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Public Poetry Festival

by Archives September 23, 2008

Chris Masson is a funny guy. His poetry is a funny, serious art. A great line from one of his poems is ” I love you like an octopus loves gloves, four times more than human.” Talking to him, there’s no doubt that line was spoken from the heart.

Q&A

Any words you hate?

No, no I’m sort of an equal opportunity word user.

Any words you love?

I love monosyllables and stop plosives like K, Gee, da. English is such a malleable, polyglot language: fuck, shit (laughs).

Poetic idol?

It’s changed. What you need is people around you can share with, not like your mom who will love anything, but someone who can offer constructive criticism.

Time you prefer to write?

On the bus or metro. There, the raw data goes down. Even after a year, I’ll find it again and be re-inspired. I may read it 20 times over a year before it will click.

Has poetry saved your life?

I’m a writer, but I’m also an actor. There are often long breaks, I’ve seen people I know become miserable and lose their skill because they’re just inactive. I combine the two, practicing poetry while on set.

Does it take a clear mind to write?

I wouldn’t say I’m clear minded. I’d say there’s something about being really tired or emotional that helps you write – you’re closer to the source of creative ideas then. You can get more surprising stuff when you’re really tired or emotional. You have to keep surprising yourself, or else you’re just repeating yourself, and that is unsatisfying.

What gets in the way?

Stress, life, uncertainty and self-doubt. You need time and it can be tough when time is money.

Any words for would-be poets?

Be nice to yourself, read lots, share with supportive people, take criticism and don’t take it personally.

txt msg luv poems

our lady of many voyages,
how were the rails?
i miss yr ringtone already.
come back yesterday

the street fair is on.
st laurent is all tents and mangoes
ppl are out in 2s
and it s a good time to be in life.
i hve leftover chinese
but no1 to leave it over with.

wanna blow up the border with me, leigh
cheri?
we make luv like hyper psychic luau
u are my dynamite cherry pie
i luv u 2 bits
heart heart heart

met up with j and joe
soccer was a no go
supper was yum, yo
miss u like gong shows
luv u like god knows
cant wait till we touch toes

train is in my dreams of u.
it blows red smoke
and has big blue windows.
it gets in at 110
and has a rugby team of yous waiting for me.
c u at 111

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