In an effort to acquaint our readers with our contributors, we’ve been asking some questions. We corresponded with issue one contributor Amie Zimmerman, and here’s what she had to say.
RB How do you take your coffee?
AZ Black. It should taste like dirt and stay on my tongue for weeks.
RB Tell us about your new chapbook.
AZ It’s called Kelley Point, which is a small park just west of the loading docks on Marine Drive in North Portland. The park itself can be really seedy and the water may not be quote safe unquote, but it’s where the Columbia and Willamette Rivers converge and when I sit on the drift wood in the sand, there is magic there. Something about the confluence of those two rivers. On a clear day you can look down the river east and see Mount Hood clearly. Kelley Point is my stories of falling in and out of love in Portland, and with Portland itself. I’ve been here for twenty years, it’s a complicated marriage.
RB What was the hardest part of writing it?
AZ The hardest part is that I don’t know what I’m doing. I write, I try to bend the words, to find something divine, to actually say something true. Sometimes it works and I’m over the moon, a lot of times it doesn’t quite and I feel like a fraud. I had help with choosing and ordering, which I’d never done before since this is my first chapbook. And I’m so new to publishing, I’m likely to sprawl out all over and try to write a 200 page book for my first project if I didn’t have trusted friends telling me to breathe and just do what’s right in front of me to do.
RB Where can we but it?
AZ Folks can buy it through Powell’s. Here is the link:
RB What’s the last thing you burned?
AZ A marshmallow, right before I put that delicious fucker on some chocolate and a graham cracker and shoved it in my pie hole.
RB Where is your beach?
AZ Fairly literal answer: On the Oregon Coast, there is this tiny little town built into the side of a cliff. At the base of the cliff is a small tunnel. If it’s low tide, you can go through the tunnel to the beach on the other side. It’s full of rocks that the tide washes in, super smooth and piled up against the backs of the sea caves. When the waves lap and recede, it sounds like when you release the catch of the rack in Connect Four and all the discs come rushing out, because all the rocks are lifted just a little and then settle back down again when the water leaves. That beach is the beach for me.
RB What’s the best line on the fifth page of the poetry book closest to you?
AZ “You are Caliban
and Crusoe, perpetual stranger with a fork
in the socket of life’s livid grid,
stunned and bewildered at the frank
intrusion of the mosquito on the hairless
back of your hand.”
– Gregory Pardlo, “Marginalia”, from Digest
RB What is your favorite dance move? Please Describe.
AZ In salsa, there’s a move where your right arm is stretched out to meet your partner’s outstretched left. You spin your body inward, toward your own arm until not only your arm but your partner’s arm is wrapped around you and you’re nestled in the crook of their body. Then you fling outward and the uncoiling adds momentum until you are both stretched all the way and you can choose to snap off and disconnect or coil back in again. It feels That or the Cabbage Patch. It’s solid.
RB What’s the ebb reveal?
AZ I, no matter how sure I am of what will be revealed by the rolling back of the ebb tide, do not know.
Read Amie’s poem “When Preservation Area Is Just Another Word For Swamp” in REALITY BEACH ISSUE ONE.