:: Buzzwords

Five for: Aleathia Drehmer


1) You’ve been making the rounds on the cyber-print poetry circuit for quite a time now – I’m gonna start with one of the most clichéd questions in the history of clichéd questions: why do you write?
Oh…could I answer with the usually “because I have to” line? Ha. I think I used that once when I really had not thought about why I write and it seemed like a valid answer at the time though not very heartfelt. Having had some more time to really contemplate why I write, I would have to say I do it for the interpersonal connection. I really enjoy taking something from my world and converting it to words and images that might touch someone else in a completely different part of the country or on another continent and have that moment of emotional connection. I live for that. I live to tell other writers those things when they touch me. I think in this day and age we have so much opportunity to get disconnected from each other and from intimacy and the human condition, that we need writing to step it up and bring us closer. I write for that reason. I write because my father used to write and sometimes I feel like it is my only real connection with him as we tend to be estranged most of the time. And yes, I write sometimes just because “I have to”.

2) If you had the choice of choosing any famous, or infamous, film-director to adapt one of your poems for the screen (a la The Monkey’s Mask), which director would you choose and what poem would you give them?
I would have to say I would use my poem called ‘Lost Season’. It is written as if it were a version of novena and those who are Catholic know this is a nine day prayer. Obviously this poem isn’t a prayer at its essence, but it has nine small parts that are all interconnected and forward moving from the last. I think it would make for a good set of interesting vignettes. As for a director, I found this a bit harder to choose. If you would have asked me ten years ago I could have had any number of directors on my tongue as I lived and breathed movies and the poem would have been the hard part. In the end, I chose Ingmar Bergman in the Wild Strawberries sort of vein. I think his ability to command a silent performance from an actor’s face was amazing and his pictures were never visually disappointing. I think poems need to have that too…some level of visual appetite for the reader.

3) How is your surname pronounced?
Well to start, Drehmer is my married name, but the only name that I have done any real publishing under. You would say it “Dreh” – as in Dr. Dre and “mer” –as in mermaid. I am presently in the process of divorcing, but will be keeping this as my publishing name. My maiden name was LeBlond and I had only a handful of poems and stories published under that name in college.

4) I love Durable Goods – especially the children’s issue. What other stuff do you have going on that I should know about?
Oh, Durable Goods has some great stuff coming up. I have a collaboration issue in the works as well as a series of translations. I plan on having three bi-lingual writers whom I’ve published previously translate a poem into their native language of three writers I have not published yet. I am really excited about that one. I do have another children’s issue coming up in June.

It has been on the down low a bit because I had other projects I was focusing on, but I am still a co-editor at Zygote in my Coffee. I recently took the online section over again in the capacity of layout and I will be soon editing my own section of submissions this spring. Back in the early years of Zygote, Brian Fugett had a section called “Altered States of Consciousness” which featured poetry that was on the fringe or maybe experimental from what everyone else was doing and publishing at the time. That only lasted about 7 or so issues. I am bringing that idea back but with a twist. I am going to shorten it to “Altered States” and I will be publishing micro and flash fiction that is anywhere from surreal to absurd. I really want to find work that makes people scratch their heads.

Also, in the Spring I have a flipbook coming out with my first full collection of poetry from Tainted Coffee Press. It is called Empty Spaces and the other half of the book will contain Dan Provost‘s collection called A Quiet Learning Curve. I also have a book in the works with Rank Stranger Press out of North Carolina, but I am unsure of the drop date on that, but keep your eyes posted.

5) Is the night still “as murky as crude oil” for you?
This made me laugh instantly, because it sounds like something dramatic I would say, but for the life of me….I can’t place it. It was most likely written at night. I am a night owl by birth having been born at quarter past midnight. Most of my editing and production energy happens in the wee hours of the night/morning, but my creativity and writing happen in the mid-morning. When my daughter went to school I began to use my time more wisely and take advantage of the utter silence in the house, which I adore for writing. So yes…the night is still murky and it is just the way I like it.

First posted: Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010.

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