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Transom:
The “second genesis” seems to presuppose a broken world that can be “healed” through natural means, such as “resin.” And yet, this rebirth is also violent. Should we look forward to the advent being augured here?

House:
My son, named after my father, at three weeks of age, bore all the scars I remember my father bringing home in his sixty-sixth year. The long line from joining of clavicles to opening of sternum is born on one chest, as it was born on the other. When I was a son, I feared for my father, and, now, as a father, I fear for my son.

Advent, in my mind, inspires fear. Perhaps I heard too many Southern preachers sermonize of Christ born to die, but I fear birth—I fear birth as I fear death. I fear (for) Jesus in the manger as much as I fear (for) Jesus on the cross.

I do love the woods where we lay born & dead. They heal, yes, and they hold us in our most vulnerable moments. Even still, to be healed (or born again) by nature is to be brought toward death, as insect occluded in resin, as heart filleted by scapel, and as child in womb.

Transom:
In a poem about primal energy, you’ve chosen and arranged your language with corresponding force. Could you tell us about your composition process?

House:
Let me say, “As a poet of the twenty-first century, I want to hold the line as the basic form of poetry, while simultaneously expanding the line to its fullest textual potential.”

Or, let me say, “I spent years of my childhood following my father around our family farm, and I know the barbed wire has to be pulled tight from both ends to build a strong fence.”

Or, let me say, “Two men will honor my life, and they will never meet. I stand between them, their son and father.”