ANTHONY ROBINSON ANSWERS THE QUESTIONNAIRE

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How do you take your coffee?

With some sugar and with some half-and-half. But I’ll drink it black. Or with just sugar. But not with just half-and-half.


Tell us a little about the experience of making the work you have featured in REALITY BEACH.

These poems are from and unpublished manuscript called “On the Factorization of Very Large Numbers.” They were written during a very sad winter. All of my poems, like these, are for my daughter, Ellis Ruth.

Tell us about the poems you’ve been writing.

Lately, I’ve been writing poems that make me very uncomfortable because they seem very conventional–prosey narratives. They embarrass me. I call them my “workshop poems” but they’ve never seen a workshop. I don’t know why I’m writing them. Penance for being a terrible person, probably.

What’s the last thing you burned?

Wood. Or marijuana.

Where is your beach?

My beach is the beach beneath the Heceta Head lighthouse, a few miles north of Florence, Oregon, where I was born 43 years ago, and where I haven’t managed to move very far away from. The whole area was called, when I was a child, “Devil’s Elbow,” but I don’t know if they call it that now. It’s a very small beach, rather ugly, but with a couple of huge rocks, standing monument-like just off the shore. There are tide pools there too. There are fir trees and an old massive trestle over which the road to the beach passes. Just a few miles south, on the other side of the road is a “wildlife refuge” that is home to thousands of specimens of Darlingtonia Californica, a carnivorous plant that for some reason only grows on this one small piece of land in Oregon. You can look at them here.

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What’s the best line on the fifth page of the poetry book closest to you?

They call me bird-girl, parrot girl and worth
The time of any bird; my vault a cage,
My cage a song, my song seal,
And I can steal an unburnt lock of hair
To weave a window there.

That’s five lines. It’s on page 5 of the Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer.
The poem is “A Girl’s Song.”

What is your favorite dance move? Please Describe.

When the Sufis spin really fast.

What’s the ebb reveal?

Jellyfish, right? And driftwood.

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