interviewed by the tender, young, virile writer

DeWitt Brinson

DeWitt Brinson: I read these poems as the best way to explain humanity to computers after they inevitably takeover and have to decide whether to keep us. Why do I read them that way?

Lindsey Webb: One must, I think, read everything that way. 

DB: What is the role of a poet after inflicting a poem upon the world? Is it only as a figurehead, as a creator of a thing or is it more complex than that?

LW: War criminal. Jukebox.

DB: If you could be only your body or only your head, which would you be and why would it ever come to that choice (best case scenario)?

LW: Given any flexibility in policy I’d be my body, though only at mealtimes.

DB: What's a personal, private secret that you tell everyone you ever meet anyway?

LW: I would have been some lawyer.

DB: How do your dreams coordinate with your life? How does your life impact your dreams?

LW: Like memory there is no narrative in dreams, though there are events. 

DB: Clench your fists as hard as you can for one whole minute. Now write a haiku to your ancestors.

LW: Okay where’s / my blood /

DB: Cowboys, Butterflies, Cancelled TV Shows on NetFlix. Now you:

LW: My childhood as a series of brightly colored plastic coverings, rotund, flexible to the touch.

DB: Do you see your poems as different parts of yourself or the world? or as a connection between those? or as another kind of thing?

LW: My poems are almost all accidents. They are sensitive when I wake them in the morning. When I took them to the rodeo, they brought their capguns and frightened the horses. They gave me a real pearl necklace for my birthday. Occasionally, we gossip about our mutual friends. We greet each other warmly in the grocery store.

DB: Is the process of writing more important than the product for you? Or do you feel writing is a necessary evil to achieve poetry? Or are you generally satisfied with both parts?

LW: “…At the first time when thou dost [travail], thou findest but a darkness; and as it were a cloud of unknowing, thou knowest not what, saving that thou feelest in thy will a naked intent…”

DB: Talk a little bit about what excited you in your current writing. What you're doing, what new ideas you're working with. Talk about your journey.

LW: Because I am weak, nouns currently excite me—though I’m transitioning slowly to verbs. I’m afraid I’m too young to have had any journey worth mentioning.


Lindsey Webb's work can be found / is forthcoming from H_NGM_N, Jellyfish, inter|rupture, and likewise folio. She co-edits elsewhere, a journal of prose and prose poetry. She'll begin her MFA in poetry at University of Massachusetts Amherst this fall.