By Bindu Bansinath
Bindu Bansinath’s work has appeared in The Columbia Review, The Susquehanna Review, 2RiverView, PANK, Notes to the Future, Damozel, The Round, Miscellany, and more. She is forthcoming in CALYX, and is a rising freshman at Columbia College of Columbia University.
You have a poetry chapbook coming out soon. Tell us more about that.
The book’s called and i a black bubble burst and it is coming out under a small independent press. In a few nutshells, I’d peg the subject matter as explorations of womanhood, unrequited and/or abandoned desire, and a stubborn denial of loss. Some of the poems have been published previously, but the majority of it is new material. And that’s enormously exciting to share.
Are you primarily a poet?
I consider myself more of a fiction writer. The poetry I write airs on the side of prose. Let’s just say that I want to pull through for stories in the way that stories have pulled through for me- in the way that they continue to pull through for me- and that’s that.
What’s your biggest obstacle in writing fiction?
Abandoning stories, I suppose. I’ll begin something with urgency. I’ll begin with characters who have places to be at any given moment. I’ll trust the voice I start with. But unless there is something clearly momentous for me to carry on, the urgency dissipates. I lose touch with the characters I make. I forget why they’re there. They move from place to place arbitrarily. The voice I started with is clunky at its mid-section.
On paper, yes. I don’t like that I do that. It contradicts what I said about pulling through for stories. But when I sense I’m not doing justice to the ideas I have, I feel an enormous sense of pressure and it takes a lot of coffee and chocolate to prevail to the other end.
Rejection from magazines.
Do you ever go back to the same characters or stories?
Certainly. There are some stories that have their basis in my life- one in particular- that I try over and over to tell because I assume that it’ll be easier to do so as more time passes. I like stories more than anything because within a story, you can assign symmetry to all the weird shit that happens to you, shit that’s otherwise unrelenting and random. You create stories for things you’re not ready to say at will. But maybe there are things I’m not ready to say either way. I’ll keep going back to it, however. In that way, writing is a good gauge for how well you’re healing; how well you’re living.
Do you think anyone from your life will be able to recognize themselves in your work?
If you’re still in my life, I’m probably not writing about you. You’re better than fiction to me if you’re still dealing with me. But if not...
All bets are off?
Afraid so. You know who you are. I hope you see yourself everywhere. I would be flattered if I was you.
Some people that you’ve recently abandoned. Go.
That’s one thing I’ve never been able to do. It’s easier the other way around.
Some stories that you’ve recently abandoned.
I’ll start by saying I’ve not abandoned these! They are all unfinished documents in my google drive. I don’t even want to mention the ideas, because it’s all a tease. I need to finish them.
If you’re not going to mention the ideas, why would you ask yourself the question?
To draw attention to myself.
Do you like attention?
Do you think you’re adorable?
Sometimes, but doesn’t everyone? I know you’ve taken selfies in which you think you’re cute shit. Which is good, because you definitely are. You’re the cutest shit around.
And so? Any closing advice?
Take up all the space you can and kiss wisely.