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: