3 Untitled Nature Catastrophe Poems
By: Darren Demaree
maybe having children
was a mistake i can’t stop
shaking when i think they
could be the last adults they
could kiss the first tide in
ohio i am thrilled they
are here now with me i
needed them but my needs are
bringing forth the ocean
there is no break in death
& no loud conversation
with heaven this world leaks
onto what table the bright
hard song of fighting to
fight against the end of wood
is exhausting the edge
of humanity only
leads to more edge dammit
color is the real cup
the human cloak the smoking
forests the smoke the steel
the gray to whitening ash
fucking coal defenders
we are so easy to find
it’s all ruins & yet
we aren’t ruined one bird sings
flight doesn’t mean escape
Darren C. Demaree is the author of sixteen poetry collections, most recently “a child walks in the dark”, (December 2021, Harbor Editions). He is the recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, the Louise Bogan Award from Trio House Press, and the Nancy Dew Taylor Award from Emrys Journal.
Interview with the Poet:
Cathexis Northwest Press:
How long have you been writing poetry?
Darren C. Demaree: I wrote my first poem when I was twelve. I think my first published poem came when I was twenty-two. So, at this point, for a very long time.
Can you remember the first poem you read that made you fall in love with poetry?
Robert Creeley’s “The Whip”
Who are your favorite poets? Any specific poems?
Carlos Drummond de Andrade
Albert Abonado CNP:
Can you share for us a little bit about your writing process? Any specific rituals that get you in the zone?
DCD: I actually only eat sugar when I’m writing. I’m smart enough to know that I’m simple enough to be tricked into writing. So, the smell of coffee, a piece of pie, and some music will normally get me going pretty well.
How do you decide the form for your poems? Do you start writing with a form in mind, or do you let the poem tell you what it will look like as you go?
It doesn’t normally find a form until the editing process. CNP:
Any advice for poets who have yet to find their voice?
Keep experimenting. Even if you find a comfort zone with a particular voice then you should keep pushing past that and try new voices or new forms. Try everything. Have fun with it. CNP:
What is your editing process like?
It’s different depending on the poem. If it’s a standalone poem I might pick at it for a long time. If it’s part of a sequence or a narrative I will leave the editing part alone until I’m working on the project as a whole. CNP:
When do you know that a poem is finished?
This gets said a lot, but a poem is never really finished if it’s yours. I’ve got books that I’ll read from and I’ve edited the poems again in the published book. Either I learned something from reading it in front of an audience or I’ve changed my mind on something I struggled with when I was writing it. A poem I’m no longer engaged with is one I probably won’t read in front of folks.