‘A Wildly Casual Web Conversation with Three Web Poets’, by Evan Fleischer
Bob Schofield, Dalton Day, and Key Ballah: I spoke with them all fairly recently. I’d come to know them and their poems through the dual miasmic process of clicking through from one Tumblr blog to the next and through the already active enthusiasm of a woman I want to get dogs with. The conversation with the poets threatened to turn wildly casual at more than one point, longer and flow-ier that these terse little clauses, but it wasn’t a chat “Dropped from a tree’s back pocket”, as BR Dionysius said of a Kingfisher or – per Adam Aitken – “crows consider[ing] life in a decommissioned bomber”.
It was the kind of chat where I reached out to Bob Schofield and asked him – in an echo of his style – to tell me about the time Edward Gorey passed the time as his babysitter by turning into a bat playing a ukulele, or, to put the joke in sensible clothes: what – to him – makes a good influence?
“Well,” he said, “obviously the night was dark, stormy, the whole deal. I was small, barely more than a shadow. I slid under doors and through the cracks between old leather books. But my ears worked, and I heard a beautiful twanging coming from the attic. I drifted toward it, and there he was, Mr. Gorey himself, hanging upside down from the rafters and strumming sadness straight into my heart. “The truth of it is simple,” he squeaked to me in bat-speak. “A good influence is one that makes you excited to go and make something of your own. They light the fuse inside your brain, but the ensuing fireworks are yours.”
Schofield, Ballah, and Day often post a new poem every single day, and this was the game – to see if I could interview these three relatively ‘unknowns’ with a decent following in their own style. The New York Times posts around 200 or so new stories to its website every single day. Hemingway wrote seven novels during his life. So far, Toni Morrison has written eleven. But does any of this matter? Coleridge didn’t even finish a poem and is more than settled into the history of things. What is the 'right’ rhythm here?