Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Rus Khomutoff

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews

I am honoured and privileged that the following writers 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.


Rus Khomutoff

is a neo surrealist language poet based in Brooklyn, NY. His poetry has appeared in Erbacce, Occulum, Poethead, Former People Journal and Burning House Press. In 2016 he released his debut ebook Immaculate Days. He is on twitter @rusdaboss

Radia (chapbook), available at https://voidfrontpress.org

The Interview

1. What inspired you to write poetry?

I come from a family of artists. My mother is an artist and my father is a former poet. I am what you call a late bloomer in my pursuit of poetry.In college I studied filmmaking, I only started thinking about poetry seriously a few years ago when I had a traumatic near death experience. You won’t believe this but after I came back from the hospital, a voice urged me to start writing. It was prophetic!

2. What inspired you to write Radia?

I believe that the path is the destination. Writing Radia was a spontaneous combustion! I didn’t realize this until later but my poetry seems to come from a place Osho called the ‘no mind’. The poems in Radia come from this particular place. My writing is very instinctual, I write with a loose approach similar to automatic writing. In general my views on poetry have evolved since my first book, Immaculate Days. I have met some extraordinary poets along the way who have opened my eyes to the rich possibilities of poetry, poets like Felino A. Soriano, Ric Carfagna, John Pursch and Michael Lee Rattigan.

These poets enunciate the emergency of being.

2.1. What do you mean by “enunciate the emergency of being”?

David Lerner wrote “The future task of language is to burn itself down in prayer and invent a new code for beauty“. These words are impossible to interpret because they exude the impossible.Georges Bataille said “All profound life is heavy with the impossible”

Radia is a work heavy with the impossible. I’ve tried to infuse Radia with magical, phenomenal texture, I hope the readers find this enjoyable!

2.2. How does “magical, phenomenal texture” manifest itself?

Like I said earlier my writing is primarily instinctual….
I pay attention to social media, newspapers and music.
I have a poem in Radia I dedicated to singer Scott Weiland,
who passed away not long ago. That poem means a lot to me!
I also have a poem in Radia dedicated to the great french director
Jean Luc Godard. It is inspired by his latest film, The Image Book, which I loved!
Another poem in Radia is dedicated to an obscure french poet Stanislas Rodanski.
Jim Morrison has been a huge influence on my work, and I have a poem in Radia dedicated to him

3. What daily writing routine led to Radia?

Most of the poems in Radia were written at night, they reflect an element of nocturnal stillness.

4. What motivates you to write?

This is a good question…Honestly life presents so many glorious moments that it’s hard to say. I’ve always been drawn to the mysterious, unexplained and occult. Writing Radia was revelatory, I discovered things about myself I didn’t know.

I would say that writing to me is like flying, you always want to soar higher.

5. How would you describe your poetry?

Mercurial, capricious, arbitrarious

6. Who of today’s writers do you most admire, and why?

This year I discovered a brilliant writer. Louis Armand, I read Armand’s book Menudo and loved it. Armand’s writing is unclassifiable, it’s metadata.
The conceptual elements of Armand’s writing are at once postmodern and lyrical.
I have a poem in Radia dedicated to Armand.

7. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer”

Writing is an experiment…the best writing occurs when the mind is tranquil and unhurried. I believe each person has their own rhythm and follow through.

Writing is an adventure, the road of discovery is endless.

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