The Spring 2020 Issue of The Bitter Oleander includes a special feature. Editor Paul B. Roth interviews poet David Chorlton. Readers can also find a selection from Chorlton’s Speech Scroll. Below, check out an excerpt from the interview and visit The Bitter Oleander website to get a taste of Speech Scroll.
PBR: In your Speech Scroll, a sampling of which follows this interview, you’ve put the urban and the desert world together so expertly over some 158 poems. Did this particular project start off with that in mind or was it just your current ongoing consciousness of where you were in that environment and who you are that brought it forth?
DC: . . . While there are the times I sit down to commit words to paper, the actual writing of poetry is never turned off. Without placing a title or thinking of a poem’s shape, I had an ongoing path to follow and that helped me shift a little in the way I see images come together. Thinking about the political happenings of our tumultuous time might become too consuming, and for some people it is. Others seem to remain oblivious to anything that goes on in that realm. Writing poetry, being the most natural form of communication for me, has been a good place in which to scatter comments and observations that, I hope, provoke more thought than argument. Life encompasses a wide range of pleasures and frustrations, comfort for the fortunate and responsibility toward those who are not, and so with the help of various bird and animal species, plus a view of the sunrise from our front door when I’m up early to see it I take, as I mentioned earlier, what is given, and transform it the best way I can.