F WORD WARNING
Wombwell Rainbow Interviews
I am honoured and privileged that the following poets, local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers two options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger.
The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these poets you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.
Weasel is a degenerate author and The Dude of Weasel Press. He released his latest book, “We Don’t Make It Out Alive” in May of 2018, and has also released a collection of short stories called “Jazz at the End of the Night.” Weasel was a Juried Poet for the 2016 Houston poetry Fest, and has also appeared in an indie documentary, “Something Out of Nothing (S.O.O.N.)” directed by Mitchell Dudley. You can find him on Facebook and Twitter.
Author of Jazz at the End of the Night
The Dude of Weasel Press
Red Ferret Press, & Sinister Stoat
1. What inspired you to write poetry?
I started writing poetry around high school. You know, the usual whiny emo bullshit. I wasn’t much of a reader when I was younger, I read Poe, and most of the other classics for classes but that was about it. What really got me going was music. I used to study the lyrics of Queensryche’s Operation Mindcrime, Dio’s Holy Diver, Judas Priest’s Painkiller, and Alice Cooper’s Brutal Planet, among dozens of other bands. I started writing because of them. I always wanted to write a poem as awesome as the shit I listened to. When I got into college, I found the Beats. Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs and I fell down that hole real quick. Then slam poetry shortly after. I wanted to push myself to write as damn good as these poets, taking inspiration from shit that happened to me in my life. Still learning. Still growing. Still fuckin’ up, but it’s good writing.
2. Who introduced you to poetry?
Answer: There wasn’t a single individual in my life that showed me any poetry, honestly. But I suppose my creating writing professor nudged me towards poetry a bit more when I was in college.
3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?
Answer: Most of the poets I met and still talk with are older poets. I was always aware of that, I think. Most of the writers groups, poetry open mics, etc were filled with older poets, and it was cool. Now that I’m nearly 30 though, I’m an older poet (at least so I’m told).
4. What is your daily writing routine?
Answer: Shit. I wish I had a daily routine. When I do write, it’s in the morning, on the weekends. I read a variety of books, between indie poets, then switch it to something like Wakefield and Mojgani, and then an anthology or two I got on the shelf. Reading is always essential to writing. You learn styles, techniques, rhythm, just by looking and reading poetry so it’s one of the most essential parts of my writing process. I check my emails, then light up cause I can’t write without nicotine in my system, otherwise the keyboard makes me agitated. Then I start out with a word or a line and go from there. Sometimes I need to take it to pen and paper, but i always end up back at the PC.
5. What motivates you to write?
Answer: My writing comes from my own experiences. Lovers I’ve had and have, people who’ve given me problems for being gay, suicidal tendencies, etc. I write more narrative work, conversations between me and wait staff at restaurants, assholes in gas stations, things that are real. That you can hold onto.
6. What is your work ethic?
Answer: I bounce back and forth between depression and complete workaholic. If I’m in the latter, I’m working on Weasel Press stuff, Thurston Howl Publication business, and writing a fuckton. If it’s the former, i’m knocked the fuck out. There’s not a smooth process to it. It’s just something I gotta work out.
7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
Answer: I still read some of the writers I read when I was younger. I’ve gotten rid of maybe 80% of my book collection due to space/money problems, but I still have some old books lying around. Whenever I hit a rough spot, man, I go back to them. Like a back to basics.
8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?
Answer: Chris Wise for his tenacity, and the ability to stand his own ground. He takes no bullshit and his work shows it.
Damian Rucci, dude’s an inspiration. When he’s got an idea or something he wants to do. He fuckin’ rolls with it.
Mary Margaret Carlisle, my mentor in a way. She’ll take your work, shred the paper right in front of you and make you rewrite it again from memory. It’ll piss you off but you’ll be better for it. Her work always amazes me when I read it.
Emily Ramser has this way of writing that I can’t explain. It’s damn good, unafraid.
Brian Kehinde, if you’ve never read one of this poems you need to. The way he blends erotica, anger, disdain, and love in a whole book is amazing.
9. Why do you write?
Answer: I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I’m not patient enough to be an artist, and words are a whole other drug.
10. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”
Answer: I tell them, I became a writer because people are assholes.
11. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.
Answer: I just put out a book, “We Don’t Make It Out Alive,” $10 on amazon, but if you email me I’ll send it to you for $6 via paypal. it’s a small chapbook of poetry, has some kickass art by Joseph Chou. email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you want a copy.
Aside from that, I’m writing a novella called Honey & Fire, sort of a anthropomorphic lit book. Still figuring out where it’s gonna go.
Hoping to have a new book of poetry out in 2019 as well, already kickin’ out new poems for it. You can check out some new poems at my twitter: http://www.twitter.com/systmaticweasel