interviewed by the tender, young, virile writer

DeWitt Brinson

DeWitt Brinson: Have you ever left a poem out in the rain? If yes, talk about it. If no, write a poem on a piece of paper and flush it down the toilet.

Annie Won: i am lying down with a yoga block under my belly and my eyes are closed. sometimes i move, but most times i stay still. minutes pass and they feel like hours. inside it is wet and damp and cold. everywhere it is pouring. some folks would call this torture. medicine for the body is much like a raccoon sorting through the trash. digestion will follow.

DB: What is the difference between the creation of a poem and its reading? And what of its rereading?

Annie Won: receptivity changes. the mind recalibrates.

it is important to notice. or to notice whether one is noticing. sometimes the body is in tune. sometimes not.

DB: Would you call the act of reading words and looking at a picture beside those words—ostensibly related— a kind of tension? And why is it important to name these things or is it not?

Annie Won: i don't like naming things. naming them gives them a ghost who follows them around. the picture is much like a ghost following the words around who would like to be named. the words would like a body and so would the ghost. who generated the ghost is worth consideration. whether we like our ghosts is something we should ask ourselves more often. either way, they've always been there. 

 DB: What part of a page feels the strongest to write on? In what position is the submissive part of the page?

Annie Won: wherever my internal compass points. take it to bed, and point it at your head. sorry, that's another chapbook.

Put both hands over your eyes and try to imagine someone kissing you as pieces of their body fall off. Now write a question you would want someone watching this happen to ask you.

Annie Won: why are you dating her and not me?

disintegration sometimes feels so personal. i imagine the counterpoint to having a body is not having one. it's haunting not to have one. i feel all of us are looking to find our bodies. it haunts all of us. it gets even more complicated if there are two bodies. the heisenberg principle. all that.

DB: What is your writing space like? Describe it from the point of view of your fingers.

Annie Won: many pieces of papers and many pens all different colors and light nearby and overhead and at the corner window and books all different sizes and sometimes a massage ball and yoga mat within proximity -- lately a cat glued to the radiator and another cat rubrubbing to be snuggled. somehow all my roommates know that this cat enjoys deep tissue massages.

DB: Where were you born?

Annie Won: in a cowboy saddle in the desert, strapped to a wild horse's backside and quickly upside down, running in search of water. this went on for miles and years. water is very important for the body.

DB: Tell us about your poetry in three lines each beginning with the words “Not only.”

Annie Won:

(not only does the) (every body) (contains) (what does it contain) (how)

(not only)

(the only body but the only) (body) (you are) (the only) (body) (you know) 

DB: Who influences you? What do you hold dear?

Annie Won: lately? theresa hak-kyung cha. mei-mei berssenbrugge. bhanu kapil. lyn hejinian. marie howe. harmony holiday. my yoga mat. movement and breath. beyond that. spaces.

DB: You have new work coming out, plug it while talking about the difference between collaborating with someone else as opposed to collaborating with all the people inside yourself.

Annie Won: it can be incredibly freeing not to declare order amongst all the voices in my head. i don't really correspond to order. entropy happens. i like to think there's an equilibrium of sorts, a primal soup from which something bubbles, and a new thing arises. giving voice to that thing. it is exciting to have a piece arranged with multiple pairs of hands, another game begins. the synthesis of the new. 

i am always experimenting. kindly, a collision-of-worlds one-day-or-so experiment with brenda iijima led to our chapbook, once upon a building block (Horse Less Press, 2014) and more scheming is to follow. an individual chapbook of mine, so i can sleep (Nous-Zot Press, 2015), is currently deciding what its cover will look like. rumor has it that a dusie kollektiv chapbook is also forthcoming (2015). other forthcoming homes for my poems include TheThePoetry and Similar:Peaks::. the notions of home are central to my being for which i am grateful.

Annie Won's poems have been lurking in or will soon otherwise appear in places such as the following: Shampoo, RealPoetikNew Delta Review, Delirious Hem, and TheThePoetry. Her chapbook with Brenda Iijima, Once Upon a Building Block (Horse Less Press, 2014) and individual chapbook, so i can sleep (Nous-Zot Press, forthcoming) are eager to occupy your home. The fuzzy Maine Coon cat may or may not be included. Her critical reviews can be seen at American Microreviews and Interviews.