With his third book of poetry, David James offers a tribute to all of the loss and love contained in one fully lived life, painting a complex picture of the human experience. A rich and varied collection that explores the spectrum of emotions surrounding aging and mortality, My Torn Dance Card is now available from The Fly Came Near It.
POET DAVID JAMES ON HIS NEW COLLECTION
Michiganders Post: In “Alone No More,” you allude to the fact that the poem’s inspiration comes from the title of a German CD that allows those living on their own to fill their home with sounds associated with living with another person. On the surface, such a thing seems too odd to be something that really exists. Was it the oddity of the CD that drew you to writing a poem about it? What are others odd or unique things you’ve drawn inspiration from recently?
David James: In “Alone No More”—and other poems—I take an interesting fact from the world and let it inspire the poem. I use these epigraphs in many of my poems—sometimes they’re quotes, sometimes factual information. It’s a method I’ve always used to gather ideas. A writer is on the lookout for ideas all the time. Those “nuggets” are written down for future use and may sprout up in a poem, story, or play, sometimes years later.
Poems are discoveries and explorations. I love to reflect and then wander on the imaginative highway related to some engaging or bizarre fact or quote. As Robert Frost once said (I’m paraphrasing here), I never want to write a poem if I know where it’s going to end. The trust in the creative journey and its eventual outcome is where I find mystery and pleasure. Hopefully, that’s true for readers as well.