I will be including some poet interviews for National Poetry Month, so of course I asked Marge Simon. One of my favorite poets, she is also a dear friend. I often ask her what she thinks of my work when I’m not sure if I’m hitting the mark or not. Her evaluations are honest and keen—and she’s fun to hang out with! Everyone should be so lucky to have such a friend. And now… a few hundred words from Marge Simon herself.
Marge Simon: And now for a little something different … Let me preface my answers with a huge thanks for coming up with these unusual questions. If you’ve been interviewed enough times, you’ve been asked the same old questions, pretty much. I love the ones you came up for me, Angela.
AYS: If you could be in a poem, what poem would it be and why?
Marge Simon: I would be in Yeats’ “The Stolen Child” because I love the poem for the first lines — the fantasy, not of fairies, but of wonderment and adventures. Unfortunately, adventures for me generally turned into mis-adventures. I grew up in Boulder, CO and the mountains are my forever-dream home. “Come away O human child, to the forest and the wild …”
AYS: If you were trapped on a mountain top but you could have one poet trapped with you, who would you choose?
Marge Simon: First, thanks for not saying “desert island”! Of course, I’d like to have Bruce Boston, who also happens to be a truly Grand Master Poet and my husband. If not him, I’d love to have the ghost of Charlee Jacob, who was one of the most outstanding dark poets of our generation. Better still, to have her back alive. She died too soon, and her inspirations are sadly missed. Actually, to be practical, I’d like someone who would get us safely down the mountain top. Even if they are a bad poet.
AYS: Let’s imagine you are a superheroine and your superpower is poetry. How do you use your power for good?
Marge Simon: I’d like to think I’m doing that now. Many of my poems refer to past events, such as the Holocaust, the Civil War, Segregation, mankind’s burden: inhumanity. The idea of cancelling culture is so absurd, that’s reason enough to continue writing about tragedies past and present. I would defend keeping history in the curriculum. I would also use my poems to promote raising teacher’s salaries with the goal of improving our faltering educational system.
AYS: If you were a villain, how would you destroy the universe (or at least our part of it?)
Marge Simon: Easy. With all my evil powers, I would make #45 Emperor of the Universe and make sure all his orders are followed. A sure thing. He would probably want to name all the planets after himself, so that might be confusing at first.
AYS: If animals could write poetry, what kind would you be, and what kind of poetry would you write?
Marge Simon: I would be a cat. I believe cats are secret poets anyway. When a cat sleeps, it dreams poetry. I would convey my phantastic dreams while purring. The only creatures who would know my language are also feline, and cats are notoriously egocentric and would not care to listen. But so be it.
AYS: How and why did you fall in love with poetry?
Marge Simon: My father used to read poetry to me while I was growing up. Priceless hours spent – he particularly liked ballads of the Old West, Tennyson, Coleridge, Poe – poems with rolling rhymes and rhythms. I loved their music.
AYS: What’s coming up for you, and how can we find, follow and like you?
Marge Simon: My collaborator from our Stoker Poetry Finalist collections, Sweet Poison and Satan’s Sweethearts, Mary Turzillo and I have completed a new collection, VICTIMS. Mary has described me as having “humanity and scorn”, which is pretty true. We have yet to find a publisher, so it may not be out until 2022.
Deep in the Everglades, protected by seven gators, there is a place I go for inspiration. You may try to find me there. Or not. I’m on Facebook and have yet to join Twitter. I’ll be at future Stokercons. See you soon, I hope! Find more Marge Simon at margesimon.com.