An Interview with Ctch Bsnss
Jeremy Boyd: I’m sure everyone knows so much (maybe more than they're aware they know) about love but I hardly hear people discuss it in a direct manner. Have you encountered any difficulties in elaborating this sort of all-encompassing love for others??
Ctch Bsnss: I've found when people talk about love they are often talking about... something else. Attraction. Sexuality. Love transcends the physical, which I think does make it harder to talk about. When you talk about love, you talk about everything - and how can you bring everything into a single conversation? The only way I've found out how to do this so far is to talk about nothing, to let love show itself in everything and just allow myself to be a part of that. I've always been a really communicative person tho, so like letting love talk for me has been a practice in patience, in faith.
JB: There is definitely a tendency to over-emphasize the sexual nature of love (and poetry even?) - has a portion of your recent openness on the topic of love been a response to that, as well as perhaps a solution to disentangling these things? Would you say that's a goal of yours?
CB: I'm just trying to figure it out for myself. I used to talk about things online as a way of dissolving the shame I felt. Like the shame for feeling different. Most of my friends are into exploring open and polyamorous relationships, but I've always resisted these opportunities because they didn't resonate with me. It's left me feeling lonely, and confused. Thinking things like, am I the only person who feels this way? So I do have to be open, at least with myself, about how all of this makes me feel. Where I exist within the infinite expressions of love, and how I can embody this expression without feeling bad about it. So I have been thinking of sacred sexuality, what that means for me. But I've stopped talking publicly about these things because I realize that everyone has a different truth in their hearts, and if our society isn't centered in knowing this so that its people can live from their personal truths, there really is no room for me to speak on mine right now. If anyone reading this wants to have a conversation about this topic my email is email@example.com. My goal really is to just love myself, which requires all of this disentangling of what has held me back from doing so before.
JB: How would you describe an encounter with love? What sorts of thoughts or feelings or reactions arise when you become aware you're experiencing it?
CB: Every encounter is an encounter with love. Which means every emotion is an emotion of love. Even fear and sadness, grief. What I learned is that I only feels those emotions because I love so deeply. If everything wasn't love then there would never be anything to yearn for, to desire.
JB: When we stop talking to each other about poetry as just simply a craft, is this a more effective way to change poetry overall (as a culture, or surviving body of ideas)? Or is that too grandiose? I suppose in some ways I'm asking because as I watch you tweet about love, I begin to feel drawn in to this idea to be different - to write poems differently - to respond to the world differently - to use writing as a vehicle of love...but maybe as a poet I'm biased. I think love and poetry are intertwined.
CB: Love and poetry are definitely intertwined. I've realized that as I've started getting into philosophy on love. Poets have always been advocates of love. Art itself is the expression of love, in one of its purest forms. When we use ourselves, our medium, our body, to translate the love we receive we are proving that everything is love. No one needs to read the poem, or this interview, etc, for me to be expressing and honoring the love that I create or has created me. Maybe art is the physical representation of this central act of creation, of love.
JB: What do you love to smell like? What do you love to eat, listen, read, watch or dance to?
CB: I love the smell of body odor. The smell of sweat. The smell of smoke, except for the chemically cigarette kind. I love eating fresh fruits and vegetables, the crispness like the start of fall. I love listening to people read out loud, especially if it's my beloved in bed. The sound of the wind, when it's mad and I'm feeling like that too. The sound of silence, so I can hear myself think. What I love to see is myself, reflected in everything. When I dance I need to get lost in it, that everything that's meant to reflect me back to me.
Jeremy Boyd is a 26 year old soccer coach, substitute teacher and poet living in Frederick, Maryland. You can follow him @sp1it on Twitter. He is the author of two chapbooks, I Wanna Be Petty / I Will Be Great, and Step Parents: A Creation Myth, both available via Ghost City Press.