National Poetry Month Spotlight: B.C. Edwards

662. To prepare and Bleach Skeletons.
I cling to your femur like waking up with our hairs tangled
like waking up with our arms and legs around each other,
I have filled your ribs
peninsulas of whiskey and lubricant.
It would be impossible to extract all this,
but still, make a tin box.
Pack your skull, your knuckles, your floating knee caps,
every single twitching digit and
solder on the cover, leave only a round hole for peering out of
eye socket pressed against the top,
for calling out of in your quiet tongueless voice.
Until the box is filled with every single meal you made for me.
Even the ones that burned in in oven
while I distracted sucking on your feet.
Pack your toes in as well.
Seal it over nicely and leave yourself for three months.
More than that. Until the sun will bleach you white.
Any shorter process
will give you a skeleton that is always nasty.
And after I will pull you out. Hang you up. Presently forget.
Poem from the full-length collection, From the Cyclopedia of Recipes, forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press.

Q: What is your writing process?
A: You know that thing about a million monkeys and a million typewriters and Shakespeare and infinite time? It feels like that.
Mostly I’ve been working on a novel for three years and every day I sit down to write I tell myself that I’m going to write that novel and then I end up writing a couple poems and say that I’ll work on the novel tomorrow and it happens all over again. I think maybe that’s why my poetry is steeped in so much guilt.
But the exact process? I sit in a cafe and listen to hypnotic electronic music and write for as long as my paying job will allow me to be out of the office.
Q: Is there an exciting poet (emerging or established) whose work you just discovered this year?
A: Oooh, lets see…
Oddly enough I’d never read Marie Howe before this past year. I saw her at a salon late last year and god damn did she knock me out…
I have no idea how long I’ve been obsessed with Eileen Myles, definitely way more than a year, but it’s the kind of crush that dosen’t go away and every time I see her read, or read something of her’s, it’s pretty much falling in love all over again…
Angela Veronica Wong just got back from her Fulbright last summer and jesus, do I wish she hadn’t left. How To Survive A Hotel Fire is a pretty kick-ass book and watching her perform her work is mesmerizing.
Q: If you could go on a one-week writing retreat anywhere in the world, where would you travel?
A: Probably Barcelona. It’s one of my very favorite cities and I’ve done a ton of writing there in the past, so I know it’s doable. The exact right meter of distraction and isolation. Also they make killer coffee.

B.C. EDWARDS is the author of the forthcoming novella knucklebone and is the prose and audio editor at Pax Americana. He received his MFA from The New School. He is a regular contributor to BOMBlog, FAQNP and the Brooklyn Review. His most recent work can be found in Red Line Blues, LyreLyre, The Sink Review, Food-i-corp, as well as Hobart, which nominated him for a 2012 Pushcart. His short story “Illfit,” is being adapted into a piece by the Royal Ballet of Flanders. He is also a Literary Death Match champion and has the medal to prove it. His forthcoming short story collection The Aversive Clause won the 2011 Hudson Prize.