Monday, June 11, 2012

Poet Natasha Head, An Interview

“Poetry is not reserved for the select few, it is not elitist, it does not care who you are or where you came from, or judge you for the mistakes you have made. It speaks to all, for all, and is able to reflect back to us, through the art of language, an image of the world that is real, that is now.”
~Natasha Head, Nothing Left to Lose

It was love at first sight when I first read Natasha Head’s poetry. Her voice is real and powerful, her poems are emotive and vivid, and her heart is sincere and humble. Not only is she an active participant in the world of poetry, but she is a supportive colleague who really cares. I once shared a very personal poem on my other site, Bird’s-Eye Gemini, and she sent me an email thanking me for opening up my heart like I had.

Known by many as Tashtoo, Natasha has a new poetry collection, Nothing Left to Lose. She shares how the book came to fruition here. I purchased it for my Kindle and enjoy reading it from my iPhone everywhere I go.

Doesn't this poem make you just want to drop everything and head to the beach?

Hemingway Would be Proud

Nothing beats the sea shore in June.
Give me the breeze off the bay
scent of salt in the air
the bulbous bodies of jellyfish
riding the waves.
Nourish me with the tang
of a mint leaf dancing in my glass,
an early afternoon buzz
that would normally be frowned upon
I am a natural
I was born to drift
recording my deep thoughts
and profound prayers
Rum dumb
but alive.
There is a healing that comes
with an absence of grass
a cure with every grain of sand
as I bury my toes in their warmth
and the sun fries my exposed skin
shaving seconds from the hour glass
though I do know better,
I also know there is aloe waiting
to slow the burn.
With pen in one hand
drink in the other
I welcome the heat
and know
Hemingway would be proud.

Now, on with the interview!

*Who is Natasha Head?

Honestly...that's something I am unwilling to commit to. :) I am a mother, first and foremost and that's pretty much the only thing I'm content to have set in stone. In the real world, I've been a real estate agent for almost twenty years and a closet poet for even longer. I really was the geek who carried the little black book with my poems in it.

*What inspires you? all their wonderful glory, in all their awful misery...Nature is my church, but 99% of the time it's people who fire up my pen. Relationships, mob mentality, all the quirks and miracles that make us what and who we are.

*Why do you write?

Because I always have. When I don't...the results are not good. I'm a chronic journal-er and have been since I was very young. I learned that getting it out on paper first is a great way to prevent conflict, to work through a confused mind, and to come to know who I am and what I want a little bit better. It gives me a voice, the courage to be me...good or bad as that may be.

*How do you come up with such compelling titles for your poems?

The poem always comes first. If I go with title first, then it's like writing to a prompt...most times, I won't know where the poem is going until it ends...once the pen stops and I actually see what has been birthed, then comes the name.

*Where can we find you?

At the crossroads of indecision on the banks of the river of change. :) Actually, The Tashtoo Parlour is probably the best place to start looking. It's my own little poetry parlour where I get to pretend it's all about me.

*See, I told you she was humble! Natasha is all over the place. She is co-founder of New World creative Union, a regular contributor at dVerse Poets and more!

*If you could place five items in a time capsule, what would they be and why?

1. A recording of Dougie MacLean's version of Caledonia. (Listen to'll know why)
2. A copy of my book "Nothing Left to Lose" as it's a very big piece of me and a collection of work that I think is based on a case of history repeating itself. It could come in handy as a survival guide for future women. :) And would go a long way to feeding my ego.
3. Pink Floyd's The Wall...a movie that got me through my teenage angst and proved I was not alone with my little black book of poetry.
4. My iPhone....presently you can find my entire life on it...and yes, I admit I am addicted
5. A roster of all the amazing people who I've met, complete with an example of their work. This could take some time, but the talent I've been introduced to is overwhelming and so many deserve their place in history.

*Would you rather be a rock or a river and why?

Oh, I'd have to be the river...then I could shape the rocks and flow easily by the ones who show resistance.

*Do you have any advice for us?

Write a poem. Draw a picture. Paint a post card. Take a walk with your camera. Get in touch with the creative you. We all have that side to us, and it needs to be fed...Life is more complete when you interact with your world through that side of you. Let go, and let that divine creator loose...despite what we've been trained to believe, life is not a competition...we are here to grow and evolve together...getting creative opens up that corner of our mind that many of us have forgotten.

*Where would you like to be a year from now?

I would love to be able to lose the real estate agent part of my self-definition. I would love to be able to sincerely dedicate my time to see what I might be capable of. I'm involved in a very demanding industry in a family owned company. Some are under the false impression that this makes my work easier...can YOU imagine working 24/7 with your mother, father, sister...I love them all dearly but...seriously!

I do see your point. You can only spend so much time with family!

As you read more of Tashtoo's poetry, you will discover what a realistic possibility that just is. Here are two more:

Weapons of Mass Destruction

You cannot build a world based
On those who have
and those who have not.
What you build
in this state
is resentment, hostility, loathing
as connections are made
and frustration grows
You create an enemy
that hold no weapons
simply ideas
That question your ways
your motives
your insatiable desire for more.
I almost bought in to your ways
I almost sold my soul
thinking this was the way it had to be,
but I have a confession to make,
I failed.
The battle between heart and mind
Almost broke me
financially, physically, emotionally
but then came realization
as I realized YOUR biggest weapon
was self-doubt and loathing
instilled into the mind
of those too weak
to do unto others
as you have done to them.


The Elephant

He persists
Breath hot, heavy in my ear
As he sings me a melody
A call I cannot return.
Kindred spirits
Connected on a potential sea
Of all we should have been
Had I not careened
Into a future that was already written
Still the sound of his song resonates
Beats within a heart
That belongs to another
If not factual
And lost within the breath
Barely able to breathe
Soul food sustenance
Living up to expectations
Lyrics written by another
Secret time, secret lover
That leaves me broken and tethered
To the elephant in the room


Not only does Tashtoo write, but she is an artist as well. Her medium? Crayons. Here's my favorite. You can find more here.

Natasha Head, The Nature of Memory, August 2011

Thank you so much, Tashtoo, for allowing me to share a little piece of you with my readers.

**All poems and pictures courtesy of Natasha and can be found at The Tashtoo Parlour.


Mary B. Mansfield said...

Great interview! I've yet to read anything from the Tashtoo Parlor that didn't just blow me away. Love the fact that her favorite artistic medium is crayons, they are seriously underrated!

Susie Clevenger said...

What a marvelous interview!! It is great to know more about Natasha...she is so talented!!

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Great interview, Laurie. I love her perspective. Tashtoo is one of the poets I always check when I'm online.
She's a very generous soul and obviously very talented. Love the picture too, a beautiful, shy smile.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Laurie, this is such a fine interview, of a very talented and interesting poet. Thank you both so much for this. What a great read. Love the poems:)

Brian Miller said...

Tash is def a fav of mine as well...and a revolutionary at heart too, which i find def cool...

Life is more complete when you interact with your world...i could not agree more, poet.

Unknown said...

Great interview; I think the first poem was my favorite.

Ella said...

Laurie I love this interview that getting to know Tashtoo, more!
Well Done...I'm excited about her book! She is soo talented :D

Anonymous said...

good interview. yep, people are a great inspiration.
line: the battle between heart and