Monday, 23 August 2010

One Stop Spotlight: Shadowstalking with Kat Mortensen

I am late! I am late, for a very important date! Forgive my tardiness in posting today. I have a very special spotlight for you. Roughly a year ago, one of my commentors challenged me to write poetry...for the first time in over a decade. Kathleen Mortensen, aka Poetikat, has in many ways inspired who I am as a writer/poet.

Just recently, she self-published her book Shadowstalking and she graciously accepted a brief interview and to share on of her poems with us. I hope you enjoy. ~Brian

1. You just recently self-published your poetry book. What advice would you give to others that are looking to self publish?

Do your research before you commit to a self-publisher. Make sure you feel comfortable with them because you will be working closely together. Get everything on paper and in a contract. Read the entire contract before you sign anything. I can't really give advice on online publishers except to say that you shouldn't have to spend money upfront. If they are asking for that, move on to someone else.

2. When you were putting together your book, what thought did you give to the overall flow of one poem to the next?

The flow of the book was always in my mind. I took great pains to select poems that I thought fit well together and by writing them out individually on cards, I was able to shuffle them around until I got them in exactly the order I desired. I think the book moves through a few categories, but I tried to have transitional pieces to keep it consistent. I also kept themes running through each of the categories. It was a very precise procedure and time-consuming, but I hope the end result bears it out.

3. What is the most unusual source of inspiration you had for a poem?

Many of my poems have come about as the result of something unusual I have witnessed, read, watched or heard. One that I can think of off the top of my head, is a poem entitled, "I Came Greymalkin". It was born after I encountered a cat at a bookstore in a town nearby. The cat is very rotund and I was struck by its unique appearance, so much so that it motivated me to write a rather Shakespearean piece about Greymalkin. The owner of the bookstore was delighted with the piece.

I Came, Greymalkin!

In Hamburg, New, on Saturday
I chanced to meet a malkin, Grey
Of pumpkin eye and pumpkin size
She seemed a harp-seal in disguise!
Or no! With showing of her girth and corps
The belly bulging broadly near the floor
I took her more to be an ottoman--
Or was my sorry state that blotto ,man?

Not so, for lo! The daylight, it was broad;
Forsooth she was no apparition, odd,
This pond’rous pussy shapely as a whale,
But quadruped with undulating tail.
Her shrunken head did seem to be so small
It didn't suit the seat of her at all,
I mused some runt must elsewhere, roaming be;
This puss-cat’s pate, outweighing its chassis,
And yet, in spite of this propensity,
Her bulk and mass of such immensity,
She swiftly swept from place to place,
Between the shelves of Upper Case,
To greet devotees at the door
Who spoke and stroke her as before.
Though other interests tempt her more--
What’s on her plate--not in the store.

Kathleen Mortensen©2009


Kat Mortensen said...

Thanks for the opportunity to share my work and a bit and to respond to your questions here at "One Stop Poetry". I fear I have not been quite as verbose as usual, since I've done quite a few interviews already. I hope what I've contributed has in some way aided or enlightened your readers.

I must also apologize for not being able to participate in depth with One Stop and One Shot Wednesdays. I'm in the midst of selling my home and moving, so I'm just managing to keep my own blogs afloat! I do hope once things settle (sometime next March, ha ha) I'll have more opportunity to be a regular contributor.

Thanks again, Brian for your interest and support.


Pete Marshall said...

Hi Kat....thanks for firstly sharing such a fantastic piece of poetry..which captured Shakespeare very well!!!

despite, as you say not in depth, your answers were still very useful and i wish you well with shadowstalking..and moving home as well...thanks for sharing with One Stop and we look forward to seeing you more..cheers pete

TALON said...

Thanks for sharing, Brian and Kat! This was a wonderful piece! I can see why the book store owner loved it. That cat sounds enormous - lol!

Kat, good luck on your move!

dustus said...

Hi Kat. Congrats on your book!!! Sounds like people are already digging it :) Great wordplay throughout the poem—very creative write. Also,the advice you offer regarding self-publishing is very helpful. It's not an easy process to go through and your insights could help many writers evaluate their options.
Great to see you on One Stop!

Jessie said...

i loved the piece Kat.


Claudia said...

i could see this cat like i would stand right in that bookstore - fantastic Kat!
and thanks for encouraging brian to write poems - it proofs again that a master of something is able to detect the traces of his/her passion in other people as well

Mama Zen said...

I love that poem! It reminds me of a cat that I used to have.

Vita Wright said...

I loved the ottoman/blotto, man rhyme :)

PattiKen said...

What fun, Kat. Very Shakespearean indeed. I really enjoyed it. Being a "cat person," I see many traits i recognize.

Thank you for re-introducing Brian to his poetry muse. It was a gift to us all.