Curtis Emery Responds To The Questionnaire!


What is your favorite breakfast food?

I usually don’t eat breakfast, or much food before 6 p.m., but if I am not working and have money I can always go for a breakfast sandwich. On weekends I like to get this massive breakfast sandwich called “The Barnyard” from a local coffee place in Lowell, MA–it is enough food to tide me over for most of a day.

Tell us a bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.

“Earthworm Oracle (pt.II)” is a follow up poem to a piece that came out in ELDERLY earlier this summer. It is a celebration of imagination and anxiety and the chaos of projection. It, and by extension the first poem, comes from a moment of dissociation. A violent moment of beauty which forced my brain to fill in unexplored spaces in the natural world around me. I am currently obsessed with preparing a mystical narrative for my personal landscape.

“Genital Nest Bird Proxy” is moment where I am able to consider emotional landscape. I am troubleshooting sexuality, I am troubleshooting space–I am embracing queerness and the pain of discovery. Does it work? I am not sure, but maybe that is the process.

“Slow Mouth” is an experiment with language and spacing. This poem demands to be read a certain way. White space as speed bumps; assonance as lubrication. It is a part of a personal project of mine where I beg pragmatism to unlock some creative truth for me. It is ongoing.

“The Maple and I Share a Brain–I Burn Too Yes Yes” is a marriage of two of my favorite things: New England Autumn and repetition. Repetition lends itself to the mythology of season. Seasons lend themselves to the purpose of repetition. Purpose, as an Idea, lends itself to my own uncertainties, which I color with repetition and the imaginative fury of the natural world.

What is your creative process?

My creative process is fairly basic but always evolving. I have been taking pictures of what is directly in front of me wherever I plant myself to write. I like this; I enjoy framing the space around me. Creation is a process of centering for me. Anything I can do to manage myself while writing or reading is an important exercise for me–these exercises are always changing.

Where would you like to be at the end of the universe?

At the end of the universe is the most beautiful flower I have ever seen. When I eat it I am overwhelmed by so many histories; left at the mercy of imagination in absolute silence and it is so wonderful.

What is your favorite part about being human?

My favorite part of being human is writing poetry.

What do you rule over?

I rule over the nightstand next to my bed. My room is a mess. My car is a mess. My cubicle is a mess. My nightstand is organized just the way I like it. I love being able to reach over with my eyes closed and find a drink of water or beer or find my glasses without a second thought.

How can we support you and buy more of your work?

You can support me by reading as many poets, online or on paper, as you can. I don’t have any forthcoming books or chaps (although I wish), so I have nothing to sell, but I know there are a multitude of other poets like me out there trying to share their truth and we could all use some love.

What is your daily motivation?

My daily motivation is having a cigarette after I get home from work. My current job is so far removed from literature that it drives me nuts so having a ritual when I get to come back to my own space is very important to me.

Anything coming up in the near future?

I am writing like crazy so I am hoping something is coming up in the near future.

Who is your alter ego?

My alter ego is the Brazilian Pygmy Gecko. I love those little things. Look them up they are so small. They can walk on water and the smallest incidents can throw them into moments of complete chaos.

Be sure to read Curtis’s four poems in Issue Three!