TREE INTERVIEW WITH PEARL PIRIE 

Do you ever think about trees?
They are like people so far as their absence or injury.  I’d rather have a community than a specimen.  When we were at Jardin des Plantes in Paris there were all kinds of trees hundreds of years old.  A Sophora japonica was planted there in 1747,  first flowered 1777 and it still flowers. It is a crazy-maker how people believe trees must be cut down once they reach any size as if humans can’t comprehend living things with a longer lifespan or are jealous of it.  At the same time my relationship with trees is made complex by the Manitoba Maple which apparently has its name because its runner go all the way to the prairie. It perhaps is all one organism.



What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?































As a kid I loved to climb trees.  The forest was freedom. It was a gym. It felt like my equal and like safety. There is no place more holy than a forest with no people. Back then the highway sounds didn’t reach the middle of the bush and I would track rabbit and deer, read the signs of droppings and snagged hair, watch the bush shift plants by season and by rain or drought, check my guidebooks for kinds of mushrooms. I once cut thru the forest and walked along the concession line road but a nice police officer thought I was a runaway. Once I convinced him I wasn’t, he still insisted that I could help him to not worry if I would come back with him in the squad car. Being wakened at 3 am knock at the door, my dad greeted whoever it was, nonchalantly, with a baseball bat over his shoulder.


As a teen I often jumped from my bedroom window to the ground to avoid going across the squeaky floorboards of the kitchen to leave. That landing was hard on the ankles. Eventually I leaned a ladder below my window, but one night I came back and the ladder was no longer there. I risked the floorboard. Parents never said a word about it over breakfast. Once 2am headlights caught me as I sat up in a spruce to watch and listen to the night. Before I was awake, a neighbour reported to my parents that I was out at a bad hour.  Since I never dated, my mom hoped I was sneaking out to meet a boy.  Or even a girl. Me being up the tree, I think, rather disappointed her.


Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?
































If I search my poetry drafts, I find 526 uses of the word tree, 154 maple, 115 oak, 10 ironwood, 39 spruce, 178 cedar, 191 pine, 6 tamarck, 16 larch,  92 poplar, 134 elm…my head is most clear when I’ve had time in the woods. I have been told my most sensual writing is generally about trees.

Pearl Pirie has anew book coming out from BookThug, spring 2015, the pet radish, shrunken, and one of her poems is coming out in Best Canadian Poetry 2014. GO GREEN AND CHECK OUT PEARL PIRIE’s SITE : http://www.pearlpirie.com/

TREE INTERVIEW WITH PEARL PIRIE 

Do you ever think about trees?

They are like people so far as their absence or injury.  I’d rather have a community than a specimen.  When we were at Jardin des Plantes in Paris there were all kinds of trees hundreds of years old.  A Sophora japonica was planted there in 1747,  first flowered 1777 and it still flowers. It is a crazy-maker how people believe trees must be cut down once they reach any size as if humans can’t comprehend living things with a longer lifespan or are jealous of it.  At the same time my relationship with trees is made complex by the Manitoba Maple which apparently has its name because its runner go all the way to the prairie. It perhaps is all one organism.

What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?

As a kid I loved to climb trees.  The forest was freedom. It was a gym. It felt like my equal and like safety. There is no place more holy than a forest with no people. Back then the highway sounds didn’t reach the middle of the bush and I would track rabbit and deer, read the signs of droppings and snagged hair, watch the bush shift plants by season and by rain or drought, check my guidebooks for kinds of mushrooms. I once cut thru the forest and walked along the concession line road but a nice police officer thought I was a runaway. Once I convinced him I wasn’t, he still insisted that I could help him to not worry if I would come back with him in the squad car. Being wakened at 3 am knock at the door, my dad greeted whoever it was, nonchalantly, with a baseball bat over his shoulder.

As a teen I often jumped from my bedroom window to the ground to avoid going across the squeaky floorboards of the kitchen to leave. That landing was hard on the ankles. Eventually I leaned a ladder below my window, but one night I came back and the ladder was no longer there. I risked the floorboard. Parents never said a word about it over breakfast. Once 2am headlights caught me as I sat up in a spruce to watch and listen to the night. Before I was awake, a neighbour reported to my parents that I was out at a bad hour.  Since I never dated, my mom hoped I was sneaking out to meet a boy.  Or even a girl. Me being up the tree, I think, rather disappointed her.

Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?

If I search my poetry drafts, I find 526 uses of the word tree, 154 maple, 115 oak, 10 ironwood, 39 spruce, 178 cedar, 191 pine, 6 tamarck, 16 larch,  92 poplar, 134 elm…my head is most clear when I’ve had time in the woods. I have been told my most sensual writing is generally about trees.

Pearl Pirie has anew book coming out from BookThug, spring 2015, the pet radish, shrunken, and one of her poems is coming out in Best Canadian Poetry 2014. GO GREEN AND CHECK OUT PEARL PIRIE’s SITE : http://www.pearlpirie.com/


Tree Interview with rob mclennan

Do you ever think about trees?
 

Given my rural upbringing, I am certainly aware of trees. I grew up on a farm surrounded by trees. Where we currently live has more than a couple of trees, which we are pretty pleased about. I really can’t imagine living in any space that doesn’t include a healthy amount of green.

 
What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?
 

There are two trees in the yard at the homestead I have vivid memories of climbing when I was much younger. I spent a great deal of time in one of those trees, and was always disappointed that my father claimed neither tree were appropriate for treehouses. I sure would have liked a treehouse.
 
And across from the homestead, sixty acres of bush.
 
I remember hours of wandering the paths through the bush as a youngster. And the time my six year old sister and I were lost hours within, before we figured our way back to the road.

 
Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?
 

I haven’t much view of anything out my office window (save the side corner of our neighbour’s house), but the front and back window views include various trees. Our cat Lemonade has daily anxiety over the birds and squirrels that run across the length and breadth of our front yard maple. He chatters uselessly at them through the unopened window.
As far as worldview, I’ve always considered that my perspective on any “pastoral” I’ve attempted to write has included the belief in writing and living as being part of the world (including the natural world) as opposed to being separate from the world. My father, as a dairy farmer, is attuned to the seasons and weather in ways that most non-farmers might not comprehend. He knows the names of all of the trees, and the flowers. I may not know all the names, but attempt to live in the world fully, including trees, rocks, flowers and brush. Does that make sense?


For more on rob go green and check out his site: robmclennan.blogspot.com

Tree Interview with rob mclennan

Do you ever think about trees?

 

Given my rural upbringing, I am certainly aware of trees. I grew up on a farm surrounded by trees. Where we currently live has more than a couple of trees, which we are pretty pleased about. I really can’t imagine living in any space that doesn’t include a healthy amount of green.

