An interview with Marina Lazzara from The Write Stuff series:
Marina Lazzara received an MA in Poetics from New College of California and has published in various literary magazines and with Two Way Mirror Books. She is a vocalist and guitarist for the San Francisco band, The Rabbles, and teaches Creative Writing and Kitchen Herbalism with the Community Living Campaign. With poets Patrick James Dunagan and Nicholas James Whittington, she edited Roots and Routes: Poetics at New College of California, due out in Fall 2020 by Vernon Press. She is currently sheltering in place under an ancient plum tree with her family: a guy, a kid, a dog and a pastel colored parakeet.
What’s your biggest struggle—work or otherwise?
Judging the judgers. Juggling the balls.
Do you consider yourself successful? Why?
I didn’t drop my kid nor lose her in a crowd. And I have yet to allow my demons to possess me.
Why do you get up every morning?
To remember my dreams.
What would you like to see happen in your lifetime?
The transition from a society based on monetary motivation to one that works from compassion and love. That the idea of “work” is redefined in terms of what needs to be done that day for a neighbor and the seasons, and what it is that nurtures joy.
What is art? Is it necessary? Why?
Like plants because of photosynthesis, an actual yet magical, radical presence in our lives, existing because of particular corresponding conditions, art exists. However, some art glorifies fascism, racism and conformity (advertising?). Is that necessary?
What are you working on right now? Or: what kind of work would you like to do?
A longish poem sewn together from lines written daily during the Covid19 Pandemic (so far). The pairing of friends’ artwork with small groupings of my poems. Writing prompts for a writing workshop I facilitate. The growing of nettles for pesto in a container. A rock painting project with my daughter to gift to isolated seniors and elders. A poem about helicopters. Vocal tracks for The Coral Song. The strengthening of my core.
Have you ever seen a ghost? Or: what’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen?
I’ve seen ghosts in the roots of the Osha plant on a mountaintop in Southern Oregon.
If you got an all-expenses-paid life experience of your choice, what would it be?
The experience of knowing people have access to health care, housing, good food, joy and rest.