DeWitt Brinson: What color is your mother's hair? And do you have a garden?

Ian Davisson: My mother had chestnut brown hair about halfway down her neck for most of my life. Then chemo took most all her hair and it grew back grey and thinner and she wears it short. I think she looks like a Swedish movie star.

I have a rubber plant. Hopefully I don’t kill it. It came with the house.

DB: Who's the oldest poet you love? (Oldest in the sense of the time they wrote in, not as in their actual age.)

ID: I’d want to say a living poet. She might love me back. Bernadette Mayer, will you love me back?

DB: Where do you write most often and what kind of things are around you when you write?

ID: I write mostly at a desk in my living room. It was Dorothea Lasky’s desk from childhood, and she wrote Awe on it. I didn’t know her that well, but I lived in a tiny room next door to her and she gave it to me when she moved from Philly to New York. I’ve got a vase that looks like a vagina and a green water jug. An Alice Notley broadside, “Translation of a Chinese Tribute to Jade,” is tacked to the wall in front of me. I also have a little faded picture of the Giverny gardens tacked beneath the broadside and a picture of the duck pond next to the Hitler Parade grounds in Nuremberg that I took during a big metal festival. Metallica. Slayer. You know. Unhappy ducks. A tiny demon mask from Puerto Rico. Comcast modem. A receipt for a bottle of wine that was 3.99. A bunch of CDs. Drawers full of shit. So much shit. Chinese take-out menu.

DB: Do you bike?

ID: Nope. Scared to.

DB: A buddy of mine once asked Richard Siken about his how he spaced his lines. He had a cool explanation that I don't remember. Something about heaven and earth and angels, maybe? Tell me about your line spacing using the words: heaven, earth, angels.

ID: In these poems I like to stretch a lot of lines way across the page. That’s earth. I don’t like doing prose poems, I just like making lines that go on forever. But I guess that’s the part of earth. The tiniest spacing with big stretches. Earth is full of shit, and it’s all rotting and that’s where new stuff grows from, so the rot is good. The rot just lounges. I think I’m gonna use stomach as an analogue for earth. Stomach or ass. That’s what my poem probably supposes anyways. Maybe the long lines digest, or get achey. I’m gonna confuse myself. But when a line stretches like that it reminds me of the shit. Being on earth. Masturbating. Eating too much Chinese food.

When stuff starts breaking up on the page, that’s the angels, growing out of the shit. Sometimes I starve myself for periods of time, and those times I put all my attention on my tingling lips and throat. Usually I do it when I’m getting to know new people. I’m the most in tune when I’m hungry. Get the jitters. Stuff comes out in spurts. Other voices. Half of this poem I wrote while having a panic attack after some role-playing sex where I asked a girl to pretend to be a person who abused me when I was a kid. I started talking to her in the voice of her dead childhood friend. Trying to console her. Bad date, I have to say. (I think I could have just talked about Bakhtin here and come across a lot less weird…) Anyhow, angel lines are extra voices, other spirits or something like that. Past lives. I don’t know. And they fly around the page.

Heaven is the page. The face. The eyes. Based on these pages, heaven is bloated and top-heavy and probably needs stomach stapling surgery and a good analyst. Heaven is full of shit and angels and that’s about it.

DB: Do you have acid reflux? If so, I have tips.

ID: Nope, but when I used to get panic attacks I would spray essence of bach flowers down my throat to calm me down. It’s like reverse acid reflux.

DB: Do you write more often when you're happy, sad, or some other emotion/mixture of emotions?

ID: Sadness is best, panic second. I do my best work in small rooms that I live in without internet or cable or many books. Just a mattress on the floor and me. I can only handle that for about six months, though. Lots of heartbreak and freakouts.

DB: My favorite word in these poems is "hipboning." My favorite line is "in my throat can stop it" and my favorite poem is the one with milk in it. Now you.



-“of     swear of it      i swear it out of me”

-The opener.

DB: Take a poem you've written recently that was horrible and quote a line from it.

ID: “peachy little fuck you”

DB: Would you rather be respected by someone or loved?

ID: I know I’m gonna get this question wrong. I want to be loved. Even if it’s fucking awful. And I’d like to formally apologize to all my therapists who never could convince me otherwise.



interviewed by the tender, young, virile writer

DeWitt Brinson

Ian Davisson was born in Georgia and currently lives in Philadelphia. His work examines panic attacks, child sex abuse, and true love. Some new work is available online at He has baby fever. He wants to be your boyfriend. He’ll love you forever. He promises.