on such in different scales. You know, maybe this is like a another version of the same question. We've been like kind of talking around this whole time. But like how do you right after a massacre? I guess is the question. I mean, you know, historically, it's not unique. It's more like what you choose to pay attention to and I guess on the one hand, perhaps carefully. But on the other hand, it's like, how do you not always like that's an in some sense, a permanent condition, but the choosing of material on the using what focus on and the sort of problematic of like thinking that poetry is the response that you're choosing to use. Then I don't know that is present. But I guess again, I think. A question for me is more. Like, I don't know how not to. Yeah. Right. And it's not even a writing about, you know, necessarily that's writing after. And I think that feels to me like an important distinction. Even if even if it is about you know, that feels like an important reminder to to all poets that that it's the context that we are all writing in can we talk a little bit about the translation work that you've been doing. Sure. Yeah. What's the translation project that you're working on? How you sure? This project that I started last year, but that I've kind of had the time now to to work on a which is a book by age LAN poet, named Paoletti Labucka, I L A B A C. I think it will be her first translations into English book is called or the loose Pearl. And it's kind of book length poem Kentucky about the book. But but it's been really nice for me to like feel immersed in in a translation project haven't done in a while. And it's it's been making me happy. What feels nice about that? I mean, one of the work is really good. So there's there's that part of what I like about translation is like the intense experience you have with other people's writing which you really like, right? And makes me like learn a lot about different ways of writing and thinking, but they'll suggest one of the things I like about translation is that it's not about me. And it's like an opportunity for me to not be in my voice. And that's one of the pleasures of translation, it seems like a good way to engage with poetry without having to dive into like, the deepest root of your soul. All time. Yeah. I mean in some ways, I feel more responsible for it than I do for my own work. So there's there's there's that inter experience. Right. But, but it's but the responsibility is not towards like being true to me. It's a way of being really involved in writing. That is the is is not about me. But I think there's also just. Political dimensions two translation as well. Right. I mean, one Andrew sort of context of a moment were language and for being foreign is as criminalized, right? I think translation becomes more and more important on the one hand, I'm translating a Chilean experience. Right. But it's also translating something that is directly connected to United States foreign policy and Chicago, and to you know, my own kind of shared identity between Chicago and Sheila in certain ways. Right. So I think there is some kind of on a subconscious level kind of language patterns of go into your instinct tactical structures like enter into your kind of writing and kind of ways that are not the an that are not is really tangible. There's a new collection of essays. About Marxist, readings of contemporary Latino writing and one of the things that he notes was reading at three in the morning as a as I was not able to sleep last night was that I read a lot about light and love and that those two words are kind of like words that are taboos and American poetry, and that he was sort of citing that as something that I had taken from my engagement with Chilean writers who true that that's either. I mean, I wouldn't have put it that way. And I wouldn't have thought about it. But perhaps. Yeah, I I mean, I liked it. I it was one of those things where like the criticism is telling you something on your own work that you would get some fun when that happens. Oh, that's who. I am. You know, another interesting thing that he notes to as the amount of children that appear in my work. So I think there is stuff like that. Right. Like where he's he's correct. That I think like a kind of lyrical strategy of talking about violence in love at the same time as maybe something that my engagement with Chilean poetry poetry and translation has. Filtered into my own work. Yeah. One of the things that is important to me is that my influences are not necessarily ones from the United States. That's not necessarily the the the writers who have been most important to me. And while I'm very much talking about the United States all of the time. I'm thinking about it through different lenses, and there's sort of another thing that like, I don't know when people talk about the long lines in my work and talk about Whitman. Right. They always related to it. Yeah. No. And like Wittman is not a writer has been particularly important to me. But like Zuhdi the in Nazarova have talked about Whitman as being important to them. And I really liked the idea of like me sort of being influenced by Whitman through South American rights. So I don't know those kind of cross national connections. I think are ones that I like a lot. Yeah. Does it feel different to read? Poems in Spanish, what do you mean? I don't even know. But like, I think so I mean, I don't know if it's because like some of the rules are just different or if it's because of something about my relationship with the language, but there's something that feels different about reading poetry and Korean to me Spanish speakers or people from Spanish speaking backgrounds in the US tend to feel like a sense of kind of shame or embarrassment around there like abilities or lack thereof to, you know, speak read in Spanish, I didn't take formal Spanish classes, right and unto have like grammar training Renzo like learning how to write in Spanish solich, something that's uncomfortable for me. I think that that's important for a at least lead to next people in the United States to like kind of like shame about the difficulty of encountering on your your heritage language and that way, so there's. There's that part of it, which is like a psychological thing. And then I think there's like syntactical language based things which which you notice a lot as you are translate. On every episode. We'd like to play a little little game situation called this versus that. We are going to give you two places people things juices, whatever when they now come says, I've asked you who would win in a game of fisticuffs. All right for the days, this versus that in this corner, we have lakes and in that corner. We have desserts not to be confused with desserts. So who's going into fight? Why because it's much less comfortable than the lick. So the so the game is what will kill a man. Cool. All right. Fuck them lake. Well, I'm answering it more. Like, what