Discovering and studying deeply the unpunctuated line, how you can manipulate it to direct inertia and momentum and breath, allowed me to write about addiction, elements of my addiction and recovery that had resisted all other approaches. Brian S: Speaking of translation, you hint in a number of your poems that your knowledge of your family’s language is limited. I imagine working with a living poet has to help a lot.

Brian—oh, I absolutely wouldn’t be able to do the translation work if I wasn’t working with a living poet who could speak a little bit of English to help me out.

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Aside from the obvious (a poet is someone who writes poetry), what would you say does distinguish poets from other writers?

failkid: Kaveh, your tweets & interviews frequently invoke/address the state of being a big-P Poet.

I’m busy all the time, but the exhaustion is only ever physical—all of it is very much nourishing and enervating psychologically, spiritually.

Brian S: How would you describe your relationship with faith?

The poems look like chaos on the page, like unpunctuated blobs, but when you read them you never for a moment lose track of where one sentence (or even one clause) begins and the next ends.

The punctuation is organic —there are certain words that, when placed next to other words, always denote the beginning of a new thought.

And there are certain constructions that gunk that up.

If you end an unpunctuated sentence on a modifier, it can almost always be read to modify the language that preceded it or the language that follows, and this is rarely a productive confusion.

Nkosi N.: In terms of editing, especially for your poems that have no punctuation, what is your process on editing the visual shape of a poem so that the rhythm is maintained when people speak your poems out loud.