 

What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?

 

There are two trees in the yard at the homestead I have vivid memories of climbing when I was much younger. I spent a great deal of time in one of those trees, and was always disappointed that my father claimed neither tree were appropriate for treehouses. I sure would have liked a treehouse.

 

And across from the homestead, sixty acres of bush.

 

I remember hours of wandering the paths through the bush as a youngster. And the time my six year old sister and I were lost hours within, before we figured our way back to the road.

 

Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?

 

I haven’t much view of anything out my office window (save the side corner of our neighbour’s house), but the front and back window views include various trees. Our cat Lemonade has daily anxiety over the birds and squirrels that run across the length and breadth of our front yard maple. He chatters uselessly at them through the unopened window.

As far as worldview, I’ve always considered that my perspective on any “pastoral” I’ve attempted to write has included the belief in writing and living as being part of the world (including the natural world) as opposed to being separate from the world. My father, as a dairy farmer, is attuned to the seasons and weather in ways that most non-farmers might not comprehend. He knows the names of all of the trees, and the flowers. I may not know all the names, but attempt to live in the world fully, including trees, rocks, flowers and brush. Does that make sense?

For more on rob go green and check out his siterobmclennan.blogspot.com

Tree Interview with kevin mcpherson eckhoff      
Tree Location: Armstrong, BC

Do you ever think about trees?
My brain has a slight trunk and taproot, planted in my soft tissues, while tresses heliotrope to photons. I do skull-soil of trees. I do body-aware of trees. Brainwaves as kind of foliage, seasonal. In BC, the trees narrate all the landscapes, domestic and feral. The ponderosa boast lapsed jigsaw skin with desert spirit. The red cedar, quite a quiet kerosene interceder until fire-life. The fir watch and imagine and match and wager, more rock than animal. They all know that a tree is not synonymous with lumber, yet so much of their guts or bones make up the inside of my daily living: picture frames, desk, bookshelves, floor, coat hangers, guitar, toothpicks, thread spools, paper… while these ghosts do not beg for empathy, they demand a current of gratitude.

What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?
Pine cones in synapses. A childhood as amateur squirrel monkey, 4-day run pretending as Druantia, an eternity as believer in the knots of Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. I’ve never met a tree I didn’t want to be, even though trees are tremendously susceptible to clichés (lover carvings, fruit of no ledge, silent falling, et cetera). In 1994ish, a lodge pole claimed my brother’s helicopter or boomerang or kite or idea, and, upon my rescue ascent, its bark slipped me, sticking a busted bough shiv into my ribs. Its lasting signature on my epidermis reminds me to remain open and forested.

Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?
Part rolled-up carpet, part snake molting, part peacock wing, part broken accordion in the wind. If writing at all resembles consciousness, then trees resemble ink or movement—that part of language writers rarely consider. Neither small for large, but a medium. The timbre and I reciprocate a taken-for-grantedness, which is a kind of inadvertent or hazardous accord.

Go Green for more on kevin mcpherson eckhoff:::
https://soundcloud.com/poetryisdead/ancestorge-by-kevin-mcphersonhttp://kevinmcphersoneckhoff.wordpress.com/their-biography/http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/e800d0287d/inside-jokes

Tree Interview with kevin mcpherson eckhoff      

Tree Location: Armstrong, BC

Do you ever think about trees?

My brain has a slight trunk and taproot, planted in my soft tissues, while tresses heliotrope to photons. I do skull-soil of trees. I do body-aware of trees. Brainwaves as kind of foliage, seasonal. In BC, the trees narrate all the landscapes, domestic and feral. The ponderosa boast lapsed jigsaw skin with desert spirit. The red cedar, quite a quiet kerosene interceder until fire-life. The fir watch and imagine and match and wager, more rock than animal. They all know that a tree is not synonymous with lumber, yet so much of their guts or bones make up the inside of my daily living: picture frames, desk, bookshelves, floor, coat hangers, guitar, toothpicks, thread spools, paper… while these ghosts do not beg for empathy, they demand a current of gratitude.

What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?

Pine cones in synapses. A childhood as amateur squirrel monkey, 4-day run pretending as Druantia, an eternity as believer in the knots of Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. I’ve never met a tree I didn’t want to be, even though trees are tremendously susceptible to clichés (lover carvings, fruit of no ledge, silent falling, et cetera). In 1994ish, a lodge pole claimed my brother’s helicopter or boomerang or kite or idea, and, upon my rescue ascent, its bark slipped me, sticking a busted bough shiv into my ribs. Its lasting signature on my epidermis reminds me to remain open and forested.

Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?

Part rolled-up carpet, part snake molting, part peacock wing, part broken accordion in the wind. If writing at all resembles consciousness, then trees resemble ink or movement—that part of language writers rarely consider. Neither small for large, but a medium. The timbre and I reciprocate a taken-for-grantedness, which is a kind of inadvertent or hazardous accord.

Go Green for more on kevin mcpherson eckhoff:::

https://soundcloud.com/poetryisdead/ancestorge-by-kevin-mcpherson
http://kevinmcphersoneckhoff.wordpress.com/their-biography/
http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/e800d0287d/inside-jokes

Tree Interview with Lauren Ireland               location: Seattle, WA


Do you ever think about trees?
 

I think about trees every day.
In my Seattle neighborhood, most of the trees are very large and old and covered in many flora and fauna—whole mossy worlds. I love to brush the soft mosses and look closely at the different colors and textures. I have favorite trees. I had never had favorite trees before.
The tree in the photo is my Very Favorite Tree, on E. Mercer St. in Capitol Hill, Seattle. I can’t pass it without touching it. Don’t want to, either.

 
What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?
 

There was an ugly marsh pine tree in the front yard of the house I grew up in. It had low, thick, spreading branches that reached to the ground and it was easy to climb and hide in. I spent a lot of time there watching airplanes and wishing I could be on one, going somewhere else.

 
Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?
 

In Seattle, I have become an incorrigible tree-toucher. I am not sure how to speak to my worldview (do I have one of those?), but this does have a lot to do with how I feel. There is something calming and affirming and not a little awe-inspiring about these mossy trees and their complicated micro-ecosystems.  There is a softness to them (like the fog, which also moves me) and a kind of happy quiet. I hope this is involved in my writing. Maybe one day.
Go Green and Check out her website: http://laurenireland.net/

Tree Interview with Lauren Ireland               location: Seattle, WA

Do you ever think about trees?

 

I think about trees every day.

In my Seattle neighborhood, most of the trees are very large and old and covered in many flora and fauna—whole mossy worlds. I love to brush the soft mosses and look closely at the different colors and textures. I have favorite trees. I had never had favorite trees before.

