Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Talking Poetics #28 : Dina Del Bucchia

I Got Some Shit on My Mind and I Think About it for a Long Time

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I do not sit down to write every day. I don’t have set times or hours for this. I have jobs, and no separate office space and a poet is rarely paid to write, so I usually wait. Because no one is ever waiting on me to finish a poem or a book.
          But before the writing, I’m mulling something over, an idea. I spend some time living with it. I obsess. I consider what I’m really trying to do. Then one day I need to push the idea out of my brain to prevent a tension headache. I open my 12” laptop and I write. I never use paper anymore. I know it’s what a more thoughtful person might do, but it slows me down and by the time I need to write I need to get it out quickly before I forgot all the work from my mulling and obsessing. I type quickly. I have tendonitis in my wrist from years of shelving books. It hurts to write with a pen for too long. Gifted notebooks sit unused in an IKEA storage box.
          And I write with an explosion, writing like I can’t stop throwing up and also I have diarrhea at the same time. That is the kind of writing I’m doing. It’s built up and I am putting it all into the document. I don’t care too much about the shape, the form, the line breaks, the stanzas. I just gotta go hard. I am leaving notes for myself so I don’t get tripped up and stop writing.


          Everything is fast until it’s not. And I go back to thinking about the writing. Sometimes I write a quick note or line in my phone for later. Then I copy and paste the note or line into the document. I revise slowly. I work out what needs to change. Often something really needed to be a prose poem all along. Or it didn’t need to be a prose poem, but I rely on them so much that sometimes it’s the only way to finish a draft.
          And then it’s slow. For a time. Going back in and out. Leaving more notes. It grinds to a halt sometimes. But the energy from the original output is still there. And I plod along. Until I finish the thing.

Dina Del Bucchia is a writer, podcaster, literary event host, editor, creative writing instructor and otter and dress enthusiast living in Vancouver on unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh people. She is the author of the short story collection, Don’t Tell Me What to Do, and four collections of poetry: Coping with Emotions and Otters, Blind Items, Rom Com, written with Daniel Zomparelli, and, It’s a Big Deal! She was a senior editor of Poetry Is Dead magazine, is the Artistic Director of the Real Vancouver Writers’ Series and hosts the podcast, Can’t Lit, with Jen Sookfong Lee. She is the co-creator and co-host of Sound On InstaReadings.

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