Picks and Pans Review: Sounds Off
updated 11/15/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 11/15/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST
HAVE YOU ALMAY WRITTEN POETRY? Yes, for a long time. Some of the poems in the book have been in existence since I was 15.... Some poems may have started out as song ideas, but I just continued to write randomly; I was just writing what I was feeling.
WHAT'S THE DIFFRENCE BETWEEN YOUR POEM AND SONG? The poetry is even more intense than the songs; you can feel the difference. A song is more structured. You have to make people understand what you're saying. Whereas the poetry is more free-form. You can dig down much deeper, because there are no rules.
ARE YOU INFLUENCED BY OTHER WRITER OR POETS? I like Ernest Hemingway, Maya Angelou. I remember the first time I read Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. I had this great teacher who brought you through all the nuances that went deeper than the words. I remember being really in awe.
WHEN YOU WROTE THESE POEMS DID YOU INTEND TO PUBLISH THEM? Not exactly. This book challenged me to decide what I wanted to share because some of it was so personal. For a lot of them, I realized that since those times have passed, I was ready to share because I'd moved on. The poems are my lessons.