(J): J. David
(A): Adrienne Novy
J: What do you imagine would happen if your poems grew legs and ran out in the world?
A: I think my poems would go and visit a few places: the house where my mom grew up in New York, high school marching band practice and with the band at the end zone during football games, the Ronald McDonald House near Loyola Children’s Hospital, Warped Tour in Tinley Park, a My Chemical Romance concert before they broke up in 2014, the music shop where I took clarinet lessons starting in the summer before fifth grade all the way up to before I left for college, the grave where my Grandma Dayis is buried, First Avenue in Minneapolis, and the garage where my friends used to have their band practice.
I also like to think that if my poems grew legs, they’d probably try to learn how to skateboard. But honestly, I truly think they’d walk to the library in my hometown and find a cozy place to read and then never leave.
J: What are the five-ten songs to listen to while reading the book?
A: There’s a playlist that goes along with the book (which you can listen to here!: https://open.spotify.com/user/1264294069/playlist/3lEsUWP09IYKNlCHBtd41P?si=1sJZt3c7Sk68sha3wBc-6g), but here are more songs in no particular order:
From the Outside by Real Friends
A Year in the Garden Shed by Tigers On Trains
Plants and Worms by Girlpool
Chasing the Sun by Sara Bareilles
First Love / Late Spring by Mitski
Famous Last Words by My Chemical Romance
Tummy Ache by Diet Cig
The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton by The Mountain Goats
J: What advice would you give 15 year old Addy?
A: I think I’d give her all the makeup tips that I know now because she had no idea what she was doing (I still have no idea what I’m doing now, but at least I kind of have the hang of things) and that eyeshadow primer is a total game changer.
I’d tell her that she needs to talk to her parents about getting a therapist before things start to get bad, and that being able to play using stronger reeds does not make her a better clarinetist. She needs to stop apologizing and being so hard on herself and that she is going to be okay.
But if anything, I would tell her to start talking about poetry with her grandma now. This is before her dementia started to worsen and three years before she passed. Ask grandma to share her poems and favorite books. I’d tell my younger self that my grandma doesn’t hate her, it’s just that I was too young to understand her sense of humor and that I just needed to find the ways to connect with grandma and to be able to cherish them.