Denise Jarrott Answers Our Questions

Reality Beach Issue Six Contributor Denise Jarrott answers a brief questionnaire by Jordan Hoxsie and Adam Tedesco.

What is your favorite breakfast food?

Buttermilk pancakes 

Tell us a bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.

These two poems were both from a time in my life when I felt vulnerable, the people who provoked that vulnerability, and the images that opened me. the germ of “blume” began when I was given chrysanthemum tea one evening, and I couldn’t take my eyes off the way the single flower opened in the hot water. that’s a little how my heartfelt at the time: a dry and brittle thing mimicking the gesture of opening.  “cyanosis” was born from my obsession that winter with disease, and the fact that blood is blue unless it is oxygenated. 

What is your creative process?

 I consider writing to be something of an indulgence—a bad habit I don’t intend to break. I’m not disciplined at all, though lately I’m being forced into the habit of scheduling writing time for myself. I often try to steal moments—writing in my notes app on the subway or scribbling physical notes on little bits of paper to revisit later. 

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

 I think being at the end of the universe is a privilege in and of itself.

What is your favorite part about being human?

I think there are so many things to discover and be curious about, and recognizing that same curiosity and desire to know things in others, and to realize that there is so much we don’t know, that’s the most human thing to me. (Can you tell I’m also an aspiring librarian?)

What do you rule over?

This is a funny question, but I think the only thing I can control is how I feel about myself. It’s a process. 

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

I think that there has to be much more of an effort to support working class artists, of which  I consider myself to be of their number. Ending nepotism in the poetry community, and recognizing hard work and passion when you see it. 

As far as my own work is concerned, my full-length book, NYMPH, came out from Vegetarian Alcoholic Press last year. The editor, Freddy LaForce, is the hardest working small press editor out there. He sacrifices so much to keep it running, and the books he puts into the world are so diverse. Supporting this press and other small presses is so key. 

What if everyone’s dreams came true at once? 

I’m wondering if the fabric of the universe would hold.

Anything coming up in the near future?

My chapbook, Herbarium is coming out soon from a great new press, Sorority Mansion. It’s hand collaged and absolutely gorgeously designed. It’s a limited run of 50 copies.

Who is your alter ego?

I have several, and if I told you, they wouldn’t be very useful alter egos, would they?