Issue 35, Final Fringe

Tagged: Roxane Gay

Metta Sáma on animals, wildness, and the unugly

by Metta Sáma, Anna Lena Phillips 06.12.2013

Metta Sáma’s prose-poem sequence, “No End to the Horror,” appeared recently in Fringe. Poetry editor Anna Lena Phillips interviewed her by email in May.

A certain literary journal used to have a line in its submission guidelines that read “No cat poems.” What are your feelings about cat-containing poems? How did le animal enter this poem?

Oh, I once heard that a certain popular writing professor forbade squirrel poems in his class, because he hated the sound of the word squirrel. I like squirrels. Animals are us & we are animal, yes? So, if we write about ourselves or our fellow humans, then we’re writing about animals. It’s quite silly for me to hear someone say that we can only focus on the human animal.

The poem began with le animal. I was so incredibly drawn to how humans and cats become interdependent and the rituals between cats and humans, the forming of bonds: who gets to be the Alpha and such. We humans laud the cat for its independence, yet so many of us (unwittingly) desire anticipating the needs of a cat (bringing them inside (domestication) from the outside (feralness), inserting ideas and desires into an animal’s body (the animal wants to... more »

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Roxane Gay on "Begin Chest Compressions"

by Fringe Magazine 10.10.2011

Roxane Gay shares with us the inspiration for this week’s story:

“Begin Chest Compressions” started with Olive Garden. I live in a town where there is no Olive Garden but we see the commercials for the restaurant all the time. The rhetoric of Olive Garden commercials drives me insane because it’s more reheating station with wait service than an actual restaurant. When they say things like, “When you’re here, you’re with family,” they’re just so full of crap. I started to think about the kind of person who would enjoy eating at the Olive Garden (not that there is anything wrong with that, their salad is awesome). I imagined the kind of person who would consider a meal at such a restaurant a culinary experience and how sad that would be but I didn’t want to make that person square or cheesy. When I first started writing the story, it was just about Chad as this average guy who loves nothing more than going to Olive Garden for date night with his girlfriend, a woman who is far less enamored with the restaurant. I believe in the attraction of opposites so I started to wonder what a woman like Sarah would be... more »

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Begin Chest Compressions

by Roxane Gay 10.10.2011

She said, “A tall skinny man drove a knife into his body more than once.” She looked up at bright lights. They were not stars. They were not watching over. more »