would I rather do like drown or die in the desert and dry? I would rather drown than dine that. All right. Well, that was another fun. Another. Silly little game. There's no political implications like version. Yeah. Yeah. This is this is like a purely kind of like settlers of Catan version of this question. I really to go pick a time. Now, I just bought the Catan, and the expansion pack five to six players beach. Okay. That expansion pack about the questions not the like seafarers got barbarians one. That makes one makes me uncomfortable in the cities and knights one. That's one. Yeah. Cool also see fares this type. Did you did you close with a with a nother poem? Senate home who are these drawings that your son did now this? But actually this one this one somebody gave me at a poetry reading. That a dinosaur. Little kid who was dragged there by his mother father and says I love poet tree. There's a dog for those of you. It's like a it's like a dog mixed with like a triceratops. Dinosaur dog with a caller. It's really beautiful and like kind of beagle. Looking dog when the heart. That's I love poet trees so much. And then there's sort of scenes in the desert. I think you know, what you're next coverage steady hands free quote, and I made him sign it from. So this is from after massacre in the year twenty eighteen and is titled the same thing it is the end of the afternoon in the sky will soon be purple. But right now, the desert late is orange and pink in the painters able to illustrate how one side of the cage is in shadow, and the other isn't sun the toddler in the painting looks exactly like the living toddler in the cage only the one on the canvas naked. But for a disposable diaper. That's on its waste the one in the cage is wrapped in a red wool blanket on the canvas in the background their pencil drawings of bodies scattered in the distant sand there. The bodies of the disappeared says the painter to the journalists who are already speculating about the amount of money. The painting will sell for when in the morning is taken to auction the bureaucrats have brought me to the border to identify bodies. But I can't understand why they don't know that I am dead. They say we need you to verify the ident-. Of your comrades when we leave the toddlers cage, I'm taken to the San dump to name the corpses of my friends, I began to state their names Daniel Jose Miriam etcetera, but I'm quickly silenced. Because the bureaucrats understand that if I had to fight too, many missing bodies, and there will be certain obligations that the law requires them to meet someone whispers, the name of your friends are not the names of your friends and those bodies do not belong to their bodies. Wow. That was such a treat. It's so great to get to see in the presence of a mind. Like, I feel like I got a lot of permission to return to some of the urgency's in the world that I feel like I put on hold in my work. Yeah. I love it. I love the thing that he said about acknowledging poets who acknowledge there are particular fires that the world is on. You know what fires? Do you feel like you are kind of like attending to min your work, these days, a particular one who now that I've turned this book, and I kind of feel rather workless in the little playful writings I've been doing. I think it's this continued investigation about just like friendship in different ways of like how into intimacy looks especially like, how can intimacy amongst marginalized folks in their allies, look like sort of like how can we like think about love without it being at risk from the rest of the world. But I do feel like a particular fire that I was tending to a really trying to extinguish early. Has been like, you know, sort of just, you know, the continued state of like black people in America, and how that has manifested itself in different ways across time. And I think when I went into writing this new collection that was so much about friendship, and even though some of those themes are there really I think put some of like my more up front in your face political work that was addressing that to the side. And even just in talking to Daniel right now, I really felt like I need to pick back up at char. And I think there's a lot of poems that I've been avoiding out of fear of like cheapening it or making it look, I don't know just like messing it up in the wrong way. Or like, maybe I've done it already. And I think it's okay to continue to point out the fire and say it's burning. Yeah. How about you? I don't really know. I also sort of like in between projects a little bit. But I think the thing that has been showing up in my poems is climate change. Like, it's less about drawing attention to it and more about like me trying to process grief around the earth. You know, I don't know if my poems are trying to point to it in some of the same ways that necessarily Daniels are I think it's just like approaching it to try to like figure out like what am I feeling in the context of fire? You're not putting it out your bed dog mean. But you're like sitting in a burning house like it's not fine or it's like, it's. Fine. And then it's the next panel is just being being like, what does the Tabo me that I? That's what it is. That's the the fire. Right now fire dog. Got to save that one for another intro. We say some thank yous and skedaddle out outta here. And yeah, let's do it. Speaking of fire. I would like to thank Duraflame the fire starting logs because sometimes can't get the fire started and needs to use the log and has to emasculate herself by using the log even though she didn't want to buy it because you could start a fire. I like that. I like that. I would like to think firemen for being the one uniform. I don't associate with racism. Oh, man. If that not true. Thank you. Bye. And strippers who dress up as firemen across the nation and the fire festival and. Jay kay. Thank you to the poetry foundation. Thank you to post loudness. Thank you. You told me Noriega and to our producer Daniel kiplinger and to you for listening. Make sure you Ballo us on social media on Facebook and Twitter at BS, the podcast, make sure the comment, and like if the avenue that you're listening to this on allows you to do that shadow. All listen to it on the poetry foundation board say, and please please, please. You know, tell you friends holler at us on Twitter. Let us know what you think share with us. You know, you good recipes and make sure you look out for my water festival that I am working with fifty cent. Coming to a scam. You're you sometimes. W A T Y R. What's her? What's here? Watts. Here's you will shed. I still your money. Brennan, not even that these next cheese and crackers. All right, y'all. This joke has gone too far, and we will see.

Chicago United States Lake Michigan Milton Friedman Daniel Sheila Goto Illinois Michigan Daniel Brzezinski Minnesota officer national book award Wisconsin America Lake Michigan writer LA nit Rueda Wicklow les Gayus