FIELD NOTES : Interrogating Truth:: Poetry and Journalism with Andre Bagoo in Trinidad and Tobago
A Note on Notebooks
Andre BagooAT FIRST, I wanted to keep them separate. After all, they could not be more different. One, plain blue with the words ‘REPORTERS NOTEBOOK’ written on its thin cover. The other, a fancy Italian notebook with a hard cover that looks like brown marble; the kind of pattern you used to find on the insides of old books thrown out by the library. For a long time I walked with the reporters’ notebook on work assignments and saved the other notebook for home; for later; for after the real work of the day was done. Somehow they conspired to get together.
In truth, they were meant for each other.
POETRY MONTH 30/30/30: Day 6 :: Matthew Nelson and Jacob Perkins on Paul Legault
Interview with the Self by Jacob Perkins & Matt Nelson Q: In what way has Paul Legault improved your sex life? A: It’s a tough question. We’d like to point out that we didn’t get into sir Legault on our own. Like any good relationship it takes, at the very least, two. Our friend read from his book in the subway and all she had to say was, “This guy will turn you inside out,” which he of course didn’t. No one can do that to you and if they try, you should call the proper MTA authorities. But he did turn us outside in, as in what the ufkc? His poems trick you into thinking you’re reading multiple voices shouting in a space where shouts can echo, colliding with each other and creating new sounds. But the intellectual gift is that all the voices are thrown. There is only one Wizard in this Oz. Legault takes control of your equilibrium and maintains a kind of trustless navigation that is impossible to follow on first read. Q: What method of Paul Legault’s language turns you on and why? A: Well, if you are one of those who can pick out patterns, Mr. Legault, at least in The Other Poems, which, by the way is titled on the sub-title tacked to most collections of poetry, sticks pretty close to what we would describe as a format. In our own work the format relies on a series of folds (literal) which we attack as a unit, one space at a time, passing our work back and forth without verbal cooperation. This results in a timing based on mutual challenge and uncomfortability. It is unpredictable but refreshing, the rhythm. Paul (can we call him Paul?) discomforts the supposition that what you read before was what was you read before. Every line, every word is a question game. When did the adjective turn into a noun? How can time be turned into space with just the tiniest turn of a preposition? These are the types of strange knife twists Paul manipulates causing a poetry hemorrhage, showing you the insides of words.