An Interview with Cid V Brunet

Cid V Brunet spent their twenties stripping in clubs across Canada. They received a degree in creative writing from Douglas College and went on to participate in the Quebec Writers Federation mentorship program, where they wrote their first book, This Is My Real Name. They are currently working on a graduate degree in creative writing at UBC.

You can read their poem Seeking the Future in the January 2023 issue of Pinhole Poetry.

Would you like to tell us a little bit more about your poem? For instance, how or why you wrote it, or perhaps provide some extra context?

I am fascinated with list poems, found poetry, and with using texts that are not necessarily intended to be poetic to serve that function. I wrote this poem around All Souls Day when I was thinking about how humans have always relied so heavily on external things and processes to try to glean information about the future and to gain insight into our own lives. We search for ‘signs’ and use ritualized behaviours in the context of natural occurrences to help us make choices. 

Divinatory methods have always been a fun and interesting part of my life, it was grandmother who gave me my first tarot deck, which I still use regularly. 

This poem grew out of looking at the Wikipedia page for divinatory methods and noticing how it already read like a poem; the repetition, the listing, how the methods were alike and different. It struck me how often we look for answers in blood and bodily fluids, in water, and in objects and occurrences that are both mundane as well as occult-y. 

Divination has put humans at odds with other ways of making ‘informed’ choices, like science, or free will, or our own desires, or the supposed desires of a god. It felt exciting for me to lay some of those methods out so clearly, to really consider their impact and the unique experience of receiving information through that method.   

Why was the poetic form the best fit for this particular piece of work?

Poetry was the best form for this piece because as soon as I stumbled upon the Wiki page, I read it like a list poem. My brain wanted to block out all of the extraneous extra information on the webpage so I could focus on the most exciting words per line, which were, of course, the divinatory methods themselves. In a technical way this is a blackout poem or a cut and paste in that it was built through removal. I did also edit for interest and content and brevity, as I didn’t feel it was necessary to include every single method listed and I inserted my writer-self in making decision about the order and structure of the presentation. 

Have you ever received advice (or has there been something you’ve learned on your own) about writing or revising poems that has made you a better poet? What was it? 

Making poetry into a daily routine has been a great piece of advice for me. I always keep an ongoing notes app where I’m recording poetic moments throughout the day including snippets of overheard conversation, interesting lines of graffiti, or quotes from the book that I’m reading. It’s a process of scrounging and gathering information that helps me notice poetry in my every day, so that when I sit down to write it doesn’t feel like I’m trying to come up with something out of nowhere; I actually have a really accessible place from which I can grab moments or images to build poems. 

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