Getting Real with Katy Telling
Sick Lit Magazine: Cool non-linear style. I’ve yet to come across another quite like it – I must say, it adds layers of depth and meaning to your work, as it truly falls on the reader to interpret and think their way through the poem. In today’s world where ADD seems to have spread like some sort of electronic coma – induced plague, work like yours is vital to keep poetry and writing in general alive. That being said, I know that you and I spoke a bit about your process. Would you mind telling the readers how you put these poems together? And the stream-of-consciousness aspect of it for you?
Katy Telling: Thank you for the compliment! I love the ambiguity of art and I hate the ambiguity of life, but its relate-able and real. I find that in my favorite novels and poems, I can look back days or weeks later and see something new, so I want to pass on this experience.
I can’t always say that the depth is intentional, its passion and creativity, but sometimes I’ll sneak in something that I think is clever. I write what I want and everyone has the power to interpret that however they see fit. I hope it appeals to the modern attitude of NEW NEW NEW, I hope it gives people something to think about that will resurface in their mind three hours later, and I really hope that it reaches those who would never read a sonnet or haiku or still think of poems as stuffy and academic.
Stream of consciousness is a good way to put it – I’ve been a Virginia Woolf devotee for the majority of my life and her influence is there. When I’m creating, its a meditative, oracular experience. When I pour out a bag of interesting words and typographic phrases clipped from a periodical, it’s akin to a Rorschach Test or reading tea leaves. Its own type of bibliomancy. Whatever is on my mind will find a way to express itself within the perimeters of the available words; and if it doesn’t, then I sprinkle another handful and smoke a joint until I’m inspired. I also like how using words from different magazines and publications can determine the tone of a piece. A cut up from Vogue is very different than one from the local paper or a technology magazine. It is both personal to me and collaborative in this way. If I’m stuck in an emotional rut, or a creative one, this snaps me out of it.
SLM: Give me your top 10 songs right now – I’m talking heavy fucking rotation. Not your faves of all time. Heavy rotation as of this moment. You can’t edit, lie, or omit. Don’t worry, street cred is already yours 😉
KT: Nooo! I’m so embarrassed! I don’t know why, but musical tastes are so personal to me. I’m never afraid to have an opinion, except about this. My face is red, but here it is anyway. Current heavy rotation (according to YouTube), zero street cred…
Julian Casablancas -Out Of The Blue
Mariah Carey – Fantasy (Remix) ft. ODB
Amy Winehouse– Me and Mr. Jones
Dr. Dog – How Long Must I Wait
Sleater Kinney – One Beat
Gorillaz – Clint Eastwood
Fitz and The Tantrums – Out of My League
Smashing Pumpkins – 1979
Santigold – Disparate Youth
Tame Impala – The Less I Know The Better
SLM: Guilty pleasures. Three. Go!
KT: Guilty pleasure? What is that? Why feel guilty for enjoying yourself? Pleasure shouldn’t be punished by society, but it so often is. If i had to choose though, maybe whisky, weed (they don’t nourish my body or my mind, but they sure nourish my enjoyment of the world), and the things that help me to become the physical version of myself that I see in my mind’s eye; clothes and make-up and expensive hipster perfume. There is a lot of guilty pleasure available at Sephora.
SLM: What inspires your work? Angst? Past, present, future? All? How does it help you work through issues? Would you ever describe your work as cathartic?
KT: I think that past, present, AND future angst is exactly what fuels my inspiration. Many people have ruminating thoughts which circle your brain like sharks around a maimed surfer, waiting to seize an opportunity for attack. These ruminations are a particular problem for me. They’re a waste of mental resources, but if I write them from every angle they may begin to serve a purpose even if they cannot be cured. In my normal life, I am a philosophical stoic and the work I produce is a major outlet (or only outlet) for these eruptions of emotion.
SLM: When the hell am I going to see some chopped up artwork from you? I would love to hang it up in my house. No lie.
KT: I would be amazingly honored to send you some art! Obviously, it will be sick. I’ve also been working on some mixed media jewelry and I imagine that you are exactly the type of badass bitch to do it justice and wear it creatively. I’ll send some of that too 🙂
SLM: Now, besides the visual poetry, what else do you do? Prose, haikus? Or are you more of a rogue artist? TELL ME EVERYTHING.
KT: Besides the visual poetry, I do a little of everything. Sometimes I just write with language, sometimes I write with only image. The story and the characters are the thing, they will tell me how to relate the story and how to present it. You can see a wider range of my work on instagram or twitter @poeticrituals. I’m thinking of trying essays or short stories one day, when the inspiration strikes.
SLM: You happen to have a badass last name for a writer. I have no question here. Just saying.
KT: You caught me! Its a pen name. The ‘Katy’ comes sort of from my legal name; I have an aunt who always called me Katydid when I was young. Someday, I’ll show her what I have been working on. The ‘Telling’ is obvious. Apropos, I thought. Or cheesy. Either one.
SLM: I’m so fucking glad you ended up working with me at SLM. It’s an honor, man. You’d better come back and work with me again. What else are you working on right now? Tell me about some of your future aspirations as an artist / writer.
KT: Thank you! It was so wonderful working with you. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I felt instantly comfortable talking to you and once I saw some of the great stuff on the Sick Lit Magazine web site, I knew it was a match.
Beyond the writing and the art things I do just for me, I’m excited to say that I’m designing a book cover for Malarkey Books, another small press who loves their writers and is always doing something cool. I have miles of notebooks and I create everyday. You never know what you’ll get from me in the future, but the biggest projects on my mind are the editing of two chapbooks. One that I have been working on for years and the other came in a sudden burst of productivity. I have big plans.
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And what an awesome note to end on! Thank you, Katy, for taking the time to chat with me a bit about what makes you tick and what you, as an artist, are doing. And by the way, I’m super impressed that you like Sleater Kinney. Street cred? Girl. You got it. I listened to the Backstreet Boys yesterday sandwiched in between two NIN songs.
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Katy Telling is a writer and mixed media artist from the northeastern United States, currently working on two hybrid art/poetry chapbooks and designing a book cover for Malarkey Books. You can see her work on Instagram or Twitter @PoeticRituals and on the cover of Harbinger Asylum Literary Magazine. Look for upcoming projects with Manque Magazine, Botticelli Magazine, Pink Plastic House, Mythic Picnic, and more. Katy is the second featured writer at Sick Lit Magazine for the May, 2019 edition.
**We really loved having Katy on board this month. We will miss her.**