universal. To ignore the universal is really dumb. It’s just putting a blinder
on. What are you doing with that knowledge? If we just talk about the
fact that there is injustice . . . I’d like to see more of that talk in the service
of action, as opposed to creating more and more walls in our thinking.
Categories in our thinking, and constant acknowledging of those categories, can be a barrier to action and understanding the universal.
KOO: You say in the same poem that the real self “is a man.” This is echoed
by a hilarious moment in “I like weird ass hippies” from Thunderbird
when you write, “I like when you rub your patchouli on me / And tell me
I’m a man / I am a fucking man.” What do you mean by this?
LASK Y: There is that Jungian idea that if you’re female, an animus exists
that is your perfect identity. I’ve always been attracted to the idea that
instead of looking at this as your soulmate or another person, it’s actually your self that you’re connecting to. I remember talking to somebody
about this late at night, and I had a feeling of what that animus was like
. . . and he was a weird-ass fucking man! So I know that’s me. I guess
part of the purpose of this kind of thinking is that you’re so free of whatever identity you’re used to having in the world. Seeing yourself as that
completely opposite version makes you see yourself more, because you’re
not just thinking of yourself in the way that you interact with the world.
Although that weird-ass man is pretty similar to me.
KOO: So why not play around more in your poems with different personae?
It seems that most of your poems, if not all of them, are centered on a
clear “I” that seems very close to your social speaking voice. Obviously
you’re playing around with different inflections of that persona, but why
not write a poem, say, from the perspective of a weird-ass fucking man?
LASKY: Well, I do play around with persona more than people think.
Even my social persona I’m playing around with. In my poems, I steal
a lot of language. There’s a poem in AWE, “Chattanooga, Tennessee,”
where I say, “My mother used to pick fruit off trees and put them in jars.”
I remember many years ago talking to a man with dementia who kept
telling me how his mom used to take fruit off trees and put them in jars,