Poets On Place by W. T. Pfefferle

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By W. T. Pfefferle

Out to work out the USA and fulfill his go back and forth malicious program, W. T. Pfefferle resigned from his place as director of the writing software at Johns Hopkins college and hit the line to interview sixty-two poets in regards to the importance of position of their paintings. The energetic conversations that resulted may well shock with the aptitude meanings of a doubtless uncomplicated notion. This amassing of voices and ideas is illustrated with photograph and notice graphics from the line and represented with compatible poems. The poets are James Harms, David Citino, Martha Collins, Linda Gregerson, Richard Tillinghast, Orlando Ricardo Menes, Mark Strand, Karen Volkman, Lisa Samuels, Marvin Bell, Michael Dennis Browne, David Allan Evans, David Romtvedt, Sandra Alcosser, Robert Wrigley, Nance Van Winckel, Christopher Howell, Mark Halperin, Jana Harris, Sam Hamill, Barbara Drake, Floyd Skloot, Ralph Angel, Carol Muske-Dukes, David St. John, Sharon Bryan, Donald Revell, Claudia Keelan, Alberto Rios, Richard Shelton, Jane Miller, William Wenthe, Naomi Shihab Nye, Peter Cooley, Miller Williams, Beth Ann Fennelly, Natasha Trethewey, Denise Duhamel, Campbell McGrath, Terrance Hayes, Alan Shapiro, Nikki Giovanni, Charles Wright, Rita Dove, Henry Taylor, Dave Smith, Nicole Cooley, David Lehman, Lucie Brock-Broido, Michael S. Harper, C. D. Wright, Mark Wunderlich, James Cummins, Frederick Smock, Mark Jarman, Carl Phillips, Scott Cairns, Elizabeth Dodd, Jonathan Holden, Bin Ramke, Kenneth Brewer, and Paisley Rekdal.

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The phones in the area have been buzzing about her: will she get well? Will she be back to play Malvern? We have to have her back to beat Malvern! We head up another gravel road. It’s big enough for one and a half cars of this size, so we’re right in the middle. Dust roars in both windows. I’m smiling, holding my breath. Suddenly, a giant red combine appears ahead of us, moving in the same direction, but slower. My brother-inlaw is pointing out the window on his side. “One of my players lives there,” he says, as he motions at a small farmhouse down a dirt road.

My Cuba is not a Cuba that can be accessed by everyone who goes there. It’s a very particular version of Cuba. I like to write poems that have embedded in them some distance between the actual experience and the memory of it. In other words, memory allows me to transmute the world, rather than to be imprisoned by the world. I see myself as a Cuban American poet, as a Latino poet. And though this identity does not necessarily entail any social obligation, I do feel that I wouldn’t be true to myself if I were writing about topics that were more general and that I have no personal investment with.

I love the desert and mountains and things that are empty. You can go from that geography to an interior sense—a Buddhist emptiness or via negativa, something like that. That sense of ontological or spiritual placedness being activated by the resolute sublimity and emptiness of a particular quarter, like the Maze in Utah, or the Empty Quarter in Saudi Arabia. I put on the cover of my latest chapbook, “War Holdings,” a photograph that I took in Yemen of an ancient remnant of a moon temple, which is two thousand seven hundred years old.

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