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JUNE FEATURED POET

Welcome to the 6th Wolf Twin Review!


Introducing: Pippa Phillips . . . a Haikanarchist, inky dabbler, fictionalist, novel novelist, and comic paradigm challenger.


Portrait by: Tré
Portrait by: Tré


From: Little Yellow Book

how slow unstirred sugar

dissolves in tea


From: Little Red Book

blood

moon

ripping

time

in

half


From: Little Blue Book

sudden rain-

I open an umbrella

inside me


From: Little Black Book

squid ink pasta

I wind the lines around my fork

word by word


From: Little Black Book

waking

to a setting sun

a dream I've dreamed before



Featured Poet Interview:


1. When writing Moonscape, we became acutely aware of how different moon cycles affected our writing. Did you notice the same thing while writing Lunette and your other books, and were there any moon cycles you found especially influenced your writing.


Strangely enough, I've always gravitated to the sun more than the moon—fire is the predominant element in my personality and even physical features. Similarly, I've never found myself particularly affected by the lunar cycles. So perhaps it is perverse that I've written a chapbook of moon poems before I've written a book of sun poems. Or perhaps it makes sense that I am drawn to a subject that eludes me.


2. Who are some of your favorite short form poets/haiku poets?


Orrin Prejean is a senryuist who played a formative role in my interest and entry into the haiku world. I'm inspired by a huge number of poets, but some shape my understanding of haiku. Fay Aoyagi's Chrysanthemum Love, Scott Metz's Ea's E, and Sugita Hisajo's Lips Licked Clean are collections I find myself turning to again and again. I admire those that push the boundaries of haiku, such as Alan Summers, Réka Nyitrai, and P.H. Fischer.


3. In your Ko-fi shop you offer The Full Rainbow, which consists of your books in Black, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple. How do the various colors inform the content of those individual books?


The colors of my mini-chapbooks really established the emotional tone of the poems I selected, as well as the subject matter. I started with my Little Black Book, which is the only one besides the Little Pink Book with haiga (俳画: a combination of art and poetry). The former book is about morality, secrecy, and dreams. The latter is a collection of my sapphic/erotic poetry. My happiest book is the Little Yellow Book, while the Little Blue Book is somewhat wistful (or perhaps a better word for it is mono no aware (物の哀れ), or the bittersweet acceptance of passing things).


4. Your style is exuberant and enchanting. How important is it to maintain a sense of whimsy?


I value the utopian in art and in life. I think we spend far too much time thinking about how things can go wrong and far too little time imagining a better world. If you Google utopian literature, there is so little of it that you will be directed towards lists that include dystopian books. Even Utopia, by Thomas More, is contaminated by the presence of slavery in his perfect world. I want my art to be a refuge for people, a place where they can heal and find joy—but I don't want to deny the disappointment of reality or one's dark and imperfect parts, either. I also want my work to offer a way to reconcile oneself to those aspects as well. A recent poem of mine I think demonstrates that complexity:


maybe

it's OK to be broken—

kintsugi


5. Haikanarchist, what does it mean?


I consider myself an anarchist in tradition of Proudhon and Chomsky—at least, in terms of my political ideology. That is, I don't believe in hierarchy for hierarchy's sake. This applies to my artistic ideology as well. While I do study the rules and why's and wherefores of Japanese micropoetry seriously, I am well aware that many Western scholars have misinterpreted or miscontextualized certain aspects of the form. Furthermore, what senryu is in English language micropoetry is a very different beast than what it is in Japanese micropoetry. Finally, I have a tendency to learn how to master rules with the goal of breaking them. At this point, I don't feel completely confident identifying my work as haiku (俳句) or senryu (川柳) or gendai (現代) poetry. I am simply a poet whose micropoetry is heavily influenced by my imperfect study of Japanese and English language haiku, senryu, tanka (短歌), and haibun (俳文).


6. Does your poetry inspire the artwork, vice versa, or both?


I think I'm more of a poet than an artist, but I'm also more visually inclined than aurally sensitive. It is perhaps the imagistic nature of haiku that appealed to me from the beginning. One of the interesting things about haiga is that it involved that link-and-shift element that governs haiku and renga (連歌). The art of haiku is in the juxtaposition of two elements such that there is both a relationship and a divergence between them. Similarly, the visual of a haiga is meant recontextualize the words of the poem that it houses.


7. If you were a tree, what would you be?


If I were a tree, I would be an olive so that I could enjoy the fruits of my labor. Follow: IG


To Pippa:


Thank you so much for being our Featured Poet, and congratulations on your beautiful Rainbow Chapbook Series. Welcome to the Wolf Pack!


Dearest Readers:


Greetings, fellow poetry lovers. Check back next month, or subscribe to our blog to see the moonstruck poets we have lined up. Owwwoooooo!



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