Lola Koundakjian answers to Bonifacio
1. Do you have something against the ocean?
Je n’ai rien contre les oceans. But I wonder sometimes about the fascination with the beach, it’s only where water meets earth.:-)
2. What parts of the planet Earth do you think poetry trees could be planted on?
Anywhere destroyed by recent war(s).
3. Is solitude the beginning or end of everything in existence?
Good question! The scientist in me says, even at the big bang, the balls that became planets and stars had the company of fire and light. What then, is the definition of solitude?
4. Which would you prefer: to be a good writer, but utterly miserable, or a happy, mediocre writer?
The second, because there is hope for improvement always through hard work.
5. Is madness the basic ingredient of true genius?
6. Sincerely, what do you think of the people around you who aren´t writers or involved in any artistic activities whatsoever?
If we can talk about cuisine and travel, at least they are people I want to be with. Otherwise, we have nothing in common.
7. Were you telling the truth when you lied, or did you mean what you said when you lied?
There are 50 shades of a story.
8. Who or what is it that you can´t stand?
Extreme political groups motivated by so called religious believes. And, anyone holding a gun.
9. What is your biggest phobia or fear; your biggest pleasure or passion?
I fear sometimes loosing my day job, which pays most of my bills and allows me to enjoy writing. My passions include my good friends and laughter, the parks, train sounds, music, the arts, travel, good food and fine wine. A dark chocolate bar always seems to help.
10. If someone told you they didn´t really like your literary works, regardless of the genre they were referring to, even if lots of people say they love it; how would you feel and what would you say?
I would take a deep breath and listen. :-)
11. Do you have any opinions regarding politicians or politics in your country?
Yes very strong opinions and I talk about it all the time because knowledge is power. Even though I vote for people who are not ideal, I cannot vote for right wing extremists.
12. Why haven´t you read all the books sitting at your house? Do you periodically prune your collection down?
Since I tend to concentrate on poetry and sometimes translations, there are some books of fiction that I haven’t gotten into; some are depressing like Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, which I am trying to re-read after some 30 years. I have gotten rid of some university text books and the science-fiction books I read when I was 16. I tend to keep my foreign language books, which I know are hard to find at the public library.
13. Do you think you´ve written the book you wanted to write?
I am only at book two (now being circulated at publishers) and I have ideas for book three, so I am still new at this and feel I have much to give.
14. Given the above, why continue writing if you already said what you had to say the way you wanted to say it? Why keep using words?
I was a visual artist for 25 years and I am very much enjoying writing. I see that there is a far greater reach and more contact with other humans than the lonely days I used to spend at my atelier.
15. Nightstand books? Coffee table? Jitney van/Bus reading? Subway? Books to read on the toilet?
I use public transportation (New York’s subway) daily and I am always reading. I fall asleep very quickly if I read in bed and that is usually LIGHT magazine material.
16. What would happen if there was no such thing as oysters or Malbec grapes?
Chocolate and Zinfandel!!
17. If you were not a human being, what tangible or abstract thing/concept would you be?
I would be the eyes in the jungle, the fresh air in the desert, the mist in the harbor, the aroma of the fresh salad.
18. Have you ever loved or hated more than you should have?
19. Do you think the world would be a different place if there was no such thing as poetry?
20. Which do you prefer: the poet, or his/her poetry?
21. Do artists, as they are want to believe, suffer and enjoy more intensely than other mortals?
Maybe, I haven’t been able to put myself into another person’s skin.
22. Any issues with suicide?
I don’t have romantic thoughts about it. I believe it’s a very sad way to leave the world.
23. How much of the image you think you project to others do you think is true about yourself?
If I am lucky, 50%
24. What has been your most persistent déjà vu experience?
Post traumatic stress from my experiences with civil war.
25. If you found out the world were to end at midnight tonight, what exactly would you do?
Make love one last time.
LOLA KOUNDAKJIAN, armenian poet.