Hey, the Proust Questionnaire returns! with none other than accomplished poet, essayist, blogger Amy King. Amy King’s bio is below, followed by her intimate answers to those Proustian questions:
Introduction to Amy King
Amy King is the author of I’m the Man Who Loves You and Antidotes for an Alibi, both from Blazevox Books, The People Instruments (Pavement Saw Press), Kiss Me With the Mouth of Your Country (Dusie Press), and most recently, Slaves to Do These Things (Blazevox). Forthcoming is I Want to Make You Safe (Litmus Press).
Amy edits the Poetics List, sponsored by The Electronic Poetry Center (SUNY-Buffalo/University of Pennsylvania), moderates the Women’s Poetry Listserv (WOMPO) and the Goodreads Poetry! Group, and teaches English and Creative Writing at SUNY Nassau Community College. Her poems have been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes, and she has been the recipient of a MacArthur Scholarship for Poetry. Amy King was also the 2007 Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere.
She is currently preparing a book of interviews with the poet, Ron Padgett, and is also co-editing Poets for a Living Waters with Heidi Lynn Staples. She maintains a blog you should read, right here.
Amy King Answers the Proust Questionnaire
Your favorite virtue.
I wish I didn’t bleed so much… profusion.
Your favorite qualities in a man.
He thinks about the world and is open and intuitive to the point that people say, “Including Mike Young is like including a woman.” He enjoys the insult as compliment.
Your favorite qualities in a woman.
When she surpasses backchanneling to put her words out there for everyone to target or admire, whichever matters not.
Your chief characteristic.
My last name says it all. “Not as a god but as a god might be.” Determined.
What you appreciate the most in your friends.
Their poetry. And love, which is in the same proximity.
Your main fault.
I can’t keep up.
Your favorite occupation.
Sage. Open to offers.
Your idea of happiness.
A lawn of books, on blanket, bottle of wine, something tasty, my lover and friends, a live band perhaps, events on the horizon and spontaneous poetry.
Your idea of misery.
Going through the motions, fruitless and numb.
If not yourself, who would you be?
That holy hippie guy with the beard and no pants. Or someone like Claude Cahun.
Where would you like to live?
In the cradle of Walt Whitman’s birth, where I live now. And a second home in the south of France or up to Paris or Barcelona. And a few other places. I like living.
Your favorite prose authors.
James Baldwin. Donald Barthleme. Gertrude Stein. Claude Cahun. Virginia Woolf. Laura Riding Jackson.
Your favorite poets.
Ouch, the limits of lists. Cesar Vallejo. Larry Levis recently. Gertrude Stein. Claude Cahun. Walt Whitman. John Ashbery. Tomaz Salamun. Ana Bozicevic. Laura Riding. Many more.
Your favorite heroes in fiction.
Sofia from The Color Purple by Alice Walker.
Your favorite heroines in fiction.
Is that the kind one snorts or puts in the arm?
Virginia Woolf’s Orlando; he’s a hot heroine.
Your favorite painters and composers.
O’Keefe. Picasso. De Chirico. Basquiat. Robert Frank. Diane Arbus. Claude Cahun. Photographers are painters too. Chopin’s Etudes.
Your heroes in “real life.”
In this very moment, Joan Retallack (for recent essays I’ve read online) and Ana Bozicevic. Look them up.
What characters in history do you most dislike?
God, Allah, Jehovah, and the like.
Your favorite names.
Zora. Barack. Walt Whitman.
What do you hate the most?
Apathy. Passivity. Guilt by excision.
What military event do you admire the most?
The disbandment of such machinery. Read Three Guineas. Future forward, baby.
What reform do you admire the most?
Huh? The What Else.
The natural talent you’d like to be gifted with.
Music-making. Bringing an audience to a range of conditions akin to that of Bonnie Prince Billy, the Avett Bros, Chan Marshall, etc.
How do you wish to die?
In love and loving.
What is your present state of mind?
Anxious and hopeful, despite recent environmental undoings.
For what fault do you have the most toleration?
Your favorite motto.
Where’s your joie de vivre?!