The Write Stuff: Cassandra Dallett on Traveling Without the Pain in the Ass of Traveling
The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.
Cassandra Dallett occupies Oakland, CA. Cassandra writes of a counter culture childhood in Vermont and her ongoing adolescence in San Francisco Bay Area. A full-length book of poetry Wet Reckless will be released from Manic D Press in the spring of 2013.
When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?
I tell them I'm a poet that works as a nurse when she has to.
What's your biggest struggle -- work or otherwise?
I don't want to work a day job, and I don't have the education to make money doing anything writing related so paying the bills is the struggle.
If someone said I want to do what you do, what advice would you have for them?
Do you consider yourself successful? Why?
No not really. If I was able to pay my bills by doing something writing related I think I would.
When you're sad/grumpy/pissed off, what YouTube video makes you feel better?
My own of course.
Do you have a favorite ancestor? What is his/her story?
All of my ancestors on both sides have super interesting stories but my mother's mother was a welder and general bad-ass who worked through her pregnancies, could drink any man under the table, and was beautiful and smart as hell. She died before I was born.
Who did you admire when you were 10 years old? What did you want to be?
Deborah Harry, all I wanted was to be Blondie. period.
Describe your week in the wilderness. It doesn't have to be ideal.
Been there done that and it was not ideal! I lived on a mountain with my Dad, no electricity, an outhouse, a mile and a quarter walk to the school bus in the snow.
Would you ever perform a striptease? Describe some of your moves. Feel free to set the mood.
No. I'm extremely awkward, I'm sexual yes, but I'm terrified of dancing, stripping or going to gyms, moving my body in front of anyone, can't do it.
How much money do you have in your checking account?
None of your business.
What's wrong with society today?
Everything, but I'm particularly tired of racism and poverty.
Are you using any medications? If so, which ones?
No but if I could get some hook up on some Ambien I would be. I'm somewhat of an insomniac and I have no insurance.
What is your fondest memory?
I don't know I have too much anxiety to enjoy anything,
How many times do you fall in love each day?
Every time I look at my dogs. Also good poems.
What would you like to see happen in your lifetime?
Free education and medical care for all.
What is art? Is it necessary? Why?
It's whatever you want it to be, whatever you want to create. It is necessary, essential even. It has always been here always will.
When you have sex, what are some of the things you like to do?
Kiss. I like passion, the unknown, a firm touch, a soft kiss, hair pulling, ass slapping, first kiss rollercoaster tummy.
What are you working on right now?
All poetry all the time.
What kind of work would you like to do? Or: what kind of writing do you most admire?
I love memoir! That's how I got into this I wanted to write memoir I got started but have a short attention span so I started writing it in little snippets and calling them poems.
If there were one thing about the Bay Area that you would change, what would it be?
The cost, the cold, and I miss the San Francisco I came to in the early eighties. It was so much cooler than this homogenized, overpriced bull shit.
A night on the town: what does that mean to you?
usually poetry readings are big nights out for me
maybe some good food, red wine, city lights
What's the strangest thing you've ever seen?
I'm a nurse I mostly see really nasty things.
What can you do with 50 words? 50 dollars?
With 50 words I can rock your world with 50 bucks I could probably rock your taste buds.
What are some of your favorite smells?
Basil, fabric softener in dryers, weed smoke even though I don't smoke, anything vanilla or coconut. I hate the smell of roses and lavender.
If you got an all expenses paid life experience of your choice, what would it be?
Traveling without the pain in the ass of traveling as I know it.
For events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook. This interview conducted by Evan Karp. Follow Litseen at @Litseen.