The tree in the photo is my Very Favorite Tree, on E. Mercer St. in Capitol Hill, Seattle. I can’t pass it without touching it. Don’t want to, either.

 

What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?

 

There was an ugly marsh pine tree in the front yard of the house I grew up in. It had low, thick, spreading branches that reached to the ground and it was easy to climb and hide in. I spent a lot of time there watching airplanes and wishing I could be on one, going somewhere else.

 

Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?

 

In Seattle, I have become an incorrigible tree-toucher. I am not sure how to speak to my worldview (do I have one of those?), but this does have a lot to do with how I feel. There is something calming and affirming and not a little awe-inspiring about these mossy trees and their complicated micro-ecosystems.  There is a softness to them (like the fog, which also moves me) and a kind of happy quiet. I hope this is involved in my writing. Maybe one day.

imageGo Green and Check out her website: http://laurenireland.net/

Tree Interview with Sheniz Janmohamed  Tree Location: British Columbia 


Do you ever think about trees?


Yes. Trees have been on my mind lately- we recently had an ice storm in Toronto and all the tree branches were coated in ice and breaking from the pressure. It was hauntingly beautiful, but also incredibly sad. I walked out to the backyard one afternoon and all I could hear was the clinking of branches as they swayed in the wind. (Click here for my piece on the ice storm, and for photos: http://bit.ly/1gdXNrJ) 



What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?

One October evening, my boyfriend and I went for a walk around my neighbourhood. As we turned the corner, we stopped to admire a stunningly bright yellow tree. We stood there for a while in awe- and my boyfriend went up to the tree and put his hand on the trunk. It was the first time I had seen anyone touch a tree trunk with total respect and reverence. I learned so much about it him in that one moment. 

I recently visited Soysambu Conservancy in Kenya and my sister and I took a botanical walk with an expert from the region. He brought us to a whistling thorn acacia tree. The tree is called a whistling thorn because the large pod-like thorns have holes in them, which are created by stinging ants. When the wind blows through the thorns, it makes a whistling sound.

Are trees involved in your writing and/or your worldview?

Absolutely. I’ve been doing a lot of research on the folklore and natural uses of plants, trees and flowers. The very shape of a tree is inspiring to me- the roots, the trunk, the branches, the flowers/leaves. It mimics our own lives- if we don’t have a strong foundation/deep roots, we can easily be swayed and uprooted. Our core has to be strong too, and then we have to let go and branch out- and be flexible. There is a time to blossom, and a time where we won’t bear fruit. And the cycle continues…

Go Green and read some work by Sheniz: www.shenizjanmohamed.com 

Sheniz Janmohamed is an author, spoken word artist and freelance writer based in Toronto, Canada. She is the founder of Ignite Poets, a youth spoken word initiative with an emphasis on social awareness. Her first book of poems, Bleeding Light, was published in 2010.  Her work as been featured at the TedXYouth Conference (Toronto, 2010), Indian Summer Festival (Vancouver, 2012) and the Jaipur Literature Festival ( India, 2013). She has been published in a variety of journals including West Coast Line, Catamaran Literary Reader and SUFI Journal. 

Tree Interview with Sheniz Janmohamed  Tree Location: British Columbia 

Do you ever think about trees?

Yes. Trees have been on my mind lately- we recently had an ice storm in Toronto and all the tree branches were coated in ice and breaking from the pressure. It was hauntingly beautiful, but also incredibly sad. I walked out to the backyard one afternoon and all I could hear was the clinking of branches as they swayed in the wind. (Click here for my piece on the ice storm, and for photos: http://bit.ly/1gdXNrJ
What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?
One October evening, my boyfriend and I went for a walk around my neighbourhood. As we turned the corner, we stopped to admire a stunningly bright yellow tree. We stood there for a while in awe- and my boyfriend went up to the tree and put his hand on the trunk. It was the first time I had seen anyone touch a tree trunk with total respect and reverence. I learned so much about it him in that one moment. 
I recently visited Soysambu Conservancy in Kenya and my sister and I took a botanical walk with an expert from the region. He brought us to a whistling thorn acacia tree. The tree is called a whistling thorn because the large pod-like thorns have holes in them, which are created by stinging ants. When the wind blows through the thorns, it makes a whistling sound.
Are trees involved in your writing and/or your worldview?
Absolutely. I’ve been doing a lot of research on the folklore and natural uses of plants, trees and flowers. The very shape of a tree is inspiring to me- the roots, the trunk, the branches, the flowers/leaves. It mimics our own lives- if we don’t have a strong foundation/deep roots, we can easily be swayed and uprooted. Our core has to be strong too, and then we have to let go and branch out- and be flexible. There is a time to blossom, and a time where we won’t bear fruit. And the cycle continues…
Go Green and read some work by Sheniz: www.shenizjanmohamed.com 

Sheniz Janmohamed is an author, spoken word artist and freelance writer based in Toronto, Canada. She is the founder of Ignite Poets, a youth spoken word initiative with an emphasis on social awareness. Her first book of poems, Bleeding Light, was published in 2010.  Her work as been featured at the TedXYouth Conference (Toronto, 2010), Indian Summer Festival (Vancouver, 2012) and the Jaipur Literature Festival ( India, 2013). She has been published in a variety of journals including West Coast Line, Catamaran Literary Reader and SUFI Journal. 

Tree Interview with Andrea Rexilius  Tree Location:  Denver, Colorado 

Do you ever think about trees?

I think about trees all the time. I’m pretty sure I was a tree in my past life.

What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?

The first time I took a hallucinogen I sat on the deck outside my bedroom in California devouring a grapefruit. I had grapefruit pulp and juice running down my face and hands when I ran outside to rescue the trees from the plastic bags and socks hanging in them. The narrative was that after living for centuries as a human, I had forgotten my past tree self. I had forgotten my life’s purpose, which was to protect and serve trees, to pull the metal out of their backs, to speak to them. But in that moment I remembered it. I came back inside the house with a magical painted gourd that had also gotten caught in one of the trees. 

Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview? 


Yes, trees basically are my worldview. The next time I took a hallucinogen I climbed a 100 foot pine tree near the ocean in Bodega Bay. At the top of the tree, I stretched out hammock-like and starred at the sky. As I did this, I felt my limbs meld with the tree’s branches. But then my brown, Russian fur-hat fell off and I had to come out of the tree to find it. As I climbed down, long branches of the tree crashed down around me, moments after I stepped on them. This is because the tree was angry that I did not decide in that moment to return to it and to my tree-self. To this day, I remain human, but I am a tree on the inside. 


You can find some poems of written at andrea.rexilius.com

Tree Interview with Andrea Rexilius

Tree Location: Denver, Colorado

Do you ever think about trees?

I think about trees all the time. I’m pretty sure I was a tree in my past life.

