On TeethMarks

Well, at least I am on point. I believe I did this interview around 2007. It concerns my second book, TeethMarks, published in 2004. The interview finally appeared in print in 2014. I just found this email in my trash. Why it seemed to drift to the top of my trash this week I have no idea. Here’s a snippet from the interview with Harvey L. Hix, collected in his book Uncoverage: Asking After Recent Poetry. You can download a pdf of the book.

HLH: If I may continue to frame things in terms of assumption of identity, is it fair to see the lines “how // many will die today so that we / can be hot and bored” as an explicit statement of a concern implicit throughout the book, that “we” (in the poem a specific couple, but in the book broadly we humans) assume our identities at the expense of others? Or is that putting too much (or the wrong) weight on those lines?

SQ: No, I don’t think that’s putting too much weight on those lines. At the risk of suffering what Teilhard de Chardin termed “compassion fatigue,” I prefer to factor in the full costs of decisions we humans make. We are having a tough time at the moment, globally, but it seems to me that this is a backlash that arose from so many years of refusing to acknowledge the cost of our actions—politically, socially, economically and creatively. I understand that we have to make decisions that are harmful, and I can make tough decisions, but I am largely offended by the lack of connection between the choices we make daily and the world that those choices end up creating. Again, choices. Creation. It’s a matter of consciousness for me.

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