LMR: Strawberry. I’m a purist when it comes to my sweets. Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla. I can’t do a bunch of nuts or chunks of shit like lavender in my ice cream or chocolate.
KLC: Where’s the coolest place you’ve ever traveled to and what was so cool about it?
LMR: So far, the coolest place I’ve traveled is Panama. I went years ago for a conference and it was my first time in a Black nation (or AfroLatino in this case). I was overwhelmed with the safety of being somewhere where where everyone looked like me . Women who looked like they could be my sister or mother, men who could be my father or brothers. As an adopted person, I had never felt this sense of belonging to my body because everyone in my family looked different than me. After about a week in the sun, I was even the same burnished copper color as everyone as well, so people began speaking Spanish to me. I think I wept after this happened.
KLC: Name one movie you can quote and then quote it.
Johnny Ringo: …you must be Doc Holliday.
Doc Holliday: That's the rumor.
Ringo: You retired too?
Doc: Not me. I'm in my prime.
Ringo: Yeah, you look it.
Doc: And you must be Ringo. Look, darling, Johnny Ringo. The deadliest pistoleer since Wild Bill, they say. What do you think, darling? Should I hate him?
Kate: You don't even know him.
Doc: Yes, but there's just something about him. Something around the eyes, I don't know, reminds me of... me. No. I'm sure of it, I hate him. . . In vino veritas.
KLC: Pick one: Eleanor Roosevelt, Angela Davis, or Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
LMR: I’m a little ashamed I had to google Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She’s a badass. and a badass in a time when African women were not in visible, high ranking, political positions. I dig her. I’m still goin with my girl Angela Davis. For many reasons, one of which is that when I read “Women, Race and Class” it was one of the transformative books in my Black Feminist Education. I wouldn’t be this rockstar in front of you if it wasn’t for her intellectual contributions to my thinking. I’m kidding about the rockstar thing. sorta. black girl magic and all that.
KLC: The United States electoral process is _______________________.
LMR: Oh Jesus. Hell? a living Hell? A nightmare? I can’t with these Debates right now. Please Black / Filipino Jesus make it stop.
KLC: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done to get someone’s attention?
LMR: I left this question until last and I still can't think of anything. I was more of a 'suffer in silence" kind of girl. haha. I never used to explicitly let people know I was interested for fear of rejection. I held to that practice until I was totally grown unfortunately. It has led to a lot of unrequited love situations where I felt frustrated that the person didn't notice my feelings or try to kiss me. I was an idiot. too many Victorian and British love movies where longing and sitting close without touching is romanticized. Thats all crap. Nowdays I force myself to say something even if my face is burning.
KLC: If you had the opportunity to patent a brand new product, what might that be?
LMR: Definitely something to do with a high powered transporter beaming technology (a la star trek). I’d use it to assist nonviolent prisoners who were imprisoned unfairly to escape and relocate. heh.
KLC: Which of the following is least likely to ever exist: bigfoot, elves, or government regulation on Wall Street?
LMR: I’m from Washington State – rainforest area, so bigfoot and elves, we already know those exist. I’m going with Government regulation on Wall Street, for 500 Kara, because it would take the magic of elves to tighten the reigns on those fools.
KLC: Wild card question! Have you ever won a medal, trophy, ribbon, etc. at something that had absolutely nothing to do with writing? What was it??
LMR: I swam a mile in a lake, alongside a canoe that was following when I was at camp around 12 or 13. It was the best feeling ever when I finished. I miss that feeling of swimming in lakes. I got a ribbon for that. I didn’t win, I came in 3rd or something, but I didn’t even care. I was so proud of myself for doing it at all. Come to think of it, I was baller in archery then too. I bet I could give Katniss a run for her money. Blackniss. hahaha
KLC: Can you share something about yourself that no one has ever asked you about in an interview before?
LMR: If someone was trying to woo me what would it take, you ask? My whole life, my dad would buy or pick my mom flowers. Even up until the week that she died he brought her flowers from the garden at home to the hospital room. I’m a firm believer in random flowers that have nothing to do with roses or as an apology. Irises and Daffodils are my favorite flowers. I’m someone who works really hard and sometimes forgets to get away or do nice things for myself. If someone was trying to woo me, buying flowers or surprising me with a day trip to escape for no good reason except to make me happy, my heart would get mushy and some ice might start breaking there. kidding. kidding. Who knows, it could be a waterfall.
Lisa Marie Rollins is a poet, playwright, director and dramaturg. She was Assistant Director / Dramaturg with Crowded Fire Theater for their production of “Blackademics” by Idris Goodwin and Dramaturg for Tearrance Chisholm’s “Hooded” (SF Playwrights Festival 2015). She is Director of “All Atheists are Muslim” by Zahra Noorbakhsh. She performed her acclaimed solo play, “Ungrateful Daughter: One Black Girls Story of being adopted by a White Family… that aren’t Celebrities” in the New York International Fringe Theater Festival, Los Angeles Women’s Theater Festival, Atlanta Black Theater Festival, San Francisco Theater Festival, The Marsh Theater, and across the United States. She was Poet in Residence at June Jordan’s Poetry for the People at U.C. Berkeley, and is a CALLALOO Journal London Fellow & VONA alum. Her writing is published in Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out, River, Blood, Corn Literary Journal, Line/Break, As/Us Literary Journal, the The Lost Daughters, Huffington Post and others. She is a 2016 Writing Fellow for the San Francisco Writers Grotto, where she is finishing her new manuscript of poems, “Compass”. Currently, she is obsessing about her new play “TOKEN” in development with Just Theater’s Play Lab in Oakland, CA. She is a Lecturer in the Race and Resistance Studies Dept in SFSU’s School of Ethnic Studies. Check her out on Twitter @thirdrootprod or at birthproject.wordpress.com