Bridget Eileen Answers Our Questionnaire!


What is your beverage of choice?

Cliche schmichme, the truth of the matter is: red wine.

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

606 Ellis St Apt D is a real place that my Gramma Eileen used to live in, in Little Saigon, San Francisco. I only visited once. It was a open-space studio basement apartment in a little bungalow house surrounded by the growing skyscrapers of the neighborhood. I set the “Speaker of the Poem,” as we call it, in that apartment. He is cornered off in the front section in a sleeper sofa and a 3 panel privacy screen. He is living with his uncle after taking off from his hometown in the suburbs of Boston, eschewing all the post-graduation expectations he had and instead runs away to be a rock star in California. He’s also doing the typical rock star wannabe thing by getting into drugs, too. In the corner of the basement he’s thinking about San Francisco and Boston, reading Allen Ginsberg (the black and white pocket editions) and maybe seeing himself from a distance as the cliche he seems to be becoming. The structure of the poem was modeled after Rimbaud’s “Childhood” section V, as translated by Wallace Fowlie. By structure, I mean, part-of-speech by part-of-speech, I took what was written in the prose poem and inserted new words. For example, “I am sad” would be “They were tall.” The structure of “[pronoun] [verb] [adjective]” is the same, all the words are changed. It jumbles up your usual way of doing things and generates things you didn’t even realize were lurking in you. The trick is to go back and revise as you will, without worrying about keeping the structure, since that wasn’t the “point” so much as the “means.” I cannot tell you how much fun it is to do this as an exercise in writing.

What is your typical writing process?

I am all over the place. I think because I’m a rare, super extroverted poet, I knew I wouldn’t be the type to desire a quiet corner of my bedroom. I knew I’d have to operate in all kinds of circumstances, public and private. So, actual writing happens anywhere, lunch time at the office, before bed, upon waking, while walking around, whatever. I always have way too many notebooks going at once as a result. I almost always hand write my poems first. I need that kinetic action of doing so. Sometimes I’ll just go straight to typing, but that’s usually only if I’m doing some sort of poem-a-day thing. My handwriting is kind of part of the art of making the poem because my writing is “artsy” and part of the experience of the poem when I look back on them as a reader. This method of creating is really disorganized. Sometimes I’ll get in a groove though and look through notebooks, flag the pages that have poems, and type them up. Then I print and play with editing and putting them in either working manuscripts or new ones.

If you had a talk show, what would the name be?

Talking Today. Just kidding, that’s an inside joke with my friends from growing up, many of whom I still talk to today. We had a fake talk show that we’d “tape” called “Talking Today.” We would gossip about other 8th grade girls we didn’t like (mostly because they were mean to us and we were smart nerds) and play pop songs we recorded off the radio. Ha.

For real, Vintage Bridge which is also the name of the style blog I run.

Do you have any home remedies for loneliness?

Television. I love love love mysteries. I’m such a granny that way.

What have you conquered recently?

My doubt that I could still do flips off of a diving board, even though I’m a woman who’s two years away from age 40. I did, like, 6 of them off this diving board on a dock on a lake up in New Hampshire, at the behest of all my friends’ lovey dovey little kids. “DO it! DO it!” So I did!

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

Let the Bucket Down Issue 3 eidted by Joseph Torra is for sale on Amazon. I have a bunch of poems in that. Joe is the best and that issue has some realllly good poets in it: Jim Behrle, Jess Mynes, Suzanne Mercury, Ruth Lepson, Joel Sloman, Audrey Mardavich, Amanda Cook, plus Fanny Howe, Bill Corbett and an amazing interview with Gerrit Lansing. I feel so happy that I’m in the same book as all those great writers.

What motivates you?

Hm. Depends on what the thing is. For writing in general, it’s just what I have always done. I have kept a journal since 5th grade (and I still have them all!) What motivates me to write my style blog is because I know there’s a need out for body positive, sex positive models out there, who are “typical” size human females. I wear a size 14 dress. We’re not often represented in fashion media. “Plus size” is usually on the larger size, like size 18 or bigger. Mass media usually has women size 6 or smaller. I run the blog for that sweet spot of size 8 to 16 women who are looking for inspiration for outfits, especially with a vintage, sexy, feminine flair and on a budget. What motivates me to do poetry is that I’m a poet. A tautological answer and cheeky at that, but it is what it is.

Any upcoming projects?

The manuscript that 606 Ellis St comes from has had a bunch of other poems published, too. I have been working on it for ten years and it’s almost done. I’m going to work really hard to get that baby seen by the world, already, dagnamit.

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

The cool aunt who enriches your life by making you think about the metaphorical. Excellent question, by the way!

Make sure to check out Bridget’s poem in Issue Two!