'I Want to Be the One You Think About At Night:' An Interview with Poet Arun Jeetoo
Arun Jeetoo’s I Want to Be the One You Think About At Night is a candid and introspective look at love in the twenty-first century. The poet and educator's debut pamphlet delves into the complexities of romantic and sexual relationships, no matter how chemical or transient they may be.
To learn more about the story behind the story, read A Good Book To End The Day’s interview with the author below.
Describe I Want to Be the One You Think About At Night’s ideal reader.
Everyone. From those new to reading poetry at any age to those who are avid poetry readers. Everyone will enjoy something from my little book about romantic love in the 21st century.
They say first impressions are everything. What role should a title play in a poem? A poem title has to be juicy. It’s the first thing the reader sees or the audience member hears. You want your title to guide your reader into the world of your poem, sort of like a hinge. Even before that, you want your reader to be curious about the title or find something peculiar about it for them to investigate the poem further. For instance, my poem Monday Mourning (about the fact that I broke my second molar on a Monday morning) was changed to I cracked my second molar. My fabulous former tutor (Cecilia Knapp @ceciliaknapp) pointed out that the latter title pops out more than Monday Mourning because the reader wants to know how I cracked my first and second molar - so the title here works to invite the reader to explore the poem.
What relationship do you have with your poetic mistakes?
All humans make mistakes - so do poets (although, last time I checked, poets aren’t human!). My mistakes only make me a better performer, editor, and writer. I tend to own every mistake that I make - be it mispronouncing a basic word in a really weird way (e.g. when I pronounced just as jist) or workshopping a poem with very silly grammar and punctuation mistakes, it’s an opportunity to learn. The more you trust yourself with your craft, to know you’re doing this because you love it, the fewer mistakes you will make. Trust me on that!
What book is currently on your nightstand? A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I’m halfway through and so enticed by Yanagihara’s visceral narrative of four young men trying to build a life for themselves in New York. Yanagihara’s portrayal of male friendship is raw and captivating as I can easily compare the similarities between the four main protagonists to my male best friends. To my knowledge, you won't find novels like this that exhibit male friendships so tenderly and tragically and something so close to real life.
Do you have any other projects in the works at this time?
Not at the moment as I plan to network and read new poems across various open mic nights in London. This year has been wonderful as I’ve co-headlined poetry nights in some amazing spaces across London. I do have an idea or two for my next pamphlet, but I’ll park that for a bit as I’m so looking forward to testing out new material.
How can readers keep in touch with you? Instagram & Twitter. A website is in the works so watch this space!
Thanks so much for being part of the A Good Book To End The Day family! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
You can purchase my pamphlet here.
Or read one of my reviews first before you buy