What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?

The first time I took a hallucinogen I sat on the deck outside my bedroom in California devouring a grapefruit. I had grapefruit pulp and juice running down my face and hands when I ran outside to rescue the trees from the plastic bags and socks hanging in them. The narrative was that after living for centuries as a human, I had forgotten my past tree self. I had forgotten my life’s purpose, which was to protect and serve trees, to pull the metal out of their backs, to speak to them. But in that moment I remembered it. I came back inside the house with a magical painted gourd that had also gotten caught in one of the trees.

Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?


Yes, trees basically are my worldview. The next time I took a hallucinogen I climbed a 100 foot pine tree near the ocean in Bodega Bay. At the top of the tree, I stretched out hammock-like and starred at the sky. As I did this, I felt my limbs meld with the tree’s branches. But then my brown, Russian fur-hat fell off and I had to come out of the tree to find it. As I climbed down, long branches of the tree crashed down around me, moments after I stepped on them. This is because the tree was angry that I did not decide in that moment to return to it and to my tree-self. To this day, I remain human, but I am a tree on the inside.


You can find some poems of written at andrea.rexilius.com

Tree Interview with Chris Tonelli                Raleigh, North Carolina
Do you ever think about trees?
Yeah…you could say I think about trees. Like great art, trees make art seem utterly impossible and unnecessary, and at the same time they seem like the only things I want to make art for and about. And they compel me to do so. It’s an abusive relationship, and I like it. I’m like Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary, and trees are like James Spader. It’ll work out in the end. For both of us.
What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?
I don’t know how significant they are, but the two memories I have about trees involve my dad. During a big storm he was knocked down in the shower when a tree in the backyard was struck by lightening. There was a corkscrew of shredded bark from top to bottom, and that tree slowly died as a result. The other one was when he had to get on a ladder and climb this tall tree (same backyard…different tree) in his snowmobile suit, motorcycle helmet, and huge-ass mittens on, carrying a laundry basket to try and rip our crazy cat off a high branch. That cat (Catherine) was from his first marriage and my mother hated it.
Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?
I have a book called The Trees Around and two of the sections in it are called Nostalgia Tree and Wide Tree (previously a Kitchen Press chapbook). So…
As for my worldview, trees are celebrities (http://www.wordforword.info/vol10/tonelli.html).                                   Bad poets are paparazzi, and good poets are real fans.
Here are links to some other tree poems:
http://salthilljournal.net/tonelli/
http://www.realpoetik.org/2006/03/chris-tonelli.html
http://www.gutcult.com/Site/litjourn5/html/CT1.html

Tree Interview with Chris Tonelli                Raleigh, North Carolina

Do you ever think about trees?

Yeah…you could say I think about trees. Like great art, trees make art seem utterly impossible and unnecessary, and at the same time they seem like the only things I want to make art for and about. And they compel me to do so. It’s an abusive relationship, and I like it. I’m like Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary, and trees are like James Spader. It’ll work out in the end. For both of us.

What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?

I don’t know how significant they are, but the two memories I have about trees involve my dad. During a big storm he was knocked down in the shower when a tree in the backyard was struck by lightening. There was a corkscrew of shredded bark from top to bottom, and that tree slowly died as a result. The other one was when he had to get on a ladder and climb this tall tree (same backyard…different tree) in his snowmobile suit, motorcycle helmet, and huge-ass mittens on, carrying a laundry basket to try and rip our crazy cat off a high branch. That cat (Catherine) was from his first marriage and my mother hated it.

Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?

I have a book called The Trees Around and two of the sections in it are called Nostalgia Tree and Wide Tree (previously a Kitchen Press chapbook). So…

As for my worldview, trees are celebrities (http://www.wordforword.info/vol10/tonelli.html).                                   Bad poets are paparazzi, and good poets are real fans.

Here are links to some other tree poems:

http://salthilljournal.net/tonelli/

http://www.realpoetik.org/2006/03/chris-tonelli.html

http://www.gutcult.com/Site/litjourn5/html/CT1.html

Tree Interview with Wendy Burk   photo: Tucson, AZ

 
Do you ever think about trees?

Yes. I think trees are complex and effective beings. Two years ago we planted a mesquite tree in our yard. Now that it has grown, a dozen kinds of birds visit us that never did before. The tree with me in this photograph is a young Desert Ironwood. It is called “the tree of life” because, as it grows, it shelters hundreds of plant and animal species in its shade. As humans we frequently feel ineffective. We can do something useful by moving over and giving space to a tree.

 
What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?

Seeing animals in trees: a Red-Faced Warbler in a pine tree, a Hooded Oriole in a big mesquite, coatis in a cottonwood in Aravaipa Canyon. Once we saw a bear in a tree while hiking in the Santa Ritas.

 
Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?

From December 2009 to June 2011, I conducted a series of research interviews with Southern Arizona trees that I transcribed as poems. Trees are a part of my worldview. I would like to be closer to them and be useful to them; at the same time, I would like to leave them be.
 
Wendy Burk is the author of two chapbooks, The Deer and The Place Names The Place Named, and the translator of Tedi López Mills’s While Light Is Built and Arcadia in Chacahua. You can find her work inVOLT, Trickhouse, Spiral Orb, and other journals. 
 
Go Green and read a Wendy Burk poem:http://spiralorb.net/two/burk.htm

Tree Interview with Wendy Burk   photo: Tucson, AZ

 

Do you ever think about trees?

Yes. I think trees are complex and effective beings. Two years ago we planted a mesquite tree in our yard. Now that it has grown, a dozen kinds of birds visit us that never did before. The tree with me in this photograph is a young Desert Ironwood. It is called “the tree of life” because, as it grows, it shelters hundreds of plant and animal species in its shade. As humans we frequently feel ineffective. We can do something useful by moving over and giving space to a tree.

 

What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?

Seeing animals in trees: a Red-Faced Warbler in a pine tree, a Hooded Oriole in a big mesquite, coatis in a cottonwood in Aravaipa Canyon. Once we saw a bear in a tree while hiking in the Santa Ritas.

 

Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?

From December 2009 to June 2011, I conducted a series of research interviews with Southern Arizona trees that I transcribed as poems. Trees are a part of my worldview. I would like to be closer to them and be useful to them; at the same time, I would like to leave them be.

 

Wendy Burk is the author of two chapbooks, The Deer and The Place Names The Place Named, and the translator of Tedi López Mills’s While Light Is Built and Arcadia in Chacahua. You can find her work inVOLTTrickhouseSpiral Orb, and other journals.

