Interview #58, with the funny, blunt and nerdy: Amber Decker!
Describe yourself in 5 words:
Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):
True Beauty (excerpted from Lost Girls)
Her dead father once told her
that dead things are beautiful
because they have given of themselves
and in their death show the living
the truest form of beauty.
Once, she fell in love deeply enough
to let a boy stretch himself through
the wilderness of her body.
When he surfaced as if from under oceans,
he licked her nectar from the flowers of his fingertips
and told her she was beautiful.
And when she opened her mouth to reply,
only dead things fell out.
That’s deep — well-done! Share an excerpt of your favorite poet’s work (10-100 words):
Bluebird (by Charles Bukowski)
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:
Honestly, I’m not sure. I’ve been writing since I can remember, but I think I really started to take poetry seriously in high school. Someone gave me a copy of Verses that Hurt: Pleasure and Pain from the POEMFONE Poets, which was the first poetry anthology I’d ever owned up to that point. Before that, I hadn’t experienced much poetry outside of an English class — mainly Whitman, Poe, Frost and Dickinson.
Verses showed me what poetry could accomplish and how it could be used to take snapshots of places, people and experiences. It taught me about abstract images and how to open up worlds with fresh new language. After that, I was reading anything poetry-related I could get my hands on, and suddenly I was writing my own poetry. Now I can’t seem to stop.
Oh yes, Poe and Dickinson ;) Good thing the Verses anthology somehow founds its way to you. What goal do you seek through your poetry?
My main goal is to take my readers into a moment, to create images that stick in their minds even after the poem is finished. I also try to be as relatable as possible. I don’t want to be one of those elitist, academic poets with no clue how to talk to or write for people who are not also academics. I believe that poetry is like good fiction; it’s meant to be enjoyed — not decoded.
Yes, the best type of art is perhaps memorable as well as accessible. Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:
If you want to write poetry (and do it well), you need to READ poetry. There are many fledgling poets out there who just don’t do this…and I’m afraid it’s pretty obvious when a poet hasn’t done their homework. Also, while I think that the classic “master poets” were (and still are) quite fabulous and should certainly be added to a list of poetic “must-reads”, remember that a lot has changed since these poets were alive and writing. POETRY has changed..a lot. Read contemporary journals. There are tons of them out there, and the range of the poets published in those journals is amazing. Try different forms, experiment, and find your own unique voice.
ITA — language is something that evolves along with the human species (for better or worse). Your websites/blogs/etc:
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[Sweet Relish, by Amber Decker]
Much thanks to Amber Decker for stopping by! Be sure to check out Rough Verse, where she talks about life and poetry :)