Zoe Dzunko and I have never actually met IRL but we have several mutual friends and a mutual admiration of each others’ work, so it’s only a matter of time before we get the chance to straight up gush in person. I first came across her writing when my friend andrewrhysyoung, who Zoe knows from Melbourne back in the day, sent me a couple poems that appeared in Two Serious Ladies. Literally from the first few lines, “When I feel lonely I search myself/ and find little to amend this guilt/ for being the one to smell hash browns/ when the whole world is smelling cement" —[bold, mine obv] I was like OH. OKAY. THIS IS. THAT. TALENT TALENT TALENT. OKAY. OH BOY. Then by end of the second poem, "I am/ sorry that I wanted to be oak and not/ gold veined marble; we are limited/ only by our imagination and I/ never once thought ‘diamond.’" i was like OKAY. WELL NOW. I. I JUST. OKAY. WELL SHIT. WHOOOOO BOY. I immediately went to work on a new poetry mixtape so I could have a reason to blast it. Zoe is the author of All of the Men I Have Never Loved (Dancing Girl Press), Bruise Factory (NAP) and Wet Areas (Maverick Duck Press). She is the Poetry & Short Prose Editor of The Lifted Brow, an Assistant Editor for Coconut Magazine and, with Sarah Jean Grimm, founded Powder Keg, an online poetry quarterly. Her work has recently appeared in Guernica, H_NGM_N, Bodega, The Fanzine, Two Serious Ladies et al. She’s online at: zoedzunko.tumblr.com
1. What’s the last song you listened do?
2. What did you want to be when you were ten?
- Famous / a horse / blonde / a journalist.
3. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
4. What’s the last thing you were obsessed with?
- Normally, I find myself obsessed with ideas rather than objects, but my more concrete preoccupations this week are: is there really a perfect red lipstick, salacious-looking photographs of flowers, nootropic stacks, this horchata/coffee drink combo I’ve been living on, a reoccurring dream where I’m digging turquoise from the ground, sparkling water.
5. Give me some poems or poets you’ve been taken with, recently—
- I’m reading Bernadette Mayer’s “Midwinter Day,” and liking it a lot; always taken with James Tate, and re-read “Fuck the Astronauts,” this week, which felt pretty good. Also revisiting Muriel Rukeyser atm and “The Speed of Darkness,” is serious business. Otherwise, I really liked these Kelly Schirmann poems in Glitter Mob, this Ben Fama poem, this one by Dorothea Lasky, and a Mark Cugini poem that I recently published in the digital edition of The Lifted Brow, which really got under my skin.