About The Secret Face: Sad Poems About Life
The Secret Face: Sad Poems About Life is the first poetry collection from Elektra Flowers. Touching on eternal themes of love, belonging, alienation, and the raw emotions that come from living in the modern world.
About the Author
Elektra Flowers is a human-machine hybrid who is terrible with computers. She is theoretically in school right now but spends most of her time looking out the window. She lives in Berkeley with her grandmother.
Qn 1: Can you tell us more about The Secret Face: Sad Poems About Life, What is it about?
This is a poetry collection, including sonnets, tankas, free verse, prose poems, and previously published poetry from my blog (elektraflowers.tumblr.com).
Qn 2: Who do you think would be interested in this book, is it directed at any particular market?
I think anyone who has experienced feelings of alienation, of not belonging, of being misunderstood, will find something to relate to in this book. And anyone who has dissociated, or doubted their own existential integrity, will be able to relate to many poems in this book. I’ve spent fsr too much time investigating these issues, and this book is one of the results.
Qn 3: Out of all the books in the world, and all the authors, which are your favourite and why?
I really like “Swing Time” by Zadie Smith, Jan Kerouac’s “Baby Driver,” and “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K. Dick. I also still read the Moomin books by Tove Jansson. For poetry, I like Frank O’Hara, E.E. Cummings, Fernando Pessoa, and many songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Hank Williams Sr.
Qn 4: What guidance would you offer to someone new, or trying to enhance their writing?
I would tell them to set a concrete daily goal, say, write 200 words, print out a calendar, and then draw an X through every day that you meet the goal. When you don’t, don’t. This is called “Don’t break the chain” and it’s very effective for any new habit you want to cultivate.
Qn 5: Where can our readers find out more about you, do you have a website, or a way to be contacted?
My main website is my blog, elektraflowers.tumblr.com. I’m also on Instagram, Twitter, SoundCloud and Bandcamp @elektraflowers. In theory, the lockdown would mean I’m available all the time, but I’ve found myself more and more resistant to spending time on social media. So my blog remains the only really consistent way to contact me.
Qn 6: What is your inspiration to write the poems in The Secret Face: Sad Poems About Life
Inspiration can come from anywhere, but I don’t think it’s good to wait around for it. It’s better to set a routine, even a rudimentary one. Sometimes inspiration will come, sometimes it won’t. But if you’re always there, it’s more likely to come around and be more consistent.
Qn 7: As we are experiencing a global pandemic are there poems in your book that readers could relate to?
Absolutely. There are plenty of poems in this volume that deal with the pandemic, obliquely, and directly. I’ve been trapped in my apartment for nearly six months, only occasionally venturing out to get necessities. I have gone through all the phases of quarantine fatigue, from hyper-productivity to productive-ish mania, to full-blown acedia. I hope people can relate to all of these states as they read my collection.
Qn 8: The Secret Face: Sad Poems About Life is your first poetry collection, what will follow next? Can you give anything away?
More poetry collections. And, possibly, an experimental (and fairly short) novel.
Qn 9: Many people say that poetry is like art and many people see different things when they gaze at it. What is your favorite poem in your collection and why?
I don’t think I could pick one favourite. I really like the poem “the end,” the final poem in the collection, but tomorrow I would name a different poem.
Qn 10: What has been the most challenging poem to write, given the topic, I imagine all were written with deep emotion but was there one that was truly difficult to express in words?
They can all be difficult, because good poetry is always precise. And how can you attain that level of precision without a lot of work? But to others it doesn’t look like work. It looks like staring out the window. Well, I will continue to stare out the window until I find the right word. It’s what you have to do.