“Third Crescent Moon”
Did the visual artist refract any element of the poem that made you see the poem differently?
Poet Leslie Chang: I was taken by Caleb’s use of Chinese characters in his piece and especially by the way he turned horse, crab, and balaclava-clad rider into a kind of ideogram, which made me view the shape of my poem differently.
His choices of medium and color bring the poem’s subdued feeling to the surface.
If your poem were a weather pattern, what would it be?
Poet Leslie Chang: A dust storm. A little squall.
If the broadside collaboration were a land formation, what would it be?
Poet Leslie Chang: A grassy steppe.
What did you think an artist would pick up on from your poem?
Poet Leslie Chang: I was curious how the artist would deal with the specificity of the poem’s images.
What surprised you about this experience?
Poet Leslie Chang: Collaboration in this case meant offering up my poem to the artist and surrendering the exact images I had in mind when making it. I was surprised by how close the details in Caleb’s piece are to what I imagined. But more fantastic, which is good.
I am enamored of the blue horse.
Let’s say that your broadside collaboration was a first date. How did it go? First base? Second? Nightcap? Would you make plans for a second date?
Poet Leslie Chang: Definite second date.
Read any good books lately?
Poet Leslie Chang: Peter Orner’s The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo. Blackbird and Wolf by Henri Cole.