TREE INTERVIEW WITH PAUL LEGAULT
Do you ever think about trees?
Most of my thoughts appear to me in the form of trees, though they’re not always thoughts about trees. ‘Hunger’ is an oak. ‘Love’ is a dogwood. ‘My internet isn’t working,’ is a gingko. The trees tell me what to do, populating my mind-forest with structures that prefer the animals who live inside of them — the way said trees live inside of me — to me, the future hibernating amongst us like a shaved bear painted to look like a birch. Both me and trees hate camouflage. We find wooden shoes immediately attractive and then, suddenly, are repulsed by them.
What is a vivid/significant memory you have involving a tree or trees?
If I weren’t Canadian, I could more fully embrace, and elaborate upon my experience with my national spirit-plant, the Maple. But instead I have to do so in an undisclosed manner, one that doesn’t become traitor to its impulse — to encounter each experience like a symbol of thought itself — lest someone claim a northern stereotype on my behalf, equating these majestic beings with the majestic beings of the NHL or the god of poutine herself.
The Maple is a private act. I cannot go any further.
Are trees involved at all in your writing or worldview?
Like Christine Kanownik, trees are also my worldview. And I just wrote the word, ‘Trees.’
What is the name for ‘trees that live in a house’? House-tree? Domesticated Tree? Room-tree?
Paul Legault [Le-goh] is the co-founder of the translation press Telephone Books and the co-editor of The Sonnets: Rewriting Shakespeare (Nightboat/Telephone, 2012).He is the author of three books of poetry: The Madeleine Poems (Omnidawn, 2010), The Other Poems (Fence, 2011), and The Emily Dickinson Reader (McSweeney’s, 2012).
Go Green and Read a Paul Legault poem: http://www.notnostrums.com/Legault.html