Who are you?

I don’t know. I’ve been reading Martin Buber trying to figure it out. I’ve also been trying to spend more time with real people instead of hiding out with imaginary creatures. I have a list of what I am—but who I am seems far away at the moment.

I think who is better experienced than understood—who exists in its relationship to others—it is the space between the players. Take the film Cat Dancers example, here is a girl, a boy, a cat—who they are seems to exist in the area of that triangle.  I like to watch such areas take shape.

At the moment I’m trying really hard to be more of a player than a voyeur—to experience more—to be more who than what, but this is difficult.


What happened to you?

I started throwing up words—mostly phrases of from Shakespeare I couldn’t forget. I couldn’t stop being reflexive. Gagging—mostly when I shouldn’t—I became a poet. Those poems began telling stories.


Where have you been lately?

Underground. I’ve been letting people bury me alive to feel alive. A book came out of this; much like planting a garden, I planted myself and it grew into the book The Walled Wife. The Walled Wife will be published by Red Hen Press in 2017—you can smell its blooms then.


When did a poetry novel happen?

In the Circus of You: An Illustrated Novel in Poems, happened when I met the visual artist Cheryl Gross. We met because we made this ( together.

And then we made this: 


Why did poetry happen?

I’ve always wanted to fly. I keep trying. It mostly looks like falling. Poetry is between jumping and landing. I’m only happy when in the between-of-things.

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NICELLE DAVIS is a California poet, collaborator, and performance artist who walks the desert with her son J.J. in search of owl pellets and rattlesnake skins. Her most recent collection, The Walled Wife, is available from Red Hen Press. In the Circus of You is available from Rose Metal Press. The author of two other books of poetry, Becoming Judas is available from Red Hen Press and her first book, Circe, is available from Lowbrow Press. Her poetry film collaborations with Cheryl Gross have been shown across the world. She currently teaches at Paraclete High School.

One response to “Nicelle Davis: The TNB Self-Interview”

  1. Well done, Nicelle! So glad that you’re part of the TNB family. Onward and upward!

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