Denise R. Weuve / by Poetry Lab

DENISE @ A GLANCE

NAME: Denise R. Weuve

RECENT PUBLICATIONS:
Ishaan Literary Review, Mojave River Review, Silver Birch Press

BOOKS: The Truck Driver’s Daughter from the New York press, ELJ

FAVORITE POETS: Anne Sexton, Kim Addonizio, Diane Wakoski (and Frank Gaspar . . . I have to give him props for setting me out on this road.)

FAVORITE POETRY BOOKS: Incarnadine by Mary Szybist
Medea by Diane Wakoski
Five Decades: Poems 1925-1970 Pablo Neruda

CURRENTLY READING: Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson and Jamaal May’s Hum

EDUCATION: BA-English/Creative Writing, MA- Education, Currently gaining my MFA at Queens University of Charlotte.

WHO ARE YOU?

Well not that my poetry will at all indicate this, I am a board member of The Optimist Club (an International organization that volunteers to help children) and run the biggest service club in my district of teenagers.

HOW DID YOU FIRST HEAR ABOUT THE POETRY LAB?

Danielle promoted it via local poetry readings in 2013.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT SUCCESS AT THE POETRY LAB?

I am going to say this a lot, but it's the prompts.  100 times over.  The prompts get me thinking even when they do not give me a poem. (Often they have).

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT IN THE POETRY LAB?

The first time I went, it was in the temporary WE Labs space, and I swear the entire time there was a jam session going on, up on top of the roof.

DOES MUSIC INFLUENCE YOUR POETRY?

Yeah, of course.  Music is FABULOUS. Nick Cave . . . .how could he not, I love Leonardo Cohen, and Counting Stars.

WHAT THEMES DO YOU FIND YOURSELF WRITING ABOUT MOST OFTEN?

Loss, abandonment, death, all the emo things that still bleed black in my veins. (Hence why that optimist thing is so not obvious.)

PLEASE SHARE A POEM WITH US.


Duck Pond

by Denise R. Weuve

You once said you knew the contours of my face;
there would be no way to miss
what you saw when you closed your eyes.
Then you slept
like a coal miner on his day off,
who dreams of canaries dying,
yesterdays that weren’t.

You dreamt of being four,
the old woman two apartments down
calling you little terrorist, as you chased wayward ducks
back to the pond behind your apartments.
You had to lead them home; she didn’t know.
They were not your people,
the contours of their beaks, the slope of their necks,
the glistening of their feathers told you that.
They were easy prey in front of unit 120.
Their webbed feet needed water again,
the way your father needed Tabriz.

There, he was royalty;
a Prince among the sand dunes of high rises.
No one called him Sand Nigger
or worried about shifts in the wind.
Here a Prince turns into an immigrant
eating a goat cheese midnight snack
with watermelon on toasted pita
just to remember the desert in June.

Here a child turns into a terrorist.
Here a man sleeps with his ancestors
and wakes to a woman he does not recognize.

(Published in The Truck Driver's Daughter, ELJ Publications 2014)


DID YOU WRITE “DUCK POND” IN THE POETRY LAB?

I did, but I cannot say it was a singular prompt.  It was my favorite night at lab, when Danielle read prompts every 2-5 minutes, and I think the above poem came out of all those prompts kind of rolling into one.

WHAT ROLES DO FORM AND STYLE PLAY IN YOUR WORK?

Form is huge for me.  Narratives become very “traditional” free verse.  More out there ideas become prose poem.  If I find myself repeating a line, I go to forms (like Trina, pantoum, minute, etc---rarely do they stay there). 

In this poem I am narrative, creating a story from many spots in my mind, which is indicative of my style.  Dare I say confessional, in a very crafted way.

WHAT 3 THINGS THAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE “DUCK POND”?

The prompts, and I cannot tell you what they were, but they unleashed one thing that had been ruminating in my head for a while, and another that had happened recently, which are two and 3 for this answer.  2-Awhile ago I worked with someone that I really fell for, and I got so hurt because we were going on Spring break (in which we would continue to see each other) and all my other friends were giving me spring hug goodbyes, and he would not.  He read my anger and said, “Stop it Denise, I know the contours of your face, do you think I forget them?”  And same guy and I had a conversation about him growing up watching ducks in a pond near his house, and being called a sand nigger.   Shake these ingredient with a little vodka, and tad a—Poem!

THANK YOU DENISE!

Catch up with Denise on Social Media

Twitter @deniserweuve

and on Facebook

or find her online at DeniseRWeuve.com