Sheldon Lee Compton: Why do we write, Sam? Why in the world do we write?
SR: Cinéma Vérité is a collection of poems focused on or in reaction to a wide range of films. The book is part three in a six-part series – Tales of Brave Ulysses – that contains works that are ekphrastic in nature in the poetry’s connection to other art forms. I began the series years ago – Religions of the Blood (Pudding House Press) serves as an introduction, and Inside a Broken Clock (Finishing Line Press), poems connected to literature. Film is one of my passions, so writing about various works was a natural move for me. The majority of poems in Cinéma Vérité were written over the last three years. Various poetic forms and approaches are represented in the works – from sonnet variations to open forms to prose poems, from narrative to contemplation to theme. I do indicate a wider approach on the title page by stating that the book’s readers will encounter poems, parables, and sketches. This grouping – which will be even more pronounced in The Divination of Sticks, the final part of the Ulysses series – is influenced by my love for the writings of Jorge Luis Borges – specifically his book El Hacedor (Dreamtigers). Borges’ works move fluid-like between closed and open poetic forms, between poetry and the prose of parables and flash fiction. That is clearly an influence in the pieces found in Cinéma Vérité. During the next month or so I plan to work on shaping the next part of the series – World within the World – poems connected to art. Most of the pieces are written and have been published in various magazines, but I’m still working on new poems for that collection.