Chrislande Dorcilus is the Sailor Senshi best known as Sailor Jupiter. She lives through cliche. Wants to get a dog to dress up like a baby and doesn’t get poetry. She loves you, and studies Fashion Theory and History at the CUNY Grad Center. Holla.
Who is your favorite female identifying written character and why?
I love difficult women and Emma Bovary is on top of my list of most difficult woman that I have ever read and thus, my “favorite female identifying character.” I love that she searched for what she wanted so hard that it killed her. I love that she was loved right through her selfish and spoiled journey to personal demise. To have a life worth being written about with a modicum of poetic flourish you need to be difficult.
What literary work by a female identifying writer had the most effect on you as a writer and/or person?
Depending on the point in my life this answer certainly changes. Last summer it was Manga-ka Kyoko Okazaki’s Pink. When I was 16, it was Peach Girl by Miwa Ueda. The summer of my 22nd year, I would have growled Toni Morrison’s Beloved at the answer but that following Fall I was smitten by any poem June Jordan wrote. Right now, I am a devotee of French Christian mystic and philosopher Simone Weil. I read her life altering Gravity and Grace for a class I took this semester taught by poet/professor/awesome person Wayne Koestenbaum, and fell in love. Weil’s story is very similar to Emma’s. A genius of a woman, an empath, a goddess in her own philosophical right, and another woman who died trying to be exactly who she wanted to be. I can also say that The Lover by Duras stands out as a novel that always eventually pops up as favorites no matter the time in my life. Ask me again in a year.
How did your poems in Alyss come about?
I want to lie in answering this question. I want to say that they came from my own brilliant flourishing young writer’s mind, but they were written in conjunction to a poetry class four years ago at Florida State University.
What has been your greatest writing life moment so far?
The thick-German-chocolate-slice-of-cake feeling of having someone like my poetry. I don’t believe that it will get any better than that.
What is your favorite piece by another writer from Issue One and why?
My favorite is Houston’s “Darryl Sleeps Through the Best Sunrise I’ve Ever Seen.” I love when a poem invites me to be intimate with the complexity of grief. It was a soft memorial poem, but I could still feel the known sadness of having lived through a loss percolating in the verse. I too have a similar sadness. I also love that it was narrative and full of color. The first stanza connects to both the way I understand the world and how I long to write poetry:
“Lafitte is socked in by orange fog.
Sunrise surrounds us, a pink I can taste,
a someone-call-9-1-1 red:
the sky has cracked open its head and is bleeding.”
I too have been surrounded by “a pink I can taste.”
What are you currently working?
I’m getting Master’s degree in Fashion Studies so, I’m working on making it translate into gainful employment. That requires a skill familiar to all poets: making dollars out of pennies! I am also in the contemplative process of writing the following books: one on Josei manga and American audiences, and another on black women, fashion and the south.
Who/what is your favorite Alice/Alyss?
Alice Walker is my favorite Alice for a trillion of reasons but my two favorites are:
- Finding Zora Neale Hurston’s grave.
- And writing “In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens
Her career is proof of the way that genre is a BS construct and that as artists we have to find each other across time and space, and as writers we can and should write what makes us happy.