Awful Interview: Maggie Ginestra

7 Mar
photo by Matt Vrabel

photo by Matt Vrabel

Maggie Ginestra is a recent Atlanta transplant. She’s done a good job adapting to her new habitat with its camellias and balmy, bourboned summers. Her poetry can be found all over the place. For instance – Super Arrow and the Sow’s Ear Poetry Review or in her chapbook Deep in the Safe House. Maggie will be reading at the Animal Bodies Release Party on Thursday, March 14th at Youngblood Boutique!

You just moved to Atlanta about a year ago, right? Are you pleasantly surprised with how A-town holds it down? Disappointed? Confused?

There’s a storm of city-talk we’re all weathering.  Is it always this way?

I’m usually living a few fantasies alongside what’s real, and right now my favorite is that I live where I was born and always have.  The closest I came to this was when I moved to a tiny town that people just don’t move to, so the residents there only knew how to treat me like a local after the initial holding of breath.  I guess I eventually left because it was a tiny town that people just don’t move to.  But no regrets!  It was on the beach, and I made a few life-long friends.

When you ask if I’m pleasantly surprised, disappointed, confused– I have to ask you, since we haven’t met yet, how’d you know I’m always making that face?

Because I can hold little things in my mind better than I can big things, it is easy to love Atlanta.  I know my particular footpath to the farmer’s market in Grant Park on Sunday better than I understand the difficult and/or unconventional paths we are all carving out because “the commute” sucks and public transit is insufficient, for example.

That is the third time someone has mentioned the Grant Park Farmer’s market in the past few days. Does that make it a buzz word? Could you describe the farmer’s market to me? Be as vivid as possible.

The market is on the opposite side of Grant Park from where I live, so it’s a walk around the zoo and then north toward an increasing density of dogs and strollers.  Usually I see Katie Hayes before anyone else. She’s the Market’s prime mover, and she orbits in cowboy boots and a pretty dress, grasping a clipboard but smiling.  Then there are local musicians Billy Mitchell and Emily Kempf, talking about kittens or holding one.  Matt Arnett taps me on the shoulder and introduces me to somebody famous who’s just passing through.  I am worried the Jerusalem artichokes will sell out if I don’t stop talking to all
these nice people.  It’s usually damp because Sundays like rain.  I can’t see all the tents at once because they follow the curve of the walking path, so there’s always the sense that the best vendor is
around the corner, that there’s something new to discover.  The yogurt guy strikes up sardonic conversation while I try to choose between Pumpkin Pie and Tropical Sweet Heat, my two favorite flavors.  I never get both, because I know there’s next week, at least for most of the year.  It must be the buzzword right now because we are smack dab in the middle of 4 market-less months.  It’s insufferable, really.

That is so picturesque! Especially the part with Billy, Emily, and the kittens. Also the artichokes. And the ice cream… okay, the whole thing. What are some other buzz words right now, in your opinion?

So buzzwords are… when spoken, like a button being pressed in some detached laboratory, right? Or a hyperlink to a picture of a naked old man dancing?  Where do they come from!?!?  They make me nervous.  And the Zeitgeist is no fun anymore! We don’t spend any time with our own ideas before we realize everyone else is having them too.  I am worried about this because we all need time with things before sharing them so that each iteration is a little different and make a whole story of existence in a moment, together.  This is different than everyone talking about the farmers market this week, but maybe not. What if people get bored of the farmers market in a few years? That would be so insane!  It’s so the first step to all the right things.

 I think buzzwords and memes are manufactured by the same machine that may or may not resemble a loom. Bad tweets are its byproduct.
Does the future scare you sometimes?

A good ol' fashioned buzzword

A good ol’ fashioned buzzword

No, but I don’t plan to have children.  I’m pretty sure I love the future too well and sort of fly away from the present at inopportune moments.

Oh, and when I fly, literally, in planes, I like to tell myself over and over again that it’s completely insane that I’m suspended in the air–now, in the air, right now, floating, thousands of feet up–until I’m dizzy.  I love it, and it’s not fear at all.  So I’m pretty alright with the future and its fractal of possibilities.  I think
it’s a personality flaw in the survivalist sense.

So if you’re flying over the future, what is the view of next week’s reading like?

From up here, Laura, it just looks like a big bunch of pelicans kicking up phosphorescence in the surf.

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