Words On Their Words

Insight into contributor work in their own words

Ahmar Ursani on his poem, "Slightly Used Kidney For Sale":

"Slightly Used Kidney for Sale" is about my father, my fear of becoming him and my envy of his ability to renew himself constantly. I indirectly discuss him by creating a persona of a somewhat swashbuckling man living in the Dust Bowl Era. His kidneys failed when he was in his late twenties so he went to America to try his luck with the transplant waiting list game; he waited a year or so he was pretty low on the list, eventually a twelve year old girl died in STL and my dad received her kidney. I wouldn't be alive without her!

Sam West discusses his poetic surveying in "The Ice Cream Truck Man"
and "anchored, ridged":

Wrote "Ice Cream Truck Man" in a flash, two minute period in my front yard at summer's end, echoing the arrival of the ice cream truck man in my small neighborhood - getting a kick out of the local kids - wish I could still be so excited about something as simple as ice cream. The line "ice cream rocks the whole wide neighborhood' was an actual exclamation from one of the kids, which really put childhood into perspective.

"anchored, ridged" is Existential musing, with wordplay in accordance to place - AK's got those wide open spaces, dramatic scenery, rustic , natural - the kind of that easily influences - took a bike path along the Anchorage coastline one afternoon in the summer of 2010 - stopped for a while, took a seat and took the view- hence poem title's achorage shout out.

Brandon Gruenenfelder on the origins and aesthetics of his piece, "Ex-offender in front of the cheap TV shop- lion in the zoo on the fuzzy tubes":

My piece was created for a persona poem assignment in a poetry writing class instructed by Allison Funk. I was experimenting with and familiarizing myself with simile and metaphor at the time it was written. I was attempting to embody an ex-sex offender, who is tempted at the sight of a lost child. Trying to infuse the piece with a strong metaphor/simile, I inserted the lion as a representation of the animalistic predatory state of true human nature. If I remember correctly, the title arose out of the revision process. I think the original title didn't clearly link the lion to the television shop that the speaker is standing in front of. This created problems from readers, as the image of the lion wasn't gelling with the city street scene. The revised title allowed the lion to enter the speaker's thoughts without distracting readers.