Part 2 of My Interview with Poet Arlene Ang

Welcome to Part 2 of my interview with Arlene Ang.

I was reading over her answers to the second part of our interview, and it donned on me where else I had heard of Arlene, and it was Poems Niederngasse, which published a poem of mine in 2004. Check out Sacrifice if you are interested.

However, this is not about me, it’s about Arlene, so without further ado, let me welcome Arlene back to Savvy Verse & Wit

4. Have you edited for other magazines? And are the processes and atmospheres similar at those magazines to those at Pedestal?

Before coming to Pedestal Magazine, I was editor of Niederngasse Italian for some years. Presently, I’m also one of the Press 1 editors — more webmistress than editor actually since Valerie Fox and Phyllis Wat do most of the paper/legwork.

Editing for Pedestal is certainly different pace-wise. I find that I have to read submissions every day or get behind. When I was editor for Niederngasse Italian, I remember having to solicit poems for every issue because otherwise there wouldn’t have been any issue. Pedestal has a sleek, businesslike atmosphere. I love the database, sorting out the submissions like a postal worker (one of my dream jobs). When I’m on duty, it feels like a real job behind a real cubicle. No chitchat with co-workers, just 100% concentration.

With Press 1, we’re pretty lax. We discuss the poems we receive and take votes. Oftentimes we’re late, too. The only time, I think, that a Pedestal issue came out late was because the server got hacked.

5. If you were to describe your writing what 5 buzzwords would you choose? And could you elaborate on what those buzzwords mean to you and why they describe your work?

Difficult question. Like standing in front of the mirror and wondering which shoes go better with your dress.

Versatile is the first word that comes to mind. A friend said that, not me, because I like to try different genres from traditional forms to prose poems to photoetry. Photoetry is just how I coined the marriage of photography and poetry. There’s probably an official literary term for it. I did a couple ages ago: Like Turned Tables and Like Electricity.

Evolving. At least that’s how it feels. At some point I broke off from the straight narrative road and entered the Twilight Zone.

Godless. After thirteen years in a Catholic school, it’s hard not to be. It probably shows in my writing.

Experimental. Sometimes I actually imagine myself putting on a lab coat when I write and start poking into bodies and language that shouldn’t concern me.

Inventive. Maybe. I like to think of ways on how to lure in the reader.

6. Do you have any obsessions you would like to share?

Obsessions are my passion. My updated list includes (in alphabetical order) computer games, death, drink, food, mutation, Sims 3, and Tom Waits.

I also get obsessed with words or ideas. This month is eye-patch month and hermit crabs. Last year was amputation, gorilla suit, and shipwreck year. Like with songs I love, I just keep repeating the words or concepts in my writing until I get bored and move on to another subject. I’m worse than a virus.