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Q: I’ve read some of your early, college-era poems and the humor part is missing. How did your style develop?
AB: The humor part was missing because in college I was a tall drink of gaiety. I had a cute girlfriend, a dad who let me buy things but lived hundreds of miles away, good grades, a Walkman and a convertible 1963 Volkswagen. Nothing yet had gone wrong. I hadn’t been exposed to the deep well of horror that is human life, especially the horror that is myself.
You expect me to tell you about the interior of the book and connect that to your feelings, but I’d rather tell you about the interior of another book and use that a symbol. By Aaron Belz, the new book of poems, Lovely, Raspberry, is -to quote the blurb on the back- “designed by Dinah Fried”. On the cover are smoochy lips or it is a tongue divided, like at Babel Tower or perhaps it is two heads put together to think up a third book unknown to anyone. Full of math word problems and unfinished jokes, it is the challenge of heterodoxy, it is the smirk of absurdity, it is the thinking man’s silliness.
[Full disclosure: Belz is my Chiquita, being from Pasadena it is his perogative to bore me, but when I email him he replies with “What”.]