eight questions with mr. cunningham

christopher cunningham is someone in the small press that we here at nibble admire greatly.  he is one of only two poets to appear in every issue of nibble.  

when it was time for our editor to come out of retirement, christopher was the first person he contacted and his help in launching nibble quickly and effectively right out of the gate with issue number one is impossible to understate.

A talented poet and artist, christopher has his hand in more pots than we have can imagine. 

and now, here are eight questions with christopher cunningham:

What is your role in the small press?

writing.  that’s it.  I help out with the Guerilla Poetics Project, and let others know about the work of writers I think have something to say by talking about it on my blog and in my letters and such, but my ‘role’ is to write.  it’s what I do.

What is one thing people should know about you?

I like my privacy.  a lot.  really.  don’t stop by and see us sometime, please…

What are you working on right now that has you excited?

the book of letters coming out at the end of May by OA Press called Sunlight at Midnight, Darkness at Noon:  The Cunningham/McCreesh Letters, 2002.  the hardback version sold out in about twenty hours and the whole project has some incredible folks working behind the scenes to make it really amazing all the way around. 

Name one thing you wish you had.

my own 1000 acre plot of land with a tiny farmhouse right in the center and lots of mountains surrounding it with a deep well and solar panels.

Name one thing you have that you could do without.

the burden of paying bills.

Who is your favorite small press poet?

I have a few and am fortunate enough to correspond with most of them.  I’d say Bill Taylor, McCreesh, dot barrett, Father Luke, Luis Berriozabal, and several others…

Name one small press poetry mag, other than nibble, that everyone should read?

Nerve Cowboy.  buy a subscription today, as it’s NOT an online “publication.”  you will not EVER be disappointed.

Where do you want to see your own poetry?

carved in a rock high on a mountain where probably nobody will see it but I’ll know it’s there, left behind for the most intrepid of explorers to find.

here are christopher’s poems as they appeared in nibble:

the right time of night

into the space
contained by four dusty walls
drifts the sound of a train horn
like
an alien ship passing in the darkness.

graffiti on a box car door
blurs thru the trees and disappears
into shadows and fog.

someone is working,
something is moving.

a progress is being made
while an echo of what once was

lingers.

+++++

for her, in absence

waking in terror
alone
I watch the skeleton of
midnight crawling
up the bedroom wall
and turn away.

I pull the covers over my head and vanish
into
the dark space.

it won’t be long, I tell myself.

it won’t be
long
now.

the room exhales,
waiting on the dawn.

+++++

sketch of girl with ball

gleaming supermarket tiles
under bleached electric light.

shapes clutching bottles
of wine,
onions, birdseed, bathroom cleaner.

aisles ordered
like sleeping kaleidoscopes.

hidden cameras recording
the mundane seconds of our lives.

then:

a flash of bright pink
and a jolt of motion chasing behind, laughing.

and a mother hurrying to keep up.

+++++

a certain blindness

it
seems,

as I watch us
move thru
this world,

that
somehow,

we are

miles
in
the
sky

without ever bothering
to learn
the meaning

of flight.

+++++

wisdom

fat belly
curling
over beltbuckle.

deep labored breaths
drawn
in the damning sunlight.

face the color
of tobacco and
hard work.

muddy spoor
leading to
his worn bootheels.

one rusted finger
pointing
out an
angle.

says,

“maybe.”

+++++

the low rumble of poetry

builds
but never seems to deliver.

a page from a child’s diary
or
the sound of a time clock.

a poignant anecdote
told to an old friend
under a shade tree
over a cold beer.

in a wasteland
the sparkle
of a ruby
should be easy to uncover.

pale white walls
dirty with the fingerprints
of ghosts.

the fertile earth of an empty grave

imagining
flowers.

+++++

perched

here
is black coffee.
maybe
music.

alas
it is foreign and strange
to your ears.

you do not
understand.

here is rain.

in the cold
it is possible
to better remember warmth.

along the
knife’s edge
the light
is bright.

here is the knife.

check back every friday for a new eight!  you can view past eights by clicking on the ‘eight’ link to the right.

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~ by nibblepoems on April 24, 2009.

5 Responses to “eight questions with mr. cunningham”

  1. Yes, Nerve Cowboy is the journal to read.

  2. thanks jeff for the good words and for the opportunity. GO NIBBLE!

  3. those are some great poems… nice work.

  4. i like this mini-interview series. two good ones so far.

  5. Thank you, Jeff.

    Thank you chris. . .

    – –
    Okay,
    Father Luke

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