Kristin Garth

We were able to get an interview with Kristin Garth on her piecesFoundlingandGod is Just Some Guyin Issue Seven!

kristin garthTwin Peaks is definitely one of the most influential pieces of pop culture available to our generation of writers. What draws you to it the most?    
I loved Twin Peaks since I watched it many years ago because of its film noir elements, discussion of sexual abuse.  There are elements of that show that mirror dark realities of my own life.  I always felt a kinship to Laura Palmer, although I obviously survived my abuse.  I’ve always loved mysteries.  I enjoy working it out in my head, collecting clues and motives.  I love psychology.  Twin Peaks has all of that and stunning filmmaking.

Another element that really spoke to me is that Twin Peaks is a show about small towns.  I am a small town girl who writes about my stories, my little life for people all over the world now, many from big cities.  I’ve always loved writers who capture big city imaginations by writing what they know.  David Lynch really has a love for small towns.  He uses his artistic genius to highlight their intricacies and eccentricities.  I love that about the show.  I love art that is tied to geography.

Patrick Bateman is also a pretty important figure in pop culture because of what he represents, also because of his “I need to return some videotapes” line. Is this why he’s referenced?   
I am a huge fan of Bret Easton Ellis.  I’ve read all of his books.  They are dark, stark and addictive.  American Psycho is a favorite – though honestly I love Glamorama, Lunar Park, Imperial Bedrooms.  Patrick Bateman is such an archetype not only of homicidal mania but shallowness, greed taking to the extreme – to a murderous extreme.  I thought of him when I was writing this poem because he’s a favorite and familiar serial killer character.  (Another one I like a lot is Joe in the book You by Caroline Kepnes which I have also written a poem about.  I’ll share a link to it below.)

I felt he was such an iconic character that causes so much destruction but is really just, you know, a vain but typical guy in his realm.  Many times in the book, he is confused for other men in his milieu.  The point of the poem is that as we are often told serial killers blend.  They can seem very normal, but they do what they do often to be a god –  a god of destruction.  And certainly to their victims, they play this unfortunately terrible significant role in their lives.  But in truth, they are often very forgettable people.  That’s what this poem sought to explore.

What do these poems mean to you as the writer? And what do you hope readers take from them?
Both of these poems show my love of horror in literature and in film/television.  The world is a dark place, and dark art speaks to me.  I enjoy a well-crafted piece of art on a dark theme sometimes just for entertainment.  While Twin Peaks and American Psycho have a lot to say about society and culture, they are also very enjoyable pieces of film/writing.  You have to be a person who can commit to a piece of art with a relentlessly dark aesthetic.  But if you are, I think both of them are great works to explore when you crave a little horror in your life presented in an artistic way with some social commentary as well.

I hope that my poems work as dark works with a little bit of that social commentary on destruction as a means of achieving greatness or control.  Both of my pieces deal with male perpetrators, and I write about this a lot in my work.  It certainly only doesn’t apply to men.  I hope that all people who are giving into negativity and destruction to find some kind of greatness will realize that this is a bad option.  Create something.  Uplift.  This doesn’t just apply to serial killers, but people who try to gain power and control through cutting others down and hate.  Few of these people will put a girl in a river or end a life, but they hurt people perhaps because it make them feel bigger.  Wouldn’t it be nice to create something instead?  To be a positive force of nature instead of a negative one?

How does poetry make you feel? To read and write and share it?
Writing poetry is my favorite thing in the world.  I didn’t do it for a long time, so now it feels vital in my life.  I write essays and I’ve written some short stories, even a couple of novels that I haven’t done anything with.  They’re all fun.  Poetry to me is essential to who I am.  If I write a poem in a day, I feel like I have served my purpose.  If I don’t, I feel a little lost.  I don’t know if that’s healthy or right, but it’s the truth.

Also, publishing is just as essential to me.  My first instinct when I finish a poem is who can I share it with?  I engage though the world with my poetry.  I’m not a person with friends in the real world.  I don’t go out, engage a lot in the real world.  The Twitter poetry community and my writing these are my tools.  They start a conversation with strangers – and many of those strangers have become dear friends.  I love every part of the writing process from writing the poem, struggling over it to the triumph of sending it out.

Maybe I don’t like being rejected – I guess that’s the one part I don’t like, but I am desperate for my poems to find an audience.  So if they are, I’ll read them again and assess:  is this not quite right?  Every once in a while, I go, “What the hell was I thinking?”  And I’ll do some revision.  But a lot of the times, it’s just not found the right audience.  So then I get more serious and send it out more strategically.  I feel a responsibility to my poems, like a parent.  I feel like I birthed them and it’s my job to find them homes,.  I take my writing very seriously.  Everyone should.  If you don’t take your writing seriously, who will?

Do you have any previously published pieces you’re particularly proud of?


Your Husband Drives Me Home:


When You Are Drowning In A Car:

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