Bruce is a regular animus figure in my dreams. Often in these dreams we're traveling together. Sometimes we meet at Dunkin Donuts. One time he was present when I birthed a baby in my bedroom. Another time Bruce was my boyfriend and dressed very nicely. We were walking around, holding hands, like people in love often do, when suddenly Bruce was eating pizza and dressed like a slob. I told him it was over as I walked away.
Bruce Covey is Lecturer of Creative Writing at Emory University in Atlanta, where he edits Coconut. He is the author of The Greek Gods as Telephone Wires and Ten Pins, Ten Frames, both from Front Room Publishers (New Haven), and Elapsing Speedway Organism and the forthcoming Glass Is Really a Liquid, both from No Tell Books. His recent poems appear in MiPOesias, Columbia Poetry Review, Verse, Jacket, Parcel, and many other fine journals.
Reb: Elapsing Speedway Organism. What the hell is that supposed to mean and why should anyone care?
Bruce: Hmmm, let's see. I'm not quite sure how to answer, so I've listed five possible responses below.
A. Elapsing—the passing of time. Speedway—a place in which cars race. Organism—a life form. Everyone cares about words!
B. "Elapsing" is an abstract gerund involving time. "Speedway" is a specific noun (although in this case it's an adjective) involving space. "Organism" stands for the life within that space/time, thus implying sequence & narrative. Who wouldn't care about time & space & life?
C. Elapsing: As opposed to a lap-dance, a lap-sing? Speedway: The route one's noble horse travels? Organism: Often misread as "orgasm." Need I comment on the popularity of orgasms?
D. Gnisp Ale spelled backwards. Yaw deeps spelled backwards. Missing groan spelled sideways. Any reflective reader knows the importance of looking backwards.
E. The title contains three of my favorite words. Don't you have a book called Your Ten Favorite Words? & how come there are like 30 different words on the cover? 30 is more than 10.
Reb: As a busy mom, I limit my son's processed sugar intake. Your poems are full of sugary desserts. I don't approve. Convince me your poems won't rot my boy's teeth.
Bruce: A. My poems are about more than sugary desserts!!! There are hamburgers, turnips, bitter melons, pumpkins, milk, bananas, coffee, oranges, carrots, lettuce, celery, potatoes, lobsters, bread, lemonade, blueberries, and all sorts of breakfast foods!!!
B. In the words of Milo of The Descendents, "Eating is believing!" Another band I love, Cibo Matto, said the food imagery in their songs was a metaphor for sex, although I don't consciously use metaphors. Their band name means "crazy food" in Italian.
C. I'm not sure why your busy schedule affects the parameters of your son's diet. Don't most busy parents feed their children more processed food?
D. I've met your son, by the way. He's adorable! Does he like hamburgers and turnips and bitter melons and pumpkins and milk and bananas and coffee and oranges and carrots and lettuce and celery and potatoes and lobsters and bread and lemonade and blueberries and all sorts of breakfast foods? Elapsing Speedway Organism is dedicated to my two daughters. My younger daughter loves lobster!
E. Isn't one of the sections of Your Ten Favorite Words called "Unsweet and Looking for a Fix"? Does this mean, as poets, you and I are complementary?
Reb: When are you going to ditch poetry and write something people want to read?
Bruce Covey: Didn't I tell you that I'm also secretly Nora Roberts? Or was it Danielle Steele?