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  • Andrea Pasion-Flores

Six Questions for Simeon Dumdum, Jr.

Just out, Why Keanu Reeves Is Lonely And Why The World Goes On As It Does is a collection of 61 poems that observe the world in its current "beauty and woundedness," the poems flow with the undercurrents of grief, anger, worship, wonder, and loneliness, while displaying the breath of Dumdum's poetic sensibility.

1. How is the process of poetry for you? Is there an image, a moment, an emotion that triggers the urge to write a poem?

I came into poetry because of a debate I had with a friend, a fellow student in a seminary in Ireland. During a post-prandial walk I casually told him poetry was useless. This engaged us in a long exchange, the details of which I have forgotten, but not the consequence. Not long after that, the sight of a cairn on a sandbar on Galway Bay moved me to do the unthinkable, write a poem, which I sent to Hibernia, a magazine in Dublin. Hibernia published it and paid me a guinea. After that the idea of writing a poem never left my head.

An image or a phrase or line usually starts me off. One poem grew out of a comment I overheard from one of the workers who were making a coffin, who said that there was no need for it to have a good design. This pushed me to write a poem with this ending -- "No coffin is ever a work of art."