Interview with Lenny delaRocca

March 11, 2016

Lenny: Your new collection of poetry, wildly applauded by friends and critics, is entitled “Like”.  Give us the first five titles of poems in the book:

Lynn: Like when the mad girl wakes, her first night in Istanbul, to the white birds against a cobalt sky and hears the bells of Hagia Sophia, the chanting  under the minarets, flares falling thru the blue black sky like stars

Like the flame of the red mare dashing thru brambles and oak leaves as she moves thru ice crusted leaves on the way back from the fence near the metro

Like the woman at National Archives, sorting thru dusty drawers of paper who finds a letter written from a dying soldier who can only sign his name with X signed Walt Whitman

Like the young girl in Hanko Finland who books the ship in the Baltic across the Atlantic
as the northern lights blister the sky

Like when the mad girl photographed sunrise over Nutley pond—the brilliant  rubies, garnets, turquoise, tangerines  and violets, hear the geese get louder and louder, mating, February, a month she used to see it getting lighter on the way to ballet

Lenny:  You can’t seem to find an ending strong enough for the new poem you’re writing. You feel it is the best piece you’ve ever written. What do you do?

Lyn: I can only really remember how one of my strongest poems was greatly improved when the editor, I forgot who, cut the last two lines off TENTACLES, LEAVES---maybe it was good without it but definitely was better. I suppose cutting  often can help.

Lenny: Performance/slams have taken the spoken word to new levels of acceptance. Many people, especially young people now have a voice they did not have before. Some have achieved a certain kind of fame. Is this Poetry with a capital P, or is it a lesser god in the pantheon of writing?

Lyn:I don’t know—I think it is something different—maybe not lesser, but different

Lenny:  Are there any words you love that you haven’t been able to incorporate into any of your poems? Please tell us one or some of them.

Lyn:I really can’t think of any—polysyllabic abstract words never seem right for me so I’ve never used them, at least not often. But then again, I don’t love them

Lenny: Is there a poem you love by a poet you really dislike? What is the poem, who is the poet?

Lyn: There are not many poets I really dislike and the only very few I can think of—I generally don’t read them so it would be hard to pick out a poem I liked.

Last updated: March 18, 2016