DeWitt Brinson: What is your relationship with the reader?

Lily Duffy:

Mouth moving. Incessant. Precise. Forms the words

heard. Moves from the mouth to the ear. With the

hand placed across the other’s lips moving, form-

- Theresa Hak Kyung Cha

DB: What is your favorite part of a yard?

Lily Duffy:

Grappling hooks in the mud leaf out in the mind

- C.D. Wright

DB: Have you ever broken into a house? If so what did you do? If not, why not?

Lily Duffy:

    My shadow, his shadow, his

hand’s shadow

“You got a visitor, baby.”

- Kate Greenstreet

DB: Secret mistakes?

Lily Duffy: In my dream I apologize to everyone I meet. Instead of introducing myself, I apologize for not knowing why I am alive. I am sorry. I am sorry. I apologize. In real life, oddly enough, when I am fully awake and out and about, if I catch someone’s eye, I quickly look away. Perhaps this too is a form of apology. Perhaps this is the form apologies take in real life. In real life the looking away is the apology, despite the fact that when I look away I almost always feel guilty; I do not feel as if I have apologized. Instead I feel as if I have created a reason to apologize, I feel the guilt of having ignored that thing—the encounter. I could have nodded, I could have smiled without showing my teeth. In some small way I could have wordlessly said, I see you seeing me and I apologize for not knowing why I am alive. I am sorry. I am sorry. I apologize. Afterwards, after I have looked away, I never feel as if I can say, Look, look at me again so that I can see you, so that I can acknowledge that I have seen you, so that I can see you and apologize. - Claudia Rankine

DB: Open your hands. Put them slowly over your eyes. What do you see when you see?

Lily Duffy:

    The I is

more relaxed

when it is hunted.

- Dawn Lundy Martin

DB: What’s the last thing you didn’t do?

Lily Duffy:

    The spurt that doesn’t know what we’re up to,

frightens me, terrifies me.

Courageous memory, I push no further.

Blond and sad skeleton, whistle, whistle.

  1. -César Vallejo

DB: When you write what do like about it?

Lily Duffy:

Little spongy mysteries of evening begin to nick open.

-Anne Carson

DB: List all the colors you can think of out loud. Now, who makes you giggle more than anyone?

Lily Duffy:

    What a

white muffler

in a dark coat

will do for a

dull man.

- Lorine Niedecker

DB: When you feel embarrassed, describe your insides.

Lily Duffy:

    Menstruation covered with sand, garnets and amber

- Alice Notley

It is too late to be simple.

- Lisa Robertson

 DB: A bee lands on an empty airplane. List things people should know.

Lily Duffy:

Afterparty carried me back to Virginia so I could fly.

- Fred Moten

Lily Duffy is a recent graduate of the creative writing MFA program at CU Boulder. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Bone Bouquet, interrupture, smoking glue gun, wicked alice, Twelfth House, and Dusie, among other places. Originally from Maryland, she now lives just outside of Denver. With Rachel Levy, she edits DREGINALD.



interviewed by the tender, young, virile writer

DeWitt Brinson