Ashley Opheim Answers The Questionnaire!


What is your beverage of choice?

Purified water and whiskey sours.

Tell us a little bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.

“Legend” is a poem about a boy who was very special to me. I ended leaving my boyfriend of four years to explore a relationship with this guy. It was 2012, the presumed end of the World. It was the summer of the Maple Spring student revolution in Montreal. It was the year I graduated from my undergrad in Creative Writing. It was my ‘fuck it’ year, where I racked up a shit ton of debt on my credit card and sort of set my self ‘free’ to the whims of the world. It was a wild time.

My relationship with this guy only lasted a couple months. At the end of our relationship, we ended up in this bizarre situation where we were on a private train tour across Canada with Skrillex and a bunch of other musicians [Full Flex Express Tour] for something like 10 days or something. We travelled from Montreal to Vancouver together in this closed-circuit of the train, all while falling out with one another. It was awkward and painful and heart-breaking. So this poem is about that trip and that feeling of knowing that something is over and broken between you and someone you care about, and the pain of having to discover your self as a separate entity again, and again, and again—even in the presence of that very person you are separating from.

What is your typical writing process?

Feeling and experience comes first. I use the notes I take on my iPhone and the things I tweet as starting points for my poems. I’ll usually test out new pieces at readings, and edit them according to that experience.

Do you have any home remedies for loneliness?

Montreal is such a transient city, so I have had dozens of important people in my life come and go over the 8 years I’ve lived here. I have had many moments of feeling lonely and alone. The best cure for loneliness is to try your best to accept it as being a part of life. We all feel lonely and will feel lonely our entire lives, so why not try and find peace with that? Loneliness, for me, is an opportunity to connect with my self. I like to go for walks and look at the trees when I feel lonely. I like to do nice things for myself, like buy my self a new book or get a manicure or an overpriced smoothie or something. I also often use loneliness as a means to connect with those who I may be missing—send a text or email and remind them that I love and miss them.

What have you conquered recently?

Too much. Not enough.

Where can we buy more of your work (if applicable)?

You can buy my debut collection of poetry, I Am Here, via Metatron. You can also purchase The 4 Poets, THE YOLO PAGES or MACRO, where my work also appears.

What motivates you?

Love. Friendship. Freedom. Transformation. Productivity. Expression. Connection. Power. Evolution. Fun.

Any upcoming projects?

I have a new book of poetry called Ambient Technology + the Iridescent Glitch, which I’m currently shopping around with publishers. I have also been writing a script for a virtual reality project with my friend Paloma Dawkins called The Museum of Symmetry for The National Film Board of Canada. Also, Metatron has a ton of new books coming out over the next year and beyond.

If Earth is a mother, and Time is a father, then what is Art?

Art is a unicorn.

Be sure to read Ashley’s work in Issue Two!