Poetry News

Lisa Marie Basile Breaks Down Poetry as Conjuring at Entropy

By Harriet Staff
Lisa Marie Basile, Light Magic for Dark Times, cover

Andrew Byrds interviews Lisa Marie Basile, founder of Luna Luna and author of Light Magic for Dark Times (Fair Winds Press, 2018), for Entropy. There's a chapter in the book "devoted to writing magic—with magical poetry writing practices, as well," writes Byrds. From their conversation:

AB: One of my initial takeaways from your book after a first read was how much it galvanized my desire to write. Reading the introduction alone sparked some creative wires and shot out a flame, and I found myself wanting to write out my own incantations even though I hadn’t had much on my mind. This belief that your poetry is also a conjuring, what do you mean by that exactly?

LMB: That’s so amazing to hear, and quite humbling. I’m so happy that something I created makes you want to create! I guess that’s the cycle at work. What did you write about???

I know what you mean about writing when you don’t have anything ON your mind. Sometimes I just quit at that point because I’m thinking in empty circles. But sometimes I keep going, because at the emptiness is something, maybe.

I have always approached poetry in a way that I feel comes from intimacy, I think? Each poem is a look through a doorway or past a veil, always a small confession, a snapshot of a memory, a hunger. So it’s like a spell, either conjuring a past moment or a summoning of something I want. I know this sounds crazy but I often write poems about things I want and then, at times, they come true. I guess all my work is about wanting and remembering. I think that’s probably true in some way for all of us.

Do you think I’m ridiculous yet?

AB: I’ve been doing these little one line poem deals on Twitter, usually when I have writer’s block I can sometimes come up with a pretty strong line but nothing to follow it up with. The way I look at it, though, they’ve been inspired from the peals of nature I see staring out the window at work and they come off as a culling to those individual moments whenever I want them back. Either the day after, or a month after, or even longer. Like an incantation for a quiet moment in the past in those times when my thoughts are reamed by the noise of current emotional struggles.

That doesn’t sound ridiculous at all, writing about things that often come true. In fact I remember you bringing it up a couple times in your book. Would you say that your acts of writing spin themselves into acts of perseverance/tenacity in wanting something new to happen, or in wanting to conjure up a means of letting go of the past?

LMB: I love that you’re using Twitter for poetry. And that you’re projecting your mind and body outward, out of the office, and into a place of beauty. That’s the hardest thing about being an adult, haha — swimming in all these thoughts and emotions and feelings but having to sit in a chair and pretend you’re not 90% thinking about a poem or the way a rose blooms.

But that’s a good question. The writing itself, whether it’s a poem or, say, a mantra or incantation, is all part of a manifestation process. If I write it, it’s true, in some way...

Read the full interview at Entropy.

Originally Published: August 20th, 2018