Talking today with acclaimed poet, Natalie Shapero about her most recent collection of poetry about the poetry that deal with the human being against an array of neoliberal and capitalistic systems; against the dynamics of people in proximity to one another; what it might look like to write towards oblivion; the wry truth of sadness; as always: the poet in the world.
Have You Been Wanting To Go To Sleep and Not Wake Up
I answered no, having long contended
that sleep offers only the drawbacks
of death (inability to partake in nature and drugs)
without the big benefit (no longer
being alive). Sleeping forever:
no thanks. I have, though, been wanting to take up
acting, in order to get myself a death scene.
The key is the constructed landscape, going out
in front of a plywood backdrop: barbershop
or bed of rocks—it doesn’t
matter. What matters is securing
a different world to die in, as I refuse
to die in this one. I won’t give it
the satisfaction. Not that it is ever satisfied.
Natalie Shapero is the author Hard Child (Copper Canyon, 2017), No Object (Saturnalia, 2013), and most recently Popular Longing, which came out this year from copper canyon press. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Poetry, and elsewhere, and she is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, and a Kenyon Review Fellowship. website