 

Go Green and read a Wendy Burk poem:http://spiralorb.net/two/burk.htm

Tree Interview with Ben Pease   photo: Northampton, MA
 
Do you ever think about trees?
 I think trees are always in the back of my mind. That is, I don’t have pictures of trees plastered above the bed or anything, but I was just in Vermont for a week, and god bless ‘em! At this time of year,  you can just throw me under a tree, and I’ll happily watch the leaves rustle around in the wind. I helped Guy Pettit plant some trees outside Flying Object, and besides how satisfying that whole process is, you can’t argue with the positive action of planting a tree. On the other hand, at Bianca’s grandmother’s house in Goshen we are renovating ), this guy just came by and re-appraised the house. He pointed out a few trees that were touching the house and needed to be cut back if not taken out entirely. In those cases, I can’t cut those trees down fast enough—to protect something that is so important to someone I love.

What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?
The backyard of my parents’ house rolled down into what became the woods. It was for the most part unimpeded forest up until whoever owned it sold the land, and a developer turned it into a horseshoe street of new houses with only about 200 yards of trees separating the new houses from my street. That in and of itself was a personal Princess Mononoke lesson: some people will bulldoze anything in their path to get what they want, you understand why they do it, but you still can’t completely forgive them for all that destruction. 
When I was somewhere around the end of elementary school/the beginning of middle school, I was given a pair of leather moccasin slippers. I loved wearing them around the house, and sometimes I would wear them to take the dog out. I was saving up my money to buy a bow my uncle had for sale at his gun shop. It was a decent Browning compound that he was selling to me for a good price, like $150 or so, but it took me a long time to save up that much money. I probably spent more time looking at bows in catalogs than anything, and at some point I decided I was going to make my own traditional bow and arrow. I didn’t read up on how to make one or anything; I figured I could just sort of wing it, and it would all work out. My first step was to take one of the laces from my moccasin slippers, which were about two feet in length, and tie it to a tree in the woods behind my parents’ house. My tween brain was convinced this would loosen and stretch out the leather shoelace and turn it into a perfect bowstring. I tied it to the branch of a tree no less than five feet from the property line and waited exactly one month before retrieving it. I never found it.
  
Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?
In the opening section of Chateau Wichman, trees play a pretty big part. It’s been a couple years since I wrote that, and while I remember I had a very specific idea of what I meant by the leaves being “twice stilled […] since the last gust of wind,” it takes me a minute to figure it out again. In my new long poem, the psychic has a dream where he walks through a forest of sorts.

Ben Pease is the editor of Monk Books and a member of The Ruth Stone Foundation. He has degrees from Emerson College and Columbia University. A selection from CHATEAU WICHMAN appeared in chapbook form under the title WICHMAN COMETH. His work can be found online here.

Tree Interview with Ben Pease   photo: Northampton, MA

 

Do you ever think about trees?

 I think trees are always in the back of my mind. That is, I don’t have pictures of trees plastered above the bed or anything, but I was just in Vermont for a week, and god bless ‘em! At this time of year,  you can just throw me under a tree, and I’ll happily watch the leaves rustle around in the wind. I helped Guy Pettit plant some trees outside Flying Object, and besides how satisfying that whole process is, you can’t argue with the positive action of planting a tree. On the other hand, at Bianca’s grandmother’s house in Goshen we are renovating ), this guy just came by and re-appraised the house. He pointed out a few trees that were touching the house and needed to be cut back if not taken out entirely. In those cases, I can’t cut those trees down fast enough—to protect something that is so important to someone I love.

What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?

The backyard of my parents’ house rolled down into what became the woods. It was for the most part unimpeded forest up until whoever owned it sold the land, and a developer turned it into a horseshoe street of new houses with only about 200 yards of trees separating the new houses from my street. That in and of itself was a personal Princess Mononoke lesson: some people will bulldoze anything in their path to get what they want, you understand why they do it, but you still can’t completely forgive them for all that destruction. 

When I was somewhere around the end of elementary school/the beginning of middle school, I was given a pair of leather moccasin slippers. I loved wearing them around the house, and sometimes I would wear them to take the dog out. I was saving up my money to buy a bow my uncle had for sale at his gun shop. It was a decent Browning compound that he was selling to me for a good price, like $150 or so, but it took me a long time to save up that much money. I probably spent more time looking at bows in catalogs than anything, and at some point I decided I was going to make my own traditional bow and arrow. I didn’t read up on how to make one or anything; I figured I could just sort of wing it, and it would all work out. My first step was to take one of the laces from my moccasin slippers, which were about two feet in length, and tie it to a tree in the woods behind my parents’ house. My tween brain was convinced this would loosen and stretch out the leather shoelace and turn it into a perfect bowstring. I tied it to the branch of a tree no less than five feet from the property line and waited exactly one month before retrieving it. I never found it.

 

Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?

In the opening section of Chateau Wichman, trees play a pretty big part. It’s been a couple years since I wrote that, and while I remember I had a very specific idea of what I meant by the leaves being “twice stilled […] since the last gust of wind,” it takes me a minute to figure it out again. In my new long poem, the psychic has a dream where he walks through a forest of sorts.

Ben Pease is the editor of Monk Books and a member of The Ruth Stone Foundation. He has degrees from Emerson College and Columbia University. A selection from CHATEAU WICHMAN appeared in chapbook form under the title WICHMAN COMETH. His work can be found online here.

Tree Interview with Sophia Le Fraga
 Do You Ever Think About Trees?
I think about trees constantly, almost as much as I think about the sky.
What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?
A friend told me this once a while back: Every time we breathe in and out, we inhale and exhale many many molecules of gas. Each time we exhale, about 1.5x10^23 molecules exit our bodies and go into the atmosphere. That’s trillions and trillions. And tons of these are CO2, which plants love and need to photosynthesize. The atmosphere has a one year mixing period, meaning that after a year, gases in the atmosphere are blended evenly around our planet. This means that your breath from last year is in India and Brazil and Mexico and everywhere else. So plants and trees, which need this CO2, suck in huge amounts of it through their leaves. Some of that CO2 came from you. In fact, every blade of grass and every single leaf has about 6-20 CO2 molecules that came just from you. That same amount came from me, from every other Poet Touching a Tree, from my sister and your mom and anyone else that you know. And so we are all physically connected, through space and time.
Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?
Very. Trees keep us all connected. The Internet wishes it was a tree.
Go Green and checkout Sophia Le Fraga’s website: http://slefraga.blogspot.com/

Tree Interview with Sophia Le Fraga


Do You Ever Think About Trees?

I think about trees constantly, almost as much as I think about the sky.

What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?

