How does a poem begin?
I wish I knew. Then, I’d recreate it every time I feel lost or unsure of myself. I am a serial note taker. I have a notebook in my mind where I record words and phrases that roll around my thoughts and trip me up in dreams. And I have a notebook on my desk and numerous Google docs of half starts, half middles, half ends. But, in the end, I think I approach a poem similar to how a novelist might approach a story—with research. I am constantly drawn to found text, the work of the archivist, the archaeologist, and the translator. I get curious about a subject or an idea—medicine, architecture, choreography, cave dwellers, girl scouts—and then I let myself go down the rabbit hole collecting scraps of language, facts, and points of view along the way. And then there’s a vibration or a slow burning fire, and I know the connection has been made between this other world of ideas and my own syntax. Then, I know, it’s beginning.