alli simone defeo is a traveling poet. They are the founder and co editor of glo worm press, a digital archive and small publishing press. They have a System Of A Down tattoo set in Minion Pro. Their first full length collection of poetry i love you here’s a gigantic worm will be out on 2 Fast 2 House august 8th. Find them@atreewithagrape and their cool website

Tho I think the main emotion behind this body of work specifically is “striving’.  A deep sense of trying so much. Trying to heal, to understand trauma so healing is possible.

Your book i love you here’s a gigantic worm is being published through 2 Fast 2 House, the publishing wing of spy kids review! What interested you most about publishing with 2 Fast 2 House?

I feel so passionate and excited about working with 2 fast 2 house. It feels sorta funny to try to translate the sense of trust and love I feel for what spy kids review and 2 fast 2 house are doing! The heart and vision in the spy kids review was something I really connected with spiritually.  there’s this great sense of sharing the importance of excavating identity and pain, as well as this really fun celebration of nature and how wacky humor can fit into all of this. That makes me feel like the best home for this body of work is 2 fast 2 house. Sometimes I can get kind of self conscious about my writing because its often these really small tweeXcore poems, I can get scared that I’m not going to be taken seriously as a writer but 2 fast 2 house inspires me so much to be really confident in my work, and to shine as bright as I can!

Your book is written in a very free flowing manner, what’s the purpose in that formatting?

Hmmm, I think there’s a few things influencing this sort of formatting in my book. A lot of it I think has to do with my process of writing. Many of my poems start out as single lines, notes about a concept that I get really excited, or just single lines that pop into my head when I see something.  I’m really meticulous about taking notes, I carry around like 4 different notebooks with me and am constantly using the notes app on my phone. I’ll take full pages of notes analyzing topics like my own trauma, stones,  gender, and healing.  Which is essentially the main topics of my book.  It often feels like im essentially “studying” these topics at all hours of the day and my poems are nearly direct translations of these notes.

I keep thinking about caves. They seem funny and beautiful to me.Click To Tweet

I’ll be looking out the window of a bus or something, for instance, and see a construction worker pulling a huge rock out of mud with a big machine, and just have this moment where a line will pop into my head, I’ll write it down and then that will later become a full poem! When writing, I rarely sit down with and say, im going to write about this topic today. So, having a free flowing format just seems to happen really naturally with my process of writing.  I wouldn’t call it “stream of consciousness” because I’m too meticulous for that, but there’s this ebb and flow to emotions, thoughts, and interactions that happen.

I also spend hours of my life reading the comments section on the internet, it’s a deep passion of mine! My writing style is heavily inspired by this saturated and potent emotionality that is expressed in Youtube comments. They have this beautiful rhythm to them! They are often these small pieces of text, which are people just expressing their hearts in this really honest way and maybe the grammar is off, or there’s misspelling, but they’re so sensitive and are these little rivers of sincerity! I love that and since most of my “literature” intake is youtube comments, I think my writing has taken on a similar flow.

What emotion influences your writing most?

O wow, this question ! My first instinct is to say “saturation” as being the emotion most influential to my writing. Like, being SO saturated and bursting with a lot of wild, varying emotions.  I recently described myself as “I’m not crying but I could be”.  I’m really sensitive!! But in a mostly positive way! I really have no chill !!! Tho I think the main emotion behind this body of work specifically is “striving’.  A deep sense of trying so much. Trying to heal, to understand trauma so healing is possible. Striving to be better to yourself, and to others, to the animals. Striving to be brave, strong, honest ! Striving to achieve a similar type of striving that a plant has to get sunlite.

Your poems seem to be a direct exploration of your body in relation to the world. How does your body interplay in your other artistic pursuits? Such as your photography, as well as other writing outside of this book.

I’m going to try to answer this as concise as I can ! I can really say so much about this !!!

My body and it’s relation to everything outside it has been the main focus of all of my artistic work for the past five years ! My first photography project in my BFA program were these self portraits, where I was using my body to interact within the frame of the photograph. Than I began taking self portraits that were about gender and my body’s relationship physically and spiritually to domestic spaces. I took almost strictly self portraits of this nature for like three years before getting into exploring this relationship in other photographic subjects !

