Interview with Mira Gonzalez

MIRA GONZALEZ

MIRA GONZALEZ

MIRA GONZALEZ

the main purpose of the heart is to make heart

sounds

the next time you are driving your car
you will think about that day we had sex in my dad’s bed
when the bright sun was shining on us through white curtains
and we felt comforted by the inevitability of death
I know sometimes late at night we share the same thoughts
we think that we only have free will when we are alone
and that we don’t want to become better people
the newspaper said that the sun erupted tuesday evening
and that the higgs boson particle created a ripple in the space time
continuum
and that beer is good for you

I will touch your face using my entire body
and we will recall a specific warm morning
when we felt numbness in the space between atoms
and our mouths tasted like the unattainable closeness of years prior

What started you writing poetry? How long have you been writing for?

– i think i first started writing poetry in my first year of high school, when i just started dating my first boyfriend and was having lots of feelings, as most high schoolers do. i’ve been writing for as long as i could write though.

What themes did you use to write about when you began, and how has this changed?

– as a child i wrote a lot of horror stories. like, really insanely graphic sad stories. i don’t know why, my childhood was fine. i wasn’t like, disturbed or anything. i don’t write horror stories anymore. i also used to write things in third person but now i mostly write in first person.

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Are there any topics you would like to write about more, or that peak your interest most?

– i mostly write about personal experience, so yeah, i hope i have some more personal experiences soon that are worth writing about.

Apart from poetry, do you write in other genres, and if so, are you working on any upcoming projects?

– i’ve been working on an essay collection for a long time. i still am. its taken forever because it’s a format i’m not used to. i hope to work in other formats in the future. the content has remained mostly the same as what i write poems about though.

How do you describe your personal style of poetry?

– honestly, i have no idea. i have a hard time separating the poetry from anything else about me. it’s just my inner monologue edited into something i feel proud to show other people.

 

How do you describe your writing process?

– 20% writing and 80% editing

What role does the world around you play in your writing?

Do socio-economic news and current conflicts appear on your work?

– only insomuch as they effect my own life. not that i don’t find current politics interesting, but what i write about generally is my own life on a deeply personal and subjective level. i am not skilled in writing about larger scale events unless i’m just writing about the way they effect me personally.

Which writers have influenced you? Books you recommend?

– the biggest influence on my poetry i can think of was the book ‘refusing heaven’ by jack gilbert. murakami was another big influence on me. i read his books in my teens and that is what influenced me to edit my writing into something i wanted other people to read.

other authors i like: joy williams, anne beattie, catherine lacey, lorrie moore, jean rhys, fredrick barthelme, fernando pessoa, matthew rohrer

there are countless others i am just forgetting to name right now

What kind of poetry do you prefer, is there a specific style you enjoy reading most?

– honestly, when i sit down to read a book, poetry is almost never my first choice. i prefer novels and short stories. that said, i do love poetry, of course. generally the kind of poetry i like has very concrete language, very few metaphors

What influence has poetry had in your life?

– writing poetry has been incredibly cathartic and helpful in my own life, and reading poetry influences me to write poetry. so all around i think poetry has been really positive for me.

Is there anything else you would rather be than a poet?

– maybe like a brain surgeon or something

Tell us about an anecdote or milestone, a memory in your life that happened because of poetry…

– one time i got to read with eileen myles and kim gordon, which was just unbelievably cool. one time i got broken up with for writing a poem about a guy i was dating.

What are your current goals or projects?

– currently i am working on releasing my next book, Selected Tweets, which i co-authored with tao lin. it is a book of edited selections from every twitter account i’ve ever had. i am very proud of it and so excited for it to become public.

Are you currently involved with poetry collectives, or currently collaborating with fellow poets, and if so, could you tell us more about it?

– i do terribly with collaboration. i spend most of my time alone and do all of my writing alone. even in my book with tao, i wrote my half of the book alone and he wrote his half of the book alone. i would love to do more collaborations in the future, but it’s really hard for me. writing poetry is a deeply private experience for me

Is there any quote or message you’d like to include or is there anything you’d like to share with our readers?

– theres nothing wrong with doing all your best work supine in bed.

Links where people can follow your work

twitter.com/miragonz

miratortilla.tumblr.com

A selection of poems by Mira Gonzalez:

symbolic interactionism

people walk from one destination to another
with looks of determination on their faces
they stare at me
and they say ‘where the fuck are you going’
I say ‘I am going to a place’
they say ‘fuck you’
and I have an intense feeling of being a pathetic asshole
and that feeling manifests itself in the form of frantic unrestrained
movement
I begin to realize that my face will never be inside of your face
and that we can silently communicate using a series of microscopic
gestures
and we will understand that the phrase ‘alone together’ is not an
oxymoron anymore
and I will resolve to never be happy enough to forgive you
and I promise that from now on I will only have emotions that can be
perceived as neutral
I wonder how it is possible that there are billions of people in the world
yet I am the only person on the planet.

me having to say anything

do you remember that dream I had
where my fingers touched your fingers
and we came to understand that our hands were capable of
expressing complex emotions as separate entities from our bodies
could you just put your mouth on my mouth next time you talk
I have been trained through operant conditioning
to react negatively to romantic emotional stimulus
now I feel comfort because your brain
is encased in a skull a few miles away from here
I’m sorry
saying words that have positive connotations
will cause catastrophic weather patterns
I am severely delusional and I have poor impulse control
it’s fine, I’m good
now look at my face and tell me
that my physical presence in the world
has caused you to experience extreme disequilibrium
are you able to confirm my existence
in a strictly biological sense
wait, no
will you just hold on for one second
I have to hide under my bed for two years

today my alarm went off at 12:30 pm

I stayed in bed for over an hour
looked at things on my phone
I felt slightly anxious about nothing particular
I walked downstairs and poured coffee into a jar
I asked a person on the internet if I should take drugs
I took drugs before the person had time to respond
I feel alienated by people who express concern about me without
defining their concern in terms of a specific solution or goal
I dont feel comforted by the idea of an afterlife
I dont want to continue experiencing things after I die
I want someone to pull my hair because I like the idea of someone
controlling my head without touching my head
what is the difference between being an independent person
and being a person who is accepting of loneliness

(Thank you, Mira).

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