mitchell glazier | sirens
an excerpt & interview
Every line, a little hallway. I burn
the diagnosis. A wax saint
drips a queer blue onto the boys, asleep in pews.
I’m beginning private distress a la Judy Garland.
Tonight, I’m deciding how
to let my father die
in the right iambs. Forgetting
to love him is elegant.
I bless the silos as they pass.
What are your main concerns when exploring the tension between identity and geographic landscape?
The tension between identity and landscape is longing. A boy, a mountain. That’s grit and grind. Longing is the hope for a better tomorrow. The glimmering of a brighter something. That something could be for a kinder moon or lover, a beautiful garment, a shot of Cuervo. Or, if you’re like me, your longing could include all of these things.
My main concerns are bodily. Today. Things are hard here. It’s my hope that this manuscript finds itself in the hands of a kid who feels they’ve reached an edge.
Five years ago, I was devouring the writings of Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath on the bus to Driver’s Ed. That was my religion. All devotion went Sexton’s letters and Plath’s journals. Their poetry. The bravery of these women ushered me through a dark time.
I was writing bravely, and badly, but I hope to never forget that hunger.
If Sirens were an iconic diva, which one would it be? Why?
Sirens would take the shape of Lana Del Rey. Her song “Off To The Races” embodies everything I’ve tried to do with poetry. Del Rey’s material aligns with mine: wild nights, fast cars, broken boys.
In your artist statement you call this chapbook “a sort of makeshift guide to navigating, and surviving, a queer Appalachian youth.” What is the first step for survival?
Mary Ann Samyn, a mentor/favorite poet of mine, shares the answer in her collection Purr. Samyn closes her poem “Under It” with: “no matter how small, you have to want it.” Later, in the title poem, she writes: “What you want may turn toward you yet.” These are the closest answers I have.
If the poem is a body how do you adorn it?
A hoodie from an old lover, scuffed Adidas Superstars, Calvin Klein briefs.
Mitchell Glazier was born in Martinsburg, West Virginia in 1995. His poetry has appeared in The Adroit Journal, on the Editors' List for the 2015 & 2016 Adroit Prize for Poetry, Dialogist, and Interim. This fall, he will begin his MFA candidacy in poetry at Columbia University.