Saturday, January 14, 2017

Tepper Talk: Susan Tepper Interviews Sarah Sarai

Berndnaut Smilde

Berndnaut Smilde
Tepper Talk:

Susan Tepper writes fiction, poetry, interviews, runs readings, posts indefatigably. I was lucky enough to be interviewed by her in late 2016 about Geographies. Here is an excerpt:
In your poem ‘But Then Again’ you also bring up God:
 “… You suspect God’s an / anarchist and admit you / like belief which transforms / you into an arcangel, a / nimbus, the celebrating / Sun. /…”
 Will you talk some about this poem?
 S.S. If anyone wants to read ‘But Then Again’ which was published in Ascent here is the direct link. God? She’s a pretty common character in literature. No reaching deep into classical references there. I had a “moment” late one morning at the Center (LGBT) on 13th Street, in one of their spacious, high-ceilinged rooms with many large windows. The sun poured in through the glass and found me, and I was unable to differentiate between the very real corporeal Sarah Sarai and a self who was a character in a painting by a Renaissance artist, maybe Raphael, of a woman, holy or not, in a nimbus – those luminous clouds engulfing the saints in art. I inwardly narrated the moment, as when Annie Hall steps out of her body to narrate sex. So I felt anointed and was aware I was no more, no less than Sarah Sarai feeling anointed, or being anointed, or imagining myself in a painting at the Met. It stuck with me, that quick and glorious flash-bulb moment. I used it in a poem.
The full interview is here.

***The photos, from a "nimbus photography series," are by Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde. "For his Nimbus photography series, Smilde has created indoor clouds within buildings including the Hotel MariaKapel in the Netherlands and Aspremont-Lynden Castle in Belgium. Smilde's clouds were listed by TIME Magazine as one of the top 10 inventions of 2012."

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