10+ QUESTIONS with Victoria Thompson

by Laurin Macios | January 2016

Victoria Thompson was featured at Mass Poetry's U35 reading in January 2015. // 10+ Questions! is a new series in which we catch up with poets who have been featured in our programming.

It's been a while! What's new in life?
This summer was pretty busy for me! I moved into a new place in Medford, and I started a new role at my school.

What are you working on these days?
A lot of thought catching. My favorite thing to do right now is write down what comes to mind and then put the pieces together later on. It doesn’t always come out pretty, but I always like going back to the thoughts I have because sometimes I don’t know where they come from at first, but upon revisiting them, I can make sense of them in writing.

Is your poetry different now than it was then, and if so, in what ways?
It’s probably a little different. Mostly because I’m busier (I think?!). This causes a disjoint in some of my unfinished work that I put off “completing” (I use that term lightly) sometimes for too long.

Who/what are you reading lately?
Well, for poetry, to be honest, I’m reading a lot of 2nd and 3rd grade poems at the moment. We just started our poetry unit in 3rd grade, and in 2nd grade, we integrate poetry throughout the year. Honestly, unpacking poetry for young students is quite a discussion! I’m also reading For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood... and the Rest of Y'all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education by Christopher Edmin. It’s a really good read and relates directly to my work. Sometimes I’ll pick up and re-read/ remind myself of some of my favorite works, or I’ll scroll through poetry pages on Instagram just to get a dose.

Any major publications, readings, etc. we should know about?
Not at the moment!

AND IN THE STYLE OF EARLY 2000S EMAIL SURVEYS...

Are you a good dancer?
I happen to think so. Fun fact: I went to dancing school for ten years. When I was 9 years old, I performed in Disney World with my dancing school on the Tomorrowland Stage!

What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep?
20 hours! I helped run a Dance Marathon in college. The event was 46 hours, but I got a short sleep break within those 46 hours. The dancers stay up the whole time!

What’s a habit you’re proud of breaking?
This is not really an answer to the question, but it’s kind of related?! Once, for Lent, I gave up eating French fries and actually followed through with it! I was really proud. But I still eat French fries now.

If you could have a super power, what would it be?
Teleportation. Hands down. Friends in college used to see me on campus and tell me later that they felt like they couldn’t say “hello” because I was walking so fast and with intense purpose. That’s my thing. I can’t stand transitions. I just want to get there. I also have road rage. So that explains a lot.

What’s the longest you’ve ever waited in line, and what was it for?
I waited in line for what seemed like 2 hours (it was probably shorter—I was only seven years old and probably just had no sense of time) to get Nancy Kerrigan’s autograph at Macy’s.


A New Poem

TAKE NOTE OF SITTING

Distracted from somewhere you're supposed to be
And the hose--
it's still running.

Watch your toast toast.
Make bets with yourself.
Count cinder blocks in a citrus shirt.
Look up flights with everywhere to go and nowhere to stay.

And now
I’m behind another pick-up truck that's too tall for this parking garage
You don't fit in here
get out I say
to myself
but I meant to say it to the truck.

Somebody turned a page and I thought it was
a tire moving against
rough pavement.

 

About the Poem

This poem is an example of what I mean when I say I’ve been doing “a lot of thought catching.” When I find a pattern, I link things together—part of the process being that I add or take away words or phrases. In this one, the title came last and acted as the binder between the thoughts, the added/taken away words or phrases, and the overall concept.