Julien Poirier on the chips in his brain, going all the way, and his book Stained Glass Windows of California.
It wouldn’t be out of line to describe Julien Poirier’s writing as pretty immature, fuck-offy perhaps, even YA at times. Here’s a husk of neurology left behind on page twelve of his underappreciated 2010 masterpiece El Golpe Chileño (Ugly Duckling Presse) titled “Police Aquarium”:
My soda is a police aquarium
to please you, I would say anything
rat out my best friend
“Your Wildest Dreams”
and never blink
’til my eyes
locked in yours
You’re the law I live to break
time to leave a clue
before the ice melts
This isn’t a love poem; it’s a poem that loves. It swims in the really shitty language of now and thinks it’s funny while everyone else stands on the shore and points. It’s Andy Griffith in A Face in the Crowd mistaken for Andy Griffith in The Andy Griffith Show. You can almost hear Ian Svenonius singing his lines, which want to get caught, then point fingers: “His mind was a wild garden of aspects / a pocketful of solar powered nickels.”
In Poirier’s universe, the world is a stale baguette with goldfish caviar and moldy matchtips. Call it what you want. He hangs out behind the Kum and Go with Bob Kauffman, Bernadette Mayer, Richard Brautigan, and Henri Michaux and eats it.
Noel Black I’ve read your chapbook about five times now. I was looking for the right glasses through which to see it until I finally realized it was a pair of stained-glass glasses of California. It was like watching you put shards of Diebenkorn, Steinbeck, Stein, and Beck into this apocalyptic Wizard of Oz Musée Mécanique Tiffany window. How did you come to putting this thing together?
Julien Poirier Thanks, Noel. I love everything you mentioned. Beck too, my fellow Scientologist.
Well—I was writing on the fly all the time because I was in between work and taking care of my daughter. I’d end up with lots of pieces, like skit poems. They weren’t finished poems on their own and they all seemed like shadows of each other, though establishing shots were often missing. I had been assembling poem systems of this sort for about a year, and Stained Glass was the final system in that sequence.