interviewed by the tender, young, virile writer

DeWitt Brinson

DeWitt Brinson: What are you?

Colleen Barry: An American singer and songwriter who, in the course of her work with Fleetwood Mac and her extensive solo career, has produced over forty Top 50 hits and sold over 140 million albums, and was deemed "The Reigning Queen of Rock and Roll" and one of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" by Rolling Stone, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. 

DB: How do you combine yourself with this world?

CB: You put de lime in de coconut, you drink em bot'up. 

DB: When you open up, how do you hide?

CB: I can't tell you this. I am hiding right now. 

DB: Where can't you seem to get to and how far inside of yourself is the answer?

CB: The conditions of a homogeneous environment are often approximated to but rarely ever realized. Crystal growth always involves some form of transport of matter or heat or both. 

Thus, the crystal face must grow as a whole. The growth rate of the entire face is determined by the driving force which is supersaturation at the point of emergence of the predominant point of growth (e.g. a dislocation, a foreign particle acting as catalyst, or crystal twin). The defect-free habit face can thus resist a finite level of supersaturation without any growth at all.

In the growth of a perfect crystal, the first derivative of the free energy with respect to mass becomes periodically undefinable — at each time that an additional layer on the crystal face is completed. There is discontinuity in the chemical potential at each such point.

In one sense, the crystal can then be in equilibrium with environments having a range of chemical potentials. In another sense, it is not in equilibrium. There are available states of lower free energy. But any free energy barrier must be passed by a fluctuation, or nucleation process, in order to access it. The fundamental thermodynamic effect of a screw dislocation is to eliminate this discontinuity in the chemical potential, by making it impossible to ever complete a single crystal face.

DB: How was Louise born?

CB: During a squall, on a mad red sea, W. Whitman gave birth to Louise. She rode a white horse shortly thereafter, she ate a cloud. It was her first solid food. 

DB: How has she become more obscure?

CB: Louise cleaves. More and more I interact with her through a tracing paper curtain, more and more she seems to develcro from what I believe she is and it is always me. Louise obscures into me.

DB: It is night. A small wind pukes on your hair. Your hair fights back. Why do you decide to befriend a turtle?

CB: There is absolutely no reason on this earth that I would not befriend a turtle. 

DB: Is the difference between poetry and reality?

CB: Is the difference between giving a present and being a child? Is the difference between having two eyes and being the moon? Is the difference silence? Is the difference meaning? Is the difference between myself and myself my other self? Is the difference between red and blue clear? Is the difference inside and outside? Is the difference a slice?

DB: Close your eyes. Picture a windowless room. Write about the outside.

CB: Repetition of riot of shape and color. Boldness. Old shoes with rubber mouths. Turkey crossings. Leaf peeping. Extreme choice as demand. Smell smacks a new memory. Some legs touching other legs and minutely rubber. Shadows move with the sound of a passing car. A leg crushes a blue bug and no one knows. A fern arches like the eyebrow of the whole universe and more. The design of a beer shines in a porch light. Grace of sleeping deer. Dew. Impossibly smooth banana pudding.  

DB: What is your inspiration? Explain in a simple way and then in a way no one but you could ever understand.

CB: I feel like I lift my pinky and inside of it : transverse orientation, helplessness, the process of the organization of visual information into language, feeling, and the other thing.  


Colleen Louise Barry's chapbook of poems and drawings is Sunburn / Freezer Burn (smoking glue gun 2014). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in H_NGM_N, Ilk, Everyday Genius, Coconut, Interrupture, and others. She is an MFA candidate at UMass Amherst where she also teaches. Her weekly comic, The Nervous System, is posted every Monday at Route 9 Literary Magazine. She is the Managing Editor of Slope Editions.