DeWitt Brinson: Of these poems, which do you like the least?

William Burke: I have no use for any of them.  But seriously.  Poems are stupid places to locate preferences or taste.  Better to use them to wipe up shit or fingernail trimmings or spread contagions.  BTW, I recently saw the movie Attack the Block, and I loved it.       

DB: There are "electric outpours" and "spitting up" and a mother re-birthing, all additive, all coming from within the body to spill into this world. Is this view a statement of art or something else just as maternal?

WB: I'm told masturbation is a means of escape.  That it's trying to avoid feeling. Like pain or connection or isolation and miserable boredom. That it’s not actually maternal, except, possibly in my case.

DB: If you could remove one line from these poems, which would it be?

WB: There’s really nothing here to consider at this point. Please don’t dramaticize me or our relationship.  The other day I was very much struggling to not hang myself.  I tend to keep the weakest lines.  Failure is a kind of safety. 

DB: How do you write: standing, sitting, walking, lying down? In long bursts or short waves of writing?

WB: See response 3.  Or response 2.  or I rocka lota dead stuff outta my dead glittery pony bit cock. It's the tug.  

DB: Do you find the activity surrounding a poem greatly affects its gestation? Does the ability to conceive in different situations make change the species of the writer and the poem (species meaning not just the identity of the author at the time of conception but of the reader in their reception and perception)?

WB: See response 3.  Or the single biggest factor to influence a poem is whether I took a happy shit that morning.  Influence being what I then rub the poem back to death with. 

DB: Whom is your perfect reader? (If it's different for each poem, pick one.)

WB: Someone who is as cruel and selfish and lazy and erratic as a teenage boy.  Someone cauterized with deeply ambivalent attachments. 

DB: What kind of person would you not want to enjoy your work?

WB: A giggle is good, so is a slipped disc, but enjoyment?  See response 3.

DB: In your poems, what voice is speaking? Who is saying these things?

WB: A creature in pain that dissolves and reconstitutes itself in half utterances and faulty impressions.  That is half-heartedly addicted to porn and reads a lot of newspapers.  That cannot and will not learn to spell. 

DB: What do you like about your writing?

WB: Maybe you can tell me.  Otherwise see response 3. 

DB: Can you recommend a scent, a really beautiful olfactory treasure?

WB: Burnt cum.

william burke is a poet from Maine. his chapbook “The World is Full of Peasants” is available from Slash Pine Press. his work has appeared or will appear in Hot Metal Bridges, Witness, Shampoo and Boo: A Journal of Terrific Things.



interviewed by the tender, young, virile, writer DeWitt Brinson