GJD: In Danger, your first book of poems, is a remarkable, novel-like sequence of “noir” poems. There are characters—unsavory lovers, the city itself, and a tough-skinned narrator whose skin gets thicker as we travel through the narrative. She tells us early on about how, “I would listen to no one/especially me” and “my own radiant/dangerous origin, choices winking/like the city at night.” And then the shocker: “Let poetry dump her off here.” How did you come to braid the “noir” Chandleresque narration with a poetry that creates such hard-boiled lyricism? Who were your earliest influences in writing? What voices did you hear?
My earliest influence might have been Eugene Field’s children’s poem, “Winken, Blynken and Nod.” I believe it influences me to this very day. Even as a little kid I got its power, its other-worldly spell-casting mood.