A friend told me this once a while back: Every time we breathe in and out, we inhale and exhale many many molecules of gas. Each time we exhale, about 1.5x10^23 molecules exit our bodies and go into the atmosphere. That’s trillions and trillions. And tons of these are CO2, which plants love and need to photosynthesize. The atmosphere has a one year mixing period, meaning that after a year, gases in the atmosphere are blended evenly around our planet. This means that your breath from last year is in India and Brazil and Mexico and everywhere else. So plants and trees, which need this CO2, suck in huge amounts of it through their leaves. Some of that CO2 came from you. In fact, every blade of grass and every single leaf has about 6-20 CO2 molecules that came just from you. That same amount came from me, from every other Poet Touching a Tree, from my sister and your mom and anyone else that you know. And so we are all physically connected, through space and time.

Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?

Very. Trees keep us all connected. The Internet wishes it was a tree.

Go Green and checkout Sophia Le Fraga’s website: http://slefraga.blogspot.com/

Tree Interview with Bianca Stone

Do you ever think about trees?

I have Important Trees of Eastern Forests on my desk. It’s a U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service booklet from 1968. I’ve used it in a poem before.

I see now that the previous owner cut out a newspaper chart of “Plant Pests and Diseases” and left it in the book. One of the pests is the Japanese beetle. I remember those from my childhood. We’d pick them off the plants in the garden and the trees for grandma. She hated them. I’d put them in a tin can and throw in a leaf and slam it shut again. They’re hard to kill. They were huge and ravenous and shinny.

In this chart is says they have

Copper wings,
metallic blue
body

Plants and Damage

Tomatoes, eggplant, cu-
cumber, flowers.
Pepper leaves with
tiny holes

Control

0.75% rotenone dust
5% methoxychlor
dust, or 0.5%
lindane dust

Disease

Helminthospotium
blights and melting out

I love thinking about how Stephan Hawking said, while hypothesizing about alien life, that it might already be here…but they move so fast we seem like trees to them.


What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?

There’s two cottonwood trees in our yard at mom’s house. They snow fuzz every spring; sending out their little seeds. It’s beautiful and horrible.

I used to climb up the smaller one all the way to the top and carve thing into the trunk. It’s all still there, year after year. I LOVE SO-AND-SO or I HATE MY LIFE or 1998.

Also I was a tree in our school play. Twice. The Wizard of Oz and in The Lorax.

Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?

How could they not be?

We’re inextricably linked with them. And poets know that best.

Bianca Stone is a poet and visual artist. Her collection of poetry “Someone Else’s Wedding Vows” is forthcoming from Tin House/Octopus Books. She lives in Brooklyn.

Go Green and read some Bianca Stone Poets: http://bombsite.com/articles/7075

Tree Interview with Michael J. Wilson
Do you ever think about trees?
 All the time.
They remind me of the nervous system, the circulatory system. The branching strings of our insides made visible.
They look like nebulae. Spidery arms reaching from a cohesive center.
Their cycle. Endless death/rebirth. The apricot tree in my backyard is about to bloom. Watching the little fist-shaped buds is like waiting for a new life to start.
Winter trees are the best though. The dark, bone-like limbs rattling in the wind. Beautiful.
I’ve always wanted a tree house.
 What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?
 When I was a kid my Grandmother had a group of apple trees and then a apricot and cherry tree. The biggest tree was this gigantic maple. The apple trees grew these wormy, bumpy apples that were inedible.
I would do ‘tree runs’ I would start at the back of the house and run and touch each trunk in order. Maple, apple, apple, cherry, apricot. Then back to the house.
Right before I started high school the trees were taken out. First the apricot and cherry. One died and the other was destroyed by gypsy moths. Then the apples, to make way for a shed. 
The maple still stands but is slowly giving in to age.
Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?
 I did a series of poems with titles and themes taken from native North American trees. Things like Hop Hornbeam, and Cherry Birch.
The poems deal with childhood and growing up. With death. The idea was to present a life cycle using a symbol of that life cycle.
I find the ‘youth’ of the USA to be interesting so there is a little of that thrown in there.
 —-
Michael J. Wilson lives in Santa Fe. His work has appeared in KNACK, Spittoon, Lungfull, and Shampoo. He  writes reviews for Publisher’s Weekly and works for a coffee roaster.
Go green and read Michael’s work here: gnashnosh.blogspot.com

Tree Interview with Michael J. Wilson

Do you ever think about trees?


All the time.

They remind me of the nervous system, the circulatory system. The branching strings of our insides made visible.

They look like nebulae. Spidery arms reaching from a cohesive center.

Their cycle. Endless death/rebirth. The apricot tree in my backyard is about to bloom. Watching the little fist-shaped buds is like waiting for a new life to start.

Winter trees are the best though. The dark, bone-like limbs rattling in the wind. Beautiful.

I’ve always wanted a tree house.


What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?


When I was a kid my Grandmother had a group of apple trees and then a apricot and cherry tree. The biggest tree was this gigantic maple. The apple trees grew these wormy, bumpy apples that were inedible.

I would do ‘tree runs’ I would start at the back of the house and run and touch each trunk in order. Maple, apple, apple, cherry, apricot. Then back to the house.

Right before I started high school the trees were taken out. First the apricot and cherry. One died and the other was destroyed by gypsy moths. Then the apples, to make way for a shed. 

The maple still stands but is slowly giving in to age.


Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?


I did a series of poems with titles and themes taken from native North American trees. Things like Hop Hornbeam, and Cherry Birch.

The poems deal with childhood and growing up. With death. The idea was to present a life cycle using a symbol of that life cycle.

I find the ‘youth’ of the USA to be interesting so there is a little of that thrown in there.

 —-

Michael J. Wilson lives in Santa Fe. His work has appeared in KNACK, Spittoon, Lungfull, and Shampoo. He  writes reviews for Publisher’s Weekly and works for a coffee roaster.

