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“Rolling Around I Fall Off the Earth”

Posted on • Words by • Art by

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Collaborators’ Q&A

What made you think of Broadsided for this poem?
Poet Wheeler Light: I really wanted the poem to be interpreted somehow, since it’s very vivid and weird and not so precious about its imagery. I found out about Broadsided and went, “Oh yeah, that’s good,” and you all were gracious enough to have my poem. Thank you!

What inspires you in this poem? What drew you to it?
Artist Bailey Bob Bailey: I totally responded to the momentum of the poem, the locomotive quality of its relentlessness. Plus, it’s extremely visual. I loved the messy grandeur it presented.

Describe your dream “Vectorization”—where, in your wildest dreams, would you most like to see this broadside posted in the world?
Poet Wheeler Light: Ideally not on this world—in space! Or on Mars and Perseverance finds it. If on this world, it’d be fun if it got mixed in with someone’s tax documents and they reported the poem to the IRS. OR on the side of the late Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Café in Boulder, CO, to keep the dream alive.
Artist Bailey Bob Bailey:
I’d like to find this poem on a toe tag during my first ever morgue tour. I want to know the secrets and the comedy.

What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem? Did the visual artist refract any element of the poem that made you see the poem differently?
Poet Wheeler Light: I wasn’t too sure but I thought there’d be something toothy, which is how I interpret that block-shape in the center—teeth reforming into different shapes and ideas. There’s so much to choose from in the poem and the more I look at this incredible painting, the more I think Bailey has captured it all and expanded on it. If I think about it literally, there’s this wash of blues in the background as both the water and space. I’m completely in love with this sort of hand made of bright colors in the bottom right. There’s so much change and noise in this painting. Big fan.

Did anything shift for you or come into new light once you saw the poem and art together on the page?
Artist Bailey Bob Bailey: I thought of the painting as a key of sorts surrounded by water and sky with the building blocks of reason unfolding behind the scenes. Somehow I wanted to throw the painting in the poem, to energize it, to open its treasure.

Have you ever written work that has been inspired by visual art? What was that experience like for you? Why were you inspired to do so?
Poet Wheeler Light: I struggle to write ekphrasis! When I walk through museums, I just gawp and gawp and can’t write anything at all! I write poems after songs, sometimes, which is always nice but I keep those to myself—little song secrets.

If this broadside were a type of weather, what would it be?
Poet Wheeler Light: Most weathers except partly cloudy.
Artist Bailey Bob Bailey: 
Windy throughout evening—followed by rain-clearing in the morning.

Read any good books lately?
Poet Wheeler Light: Rapture by Susan Mitchell, Repast by D.A. Powell.
Artist Bailey Bob Bailey: 
Just read American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins and Faux Pas by Amy Sillman.

Seen any good art lately?
Poet Wheeler Light: With museums closed, mostly bird comics on Instagram. 
Artist Bailey Bob Bailey: 
A new find on Instagram, can’t wait to see in the flesh…Izumi Kato!

Anything else? (Here, we invite the collaborators to invent a question, add a comment, or otherwise speak to what the questions so far have not tapped about their Broadsided experience).
Poet Wheeler Light: I am questionless.
Artist Bailey Bob Bailey: After reading Wheeler’s poem I looked at some of his performances on YouTube, amazing work! I am so thankful for Broadsided Press’ reach and spirit.


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