Amanda Fernandez works to transgress the humdrum with vowel and consonant. She builds blistering poems in architecture lovely to look upon. These sharp skeletons would feel right at home banging about at poetry slams, given life by “brave new voices” of the future. Like N.O. Bonzo’s street art, Amanda Fernandez’ poetry resonates. Allow me to introduce you to her EXHAUSTING ACROSTICS.
Over 200 poems fill the tumbling pages of her ongoing web collection. Like a painter who fills up every inch of the canvas, Amanda Fernandez uses every aspect – from the title to the tag – to tell a tiny tale that will stick on you long after you click on another bookmark.
hell with it
Filed under death
JSJ: What is the first thing you remember writing?
AF: That’s like trying to remember my first sunburn. You’d think one would remember the first time they caught fire, but sometimes it’s so subtle that you’d don’t realize it happened until you’re rubbing aloe on your butt and hoping no one else notices your waddle. I was a shy kid growing up and I loved writing creative stories in class and reading books. Words became my loyal, intimate friends and I’ve tried my best to return the favor.
Words like hers should echo for all to hear. After all, words change hearts. Just listen to the impromptu words (poetry) of Antoinette Tuff. Words matter.
People will pretend to know better
only if it provides them
with the illusion of authority.
Eventually, we realize that they’re over-
ripe. Their knowledge festers in the sun.
Filed under power
To get some idea of what you’re in for, watch the 1929 Salvador Dali short film “Un Chien Andalou”. You’ll find both viciousness and kindness here. This movie sets the Amanda Fernandez tone.
Level with me: are you laughing
or are you merely humoring my
lack of personality?
Really, it doesn’t matter which
one it is, but it just wouldn’t
feel right for us to continue
letting social frivolities prosper…on second thought…..
keep doing it.
Filed under lol rofl jk
In the vein of Derrick Brown, Amanda’s writing is physical. It deals with actual human beings interacting and (in most cases) screwing each other over.
You’re getting a little too old for long drives and walks in the dark, he said.
Every time your eyes grow distant, I recognize the pulse of panic: heavy
sighs and dilated pupils the size of tidal waves. Your gums and lips are
transfixed by all those sharp words you used as weapons against intimacy—
even the ones that fell out of your mouth while you pretended to be asleep.
Romance is your native tongue and I never understood the pull of the
drag—I was too caught up in the form. All your tomorrows carry you further
away from your favorite dream…a million heartaches fresh in your memory.
Yesterday, I could have loved you. Yesterday, we were limitless.
Filed under yesterday
JSJ: What excites you about writing? What motivates you?
AF: Sometimes I ask myself the same question. You have these disjointed moments where you forget what it is that inspires you, or you get so caught up in the details of day-to-day living that you become a patron to the Church of Our Lady Responsibility and St. Distant Ambitions. Writing begins to take on the form of a school teacher that chastises you for not being dedicated enough, or not feeling talented enough, and you begin to question whether or not you’re really in a position to create… but then you get that itch in your hands and that spark in your brain and you fall face first into words and it’s pure divination, pure possession.
Sorry. I feel the need to be apologetic because
everyone tells me I can make things awkward. Don’t
let that give you the wrong impression, but
feel free to take it into consideration.
Even though I preface a lot, it really
shouldn’t make that much of a difference…
to tell you the truth, most of the time I can’t
elaborate more articulately because your
eyes are kinda startling and it causes
me to regroup between sentences.
Filed under self esteem
JSJ: What is your process like for creating the Exhausting Acrostics?
AF: Sometimes it comes from something that ridiculous that happened to me during the day or something I happen to notice as being absurd, or sometimes I–very shamefully–eavesdrop or listen to other people and their conversations and think of ways I can condense or totally warp their words by whatever means necessary; sometimes it’s just a beautiful day for poetry and oftentimes that nagging voice in my head starts telling me to stop being a lazy writer. That one works wonders on occasion.
This eavesdropping is essential, isn’t it? There is meaning to be found in seemingly innocuous moments. Just ask Stephen Colbert & Kenneth Goldsmith.
“Captivating, isn’t it? The use of camera angles lends fantastic charm to…”
“Have you seen his last two films? His most recent one lacked a certain…”
“Anderson really has this raw, positively innocent quality about him…”
“Totally, but I sense a considerable amount of projection in the script…”
“The people here won’t appreciate any of this as much as they should…”
“Everything about the language used displays his intimate understanding…”
“Richard, turn your phone off. Richard, are you listening to me? Richard!”
Filed under chatter
JSJ: Do you have a favorite Exhausting Acrostic, one that you’re especially proud of?
AF: You know, the friend zone acrostics made me laugh when I was writing them. Maybe because they’re silly, or maybe because they just happen to be accurate on some petty levels. The more playful the acrostic, the more I happen to enjoy it.
Her “Friend Zones” could become excellent tattoos. I recommend getting yours done by the fantastic artist Jon Larson.
Filed under Friend zone flirt
JSJ: What are you writing next?
AF: I have plenty of stories I’ve started and left hanging or ideas I have scribbled and typed and vaguely floating around in my head. For now I’m going to allow my whims to take charge and perhaps one of these days that will mean something grand or even remotely completed.
Fernandez would fit be a perfect match for fans of Amanda Palmer…
Welcome to the void. Here you can stand
alongside all of your peers and colleagues
in perfect company. We encourage you to
think of all the things you’ll never do…
(and then some).
Filed under wait
Fernandez is getting to know themes which the late David Rakoff befriended. Her work celebrates little joys, knowing that sadness is just around the corner. Like many great, unknown, young artists, Amanda Fernandez lives out Neil Gaiman’s message.
“Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art. I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn’t matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art. Make it on the good days too.”
SUCK ON IT.
Filed under cigarettes
Poetry can be reactionary, genuine, hyperbolic and can even upend the error surrounding us. Amanda’s poems join that universal effort, alongside art-activists such as opera singer Ana Marie Pinto.
Should things begin to fall apart
that much sooner, remember that you
owe nothing to no one and they’ll never be
pleased no matter how much you try.
Filed under stop
Go read, follow and subscribe to Amanda Fernandez’ EXHAUSTING ACROSTICS.
Make art(ifacts) to stir up beautiful trouble. This world is due a healthy dose.
Believe that language, in the right moment @ the right place, can be magic.