Go green and read Michael’s work here: gnashnosh.blogspot.com


Tree Interview with Darran Anderson

 
Do you ever think about trees?
There’s a giant one outside my window that looks like it’s holding up the sky. We’ve forgotten how strange trees are. These wooden creatures that sprout out of the ground and grow towards space and slowly turn and move towards the light. The root system used to strike me as sinister, like they were all linked underground, passing messages to each other in morse code, conspiring against us. Sylvia Plath wrote about mushrooms in a similar sense but she underestimated trees.
What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?
The earliest one was a tree that had been split in two by lightning near a river we used to fish as children. It used to strike me as eerie somehow. Haunted. Or the trees out on the west coast of Ireland, all stooped by the wind in the same direction, turning their backs to the edge of the world. Last year, I was in a quite remote place called Ratanakiri and we’d been drinking and they have rainforests there. I went for a walk one night and hauled myself up onto a branch and my hands got covered with ants. They started burrowing under my skin. They were like malevolent clockwork machines. Something from Philip K. Dick. It was amazing to watch but the next day, my hands felt like they’d rusted up. The Werner Herzog phrase about nature being murder sprang to mind, for all the beauty of the place. 
An earlier memory I have was of a massive oak tree in these fields in Derry that we used to light fires in and explore as kids. The whole area’s gone now but it had a tree that rose out of a bank diagonally. We shimmied out onto the top, ridiculously high up, and attached a rope with a stick at the end. We called it the ‘Death Swing.’ You sat on it, stood at the top of the bank and jumped off. By the time you reached the apex, you were nearly upside down and going at such speed and at such an angle, you could actually feel the g-force pressing on your chest. I don’t think anyone enjoyed it, it was terrifying but peer-pressure dictated we all had to do it. A younger boy who used to follow us around, did it once and it snapped mid-flight and he flew through the air, still holding onto the rope, with the end flapping in the breeze. He broke something I think. I can still hear him screaming across the fields. The good old days.
Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?
They feature in quite a lot of poems. I wrote a thing once set on the Maginot line in the Ardennes forest and a short story about the tree that killed Albert Camus. I like the Brothers Grimm aspect of woods. This primordial place where reason can be left behind, a place with it’s own sinister magic and mythology. I think most people have that from fairytales and there was an element of reading old Irish stories when I was small; the idea that Hawthorn trees concealed the entrance to the underworld or the touch of a Birch tree could bring on madness or mad King Sweeney who lived in the trees like Calvino’s baron. They still put rags and trinkets on trees in the more remote places here, shrines next to holy wells. It’s a mythology maybe older than Christianity. Wickerman-stuff. I think these stories inevitably seep into your writing, consciously or otherwise. I doubt they’ll ever disappear, they just mutate or go underground and wait to be found. 



—-


Darran Anderson is Irish writer & infidel / 3:AM Magazine & former Dogmatika co-editor. Currently working on a critical study of the novels of Jack Kerouac for Reaktion Books, a study of the Serge Gainsbourg album Histoire de Melody Nelson for Bloomsbury and a diary of my time living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia called The Torrid Zone. 
For more Darran Anderson go green: http://darrananderson.com/

Tree Interview with Darran Anderson

 

Do you ever think about trees?

There’s a giant one outside my window that looks like it’s holding up the sky. We’ve forgotten how strange trees are. These wooden creatures that sprout out of the ground and grow towards space and slowly turn and move towards the light. The root system used to strike me as sinister, like they were all linked underground, passing messages to each other in morse code, conspiring against us. Sylvia Plath wrote about mushrooms in a similar sense but she underestimated trees.

What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?

The earliest one was a tree that had been split in two by lightning near a river we used to fish as children. It used to strike me as eerie somehow. Haunted. Or the trees out on the west coast of Ireland, all stooped by the wind in the same direction, turning their backs to the edge of the world. Last year, I was in a quite remote place called Ratanakiri and we’d been drinking and they have rainforests there. I went for a walk one night and hauled myself up onto a branch and my hands got covered with ants. They started burrowing under my skin. They were like malevolent clockwork machines. Something from Philip K. Dick. It was amazing to watch but the next day, my hands felt like they’d rusted up. The Werner Herzog phrase about nature being murder sprang to mind, for all the beauty of the place. 

An earlier memory I have was of a massive oak tree in these fields in Derry that we used to light fires in and explore as kids. The whole area’s gone now but it had a tree that rose out of a bank diagonally. We shimmied out onto the top, ridiculously high up, and attached a rope with a stick at the end. We called it the ‘Death Swing.’ You sat on it, stood at the top of the bank and jumped off. By the time you reached the apex, you were nearly upside down and going at such speed and at such an angle, you could actually feel the g-force pressing on your chest. I don’t think anyone enjoyed it, it was terrifying but peer-pressure dictated we all had to do it. A younger boy who used to follow us around, did it once and it snapped mid-flight and he flew through the air, still holding onto the rope, with the end flapping in the breeze. He broke something I think. I can still hear him screaming across the fields. The good old days.

Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?

They feature in quite a lot of poems. I wrote a thing once set on the Maginot line in the Ardennes forest and a short story about the tree that killed Albert Camus. I like the Brothers Grimm aspect of woods. This primordial place where reason can be left behind, a place with it’s own sinister magic and mythology. I think most people have that from fairytales and there was an element of reading old Irish stories when I was small; the idea that Hawthorn trees concealed the entrance to the underworld or the touch of a Birch tree could bring on madness or mad King Sweeney who lived in the trees like Calvino’s baron. They still put rags and trinkets on trees in the more remote places here, shrines next to holy wells. It’s a mythology maybe older than Christianity. Wickerman-stuff. I think these stories inevitably seep into your writing, consciously or otherwise. I doubt they’ll ever disappear, they just mutate or go underground and wait to be found. 

—-

Darran Anderson is Irish writer & infidel / 3:AM Magazine & former Dogmatika co-editor. Currently working on a critical study of the novels of Jack Kerouac for Reaktion Books, a study of the Serge Gainsbourg album Histoire de Melody Nelson for Bloomsbury and a diary of my time living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia called The Torrid Zone

For more Darran Anderson go green: http://darrananderson.com/

 TREE INTERVIEW WITH JOE PAN                        Location: Mount Tremper Arts
 
Do you ever think about trees?
 
Quite often, actually. A more pressing question is, do trees think of me? & if so, what do they think? I believe we may share overarching political views. & a love for appendages.
 
What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?
 
Too numerous to count, I’d reckon. But here are a few: as a child in Florida I remember being at my grandmother’s house & standing on a chair watching the advancing hurricane through a window. Everything was going sideways & the wind picked up trashcans & I watched in disbelief as across the street the wind picked up a pine tree & dragged it through a neighbor’s house. Another: My father built my younger brother & I a tree fort between two pines. I’ve written stories about this tree fort. Within its walls I cut my hand wide open with an X-acto knife, trying to make bows & arrows, & had to be rushed to the hospital. My father, holding onto a branch, fell out of the tree fort & thus became quite familiar with a chiropractor. Later on, after the divorce, my mother dismantled the tree fort & chopped the pines down & turned one into a sundial. The last memory I’ll share happened when I was a teenager. My friend had a truck & we were fond of driving the truck through the backwoods & occasionally into trees. This particular time I was standing up in the back of the truck quite ridiculously hammered, holding myself in place by gripping the open cab window & yelling loudly, when my friend decided to flip back on the lights just as we were approaching a rather small tree. The tree was clipped & leapt through the front windshield & we swerved wildly into several other small trees, for whom I had no pity, given what they had done to my father. We used the trees as kindling when we set fire to the truck.
 
Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?
 