In photography it seems like a really natural exploration for me. Photography is sooo physical. I’m a film photographer and a professional darkroom printer which to me is all about physicality! Not only are you using your hands in the darkroom, but ! it’s also all about the translation of light, onto this piece of film which is literally and spiritually a translation of a moment in time which is no longer physical, on to this physical piece of film !!!! And then that process happens again in the dark room, you shine light through the film, and use the light to create a this beautiful physical print ! I also use this really huge camera, it’s like, 5 or 7 pounds and bigger than my head so I’m really doing a lot of physical work, and interacting deeply with my surroundings when im shooting film. My body is so involved when I’m making photographs. My thesis photography work was mainly all about the physical functions of photography, and how when using a camera to explore the external world, be it domestic spaces, time, nature and magic, your body is reiterated back to you in these things! A really natural reaction for me to have looking at the spaces around me is to think deeply about how I want to interact in that space ! How I want to be so kind!

There’s this huge web that is unintentionally and intentionally weaved through out all of my art. The way I explore the body in my writing, is really the same exploration that’s in my photography.  Just like how I am always making references to golden hour in my poetry, if you look at my photographs, they are almost always taken during that time of day, It seems so fun and funny. Kanye West said this line that I am always thinking about in relation to making art and everything I am doing as an artist, “everything in the world is exactly the same.”  The translation of light onto film in photography is really no different than writing poetry to me! Poetry is the translation of ideas, emotions, or slippages of time into words, and my body does this ! My body is maybe the most important part of making art for me, because, its my tool! I use these hands to create everything! And my heart ! A divination tool!

I’m really sensitive!! But in a mostly positive way! I really have no chill!!!Click To Tweet

Your work has been greatly influenced by the support of websites such as Patreon (your patreon account BFF is great) and Kickstarter (which funded 2 Fast 2 House). What are your thoughts about these websites? The benefits and the downsides of using them to fund creative pursuits?

Patreon has been a really great platform for me being able to fund the amount of work I want to be creating. Since I’m traveling right now, my income is strictly from freelance work/ chapbook sales, so it can be hard finding the extra money to do all of the projects that I want to do. I was really wanting to figure out a way to find the funds to create more work, like drawing, buttons, cool merch, etc in a way that was really fun, and getting cool stuff to people. Patreon has been perfect for me in those regards, a really great platform to organize all of this info, and help fund these ideas I had about creating a monthly mailing service, which is about having this really sweet and kind relationship with people. Every month sending stuff that will make them smile, which I wouldn’t have been able to do financially this year without Patreon ! I know a lot of other artists too, who have been able to supplement their income through Patreon. It seems like a really cool platform for that. Kickstarter too, it seems to me that crowdfunding and other sites like that which make it easy for people to help artists make their work, friends helping friends, is radical !

I think some downsides to them can be, hmm, I mean I’m really of suspicious of any large company. I don’t trust the ethics of Kickstarter as a company, they’ve been known to take down campaigns raising money to help trans women and sex workers, also taking down campaigns to raise money for radical groups and stuff. I know that Gofundme and Indiegogo are also guilty of this. I wouldn’t personally recommend someone to use these websites guilty of this if they’re going to be crowdfunding, I know there are a few sites like Kickstarter that are kind and nice.  It can feel confusing to know how to navigate this, like I am traveling right now, and depend solely on these kinds of websites which help give creators this really easy platform, but then it’s like 🙁  using all of these big companies that are probably evil. Especially with Kickstarter because I have noticed that campaigns there get way more attention than other crowdfunding sites, and yeah, trying to navigate under this fucked up system while you are just trying to get funding to do really cool and nice art.

A road trip you wish you would go on?

I REALLY want to go to Montana.  It’s probably the place people have told me to go to the most, and they have wild horses ! I would love to see wild horses, I would cry so much !!!! horses mean so much to me, and so do mountains. I’ve been told Montana has both.

A thought you’ve been having lately?

I keep thinking about caves. They seem funny and beautiful to me. I would put my mouth on a cave if I got the chance.