Daphne Gottlieb: 15 ways to stay alive

(Courtney Sanchez)

People in San Francisco are afraid to get out and do things. Involvement can be frightening; feelings of self doubt enter often when one is alone in society. What is the general consensus on my persona? Can I fit in here? Presence, the word alone is almost an unachievable challenge to drop the camera and give up the lens, to stop living through glass and actually use your eyes. Be here. The full presence of a person can change the universe; we as human beings are all so capable, but rarely do we tap into that raw energy that is our source. On April 21st at City Lights I attended a reading by Daphne Gottlieb to celebrate the release of her new book of poetry, 15 Ways to Stay Alive (Manic D). Daphne  is certainly one of those rare present chicks.

Upon entering I walked through the always quiet store to find an even more quiet room—a room of people silenced in pure anticipation of what was to come. There are but a few ways to become invincible and Gottlieb gives a poetic sound to them all, with cynical but somehow reassuring advice: “1. Offer the wolves your arm only from the elbow down. Leave tourniquet space. Do not offer them your calves. Do not offer them your side. Do not let them near your femoral artery, your jugular. Give them only your arm. 2. Wear chapstick when kissing the bomb.”

Hear snippets of Daphne’s conversation below. Join, and you will feel the need to create. Present yourself. Check out more at her website. Read The Rumpus Interview with Daphne, and now read the original Litseen interview.


“Sexy Balaclava” + “Where He’s Been”