From where I sit & write in my house I can see a tree. It stands beside my radiator, surrounded by books (perhaps, even, an old friend). It is a small tree & it is dying. Each week a new leaf withers on its stem, turns brown, & peers toward the floorboards. I believe I can save it. I have to believe I can save it.
—-
Joe Pan grew up along the Space Coast of Florida, attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, & currently serves as the Poetry Editor of Hyperallergic. His debut collection of poetry, Autobiomythography & Gallery, was named the Best First Book of the Year by Coldfront Magazine. His poetry has appeared in such places as Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, & Epiphany, his fiction in the Cimarron Review & Glimmer Train, & his nonfiction in The New York Times. Joe is the founder & managing editor of Brooklyn Arts Press, an independent publishing house, & lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
 
For more Joe Pan go green: http://joepan.org/

 TREE INTERVIEW WITH JOE PAN                        Location: Mount Tremper Arts

 

Do you ever think about trees?

 

Quite often, actually. A more pressing question is, do trees think of me? & if so, what do they think? I believe we may share overarching political views. & a love for appendages.

 

What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?

 

Too numerous to count, I’d reckon. But here are a few: as a child in Florida I remember being at my grandmother’s house & standing on a chair watching the advancing hurricane through a window. Everything was going sideways & the wind picked up trashcans & I watched in disbelief as across the street the wind picked up a pine tree & dragged it through a neighbor’s house. Another: My father built my younger brother & I a tree fort between two pines. I’ve written stories about this tree fort. Within its walls I cut my hand wide open with an X-acto knife, trying to make bows & arrows, & had to be rushed to the hospital. My father, holding onto a branch, fell out of the tree fort & thus became quite familiar with a chiropractor. Later on, after the divorce, my mother dismantled the tree fort & chopped the pines down & turned one into a sundial. The last memory I’ll share happened when I was a teenager. My friend had a truck & we were fond of driving the truck through the backwoods & occasionally into trees. This particular time I was standing up in the back of the truck quite ridiculously hammered, holding myself in place by gripping the open cab window & yelling loudly, when my friend decided to flip back on the lights just as we were approaching a rather small tree. The tree was clipped & leapt through the front windshield & we swerved wildly into several other small trees, for whom I had no pity, given what they had done to my father. We used the trees as kindling when we set fire to the truck.

 

Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?

 

From where I sit & write in my house I can see a tree. It stands beside my radiator, surrounded by books (perhaps, even, an old friend). It is a small tree & it is dying. Each week a new leaf withers on its stem, turns brown, & peers toward the floorboards. I believe I can save it. I have to believe I can save it.

—-

Joe Pan grew up along the Space Coast of Florida, attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, & currently serves as the Poetry Editor of Hyperallergic. His debut collection of poetry, Autobiomythography & Gallery, was named the Best First Book of the Year by Coldfront Magazine. His poetry has appeared in such places as Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, & Epiphany, his fiction in the Cimarron Review & Glimmer Train, & his nonfiction in The New York Times. Joe is the founder & managing editor of Brooklyn Arts Press, an independent publishing house, & lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

 

For more Joe Pan go green: http://joepan.org/

Tree Interview with Joe Fletcher                                     location: Mt Tremper Arts


Do you ever think about trees?



I do, and they know it. I remember reading a book (Jarry? Bataille? I’ll never find it.) in which the character or narrator despairs over his inability to make love to a tree. I think about that, and I think there is a way, and I think thought is when a chance wind spins the mirror shards strung from a spreading sycamore.



What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?



In the woods behind my childhood home an oak had fallen into a swamp, yanking up with it a huge half-circle of roots and soil, leaving a gash in the ground at the swamp’s edge. After school, Yuri Minnick and I would get all jacked up on gas station junk food and go down there and climb around. We called it The Face of the Earth. It’s still there, disintegrating.



Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview? 



The oaks by that house on Germany Road in Williamston, Michigan, behind whose trunks I dreamt ape-like monsters stood, the fragrant mountain pines along the Clark Fork west of Missoula, Montana, through which massive buzzing power lines arced, the bare banyan tree splayed against a hot sky I glimpsed from a bus window outside of Dakar when I was sick, the magnolia in Sunderland, Massachusetts that decided to unfurl its leathery blossoms twice in one year, the two maples in Okemos, Michigan that I used as goalposts for several autumns, the pecan tree in Carrboro, North Carolina that weeps sap and spits nuts all over my backyard—these and other trees form a kind of Dunsinane of which I am composed. Also, some people down here call me The Ent.


 —-


Joe Fletcher is the author of two chapbooks of poetry: Already It Is Dusk (Brooklyn Arts Press) and Sleigh Ride (Factory Hollow Press). Other work can be found in jubilat, Octopus, Slope, Puerto Del Sol, Painted Bride Quarterly, Hoboeye, Hollins Critic, and elsewhere. He lives in Carrboro, North Carolina.

Go green and read a Joe Fletcher poem: 

http://hoboeye.com/2009/01/poetry-joe-fletcher-north-carolina-usa/

Tree Interview with Joe Fletcher                                     location: Mt Tremper Arts


Do you ever think about trees?

I do, and they know it. I remember reading a book (Jarry? Bataille? I’ll never find it.) in which the character or narrator despairs over his inability to make love to a tree. I think about that, and I think there is a way, and I think thought is when a chance wind spins the mirror shards strung from a spreading sycamore.

What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?

In the woods behind my childhood home an oak had fallen into a swamp, yanking up with it a huge half-circle of roots and soil, leaving a gash in the ground at the swamp’s edge. After school, Yuri Minnick and I would get all jacked up on gas station junk food and go down there and climb around. We called it The Face of the Earth. It’s still there, disintegrating.

Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview? 

The oaks by that house on Germany Road in Williamston, Michigan, behind whose trunks I dreamt ape-like monsters stood, the fragrant mountain pines along the Clark Fork west of Missoula, Montana, through which massive buzzing power lines arced, the bare banyan tree splayed against a hot sky I glimpsed from a bus window outside of Dakar when I was sick, the magnolia in Sunderland, Massachusetts that decided to unfurl its leathery blossoms twice in one year, the two maples in Okemos, Michigan that I used as goalposts for several autumns, the pecan tree in Carrboro, North Carolina that weeps sap and spits nuts all over my backyard—these and other trees form a kind of Dunsinane of which I am composed. Also, some people down here call me The Ent.

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Joe Fletcher is the author of two chapbooks of poetry: Already It Is Dusk (Brooklyn Arts Press) and Sleigh Ride (Factory Hollow Press). Other work can be found in jubilat, Octopus, Slope, Puerto Del Sol, Painted Bride Quarterly, Hoboeye, Hollins Critic, and elsewhere. He lives in Carrboro, North Carolina.

Go green and read a Joe Fletcher poem:

http://hoboeye.com/2009/01/poetry-joe-fletcher-north-carolina-usa/