And Now a Poetic Interview with Dan Leicht!

Dan Leicht is an author and poet who has helped me with many posts in the past. Whether it is writing about love or sharing his favorite place to write, Dan shows incredible passion and energy for his craft. He is also a fantastic poet and it is my pleasure to interview him today.

DanLeichtAuthor
Dan Leicht often writes poetry as well as fiction, both of which can be found at either one of his websites, DanLeicht.com & Deeliopunk.com. Other than writing fiction Dan also works as a freelance writer, writing consistently for both 585 Magazine and All-Comic.com. His collection of short stories titled Blissfire, as well as various ebooks, can be found on Amazon.com. My poetry has previously been published with Canto Magazine, as well as recently accepted at Work Literary Magazine.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m 5’8, a Virgo, and really good at the N-64 version of Super Smash Bros. (Also Mario Kart – I call Yoshi). I write for a local magazine called 585 Magazine, which is a lot of fun. I write a lot of fiction as well as poetry. I also drink a lot of coffee; probably unhealthy amounts…should look into that.

2. When did you start writing poetry?

I’ve always been interested in poetry, but it became more prominent in my writing habits into my teens. I have dozens of composition notebooks filled with poems I haven’t even looked at in years. Just thinking about those notebooks makes me feel old…

3. Do you have a favorite poet/poem?

There’s a lot of great poets out there, and with some of the classes I’ve taken in college I’ve had the chance to meet a few of them. My favorite however has always been Charles Bukowski. Maybe it’s just that he’s more approachable – his poems often time reading like short stories.

His poem “How is your heart?” contains my favorite line of his, and one of my favorite lines ever “what matters most is how well you walk through the fire.” – This is a line I think about quite often as life throws all those crazy punches at you. Dory’s version of this “Just keep swimming” is also quite powerful.

4. Does music inspire you? What kind?

Music is more often than not on whenever I’m writing. A lot of ambient music makes it easier to drift away and get writing done. I’ll often listen to the same playlist on my phone whenever I’m writing. Hearing the same songs brings me back into the mindset fairly quickly. I’ll add new songs to the list every now and then to shake things up. An artist I find really helpful to listen to while writing is Lindsey Stirling – as of late I’ve just been putting “Roundtable Rival” on repeat (currently listening to it while answering these questions).

5. Do you write on the computer or in a notebook?

A bit of both. I find it helpful to write in different places sometimes, so if I’m travelling somewhere or writing outside I’ll bring my notebook. If I’m at the apartment I’ll usually write on the laptop, often times feels easier to write on the laptop, the words feel a bit closer (if that makes sense?). And writing during my lunch breaks at work I’ll use the computer (two monitors! It’s like the future or something).

6. If you could write a poem anywhere, where would it be?

On a plane heading home from a hypothetical book signing to go back and see my hypothetical family. Could happen someday…

7. What do you enjoy most about writing poetry?

The freedom of it. You can just start with a line of something random and see where it takes you – even if you end up deleting that line in the end. There’s also that sense of accomplishment you get when you’ve finished writing something, whether it be a poem or story, whatever. No matter what kind of day you’ve had as long as something has been written it’s not all bad.

8. If you could hang out with any poet, who would it be?

Brian Turner. He was one of the visiting poets last year to my college. I met him briefly, but he was a great person and I feel like he’d have a lot to offer in terms of advice and the craft of poetry. He also gave me his white pen he was using to sign some of his books (his title page was black), he used the pen to sign my kindle case and gave it to me for other visiting authors to use – got a few more signatures before the end of the semester, and plan to get many more!

9. If you could physically fight a fellow poet, from any point in time, who would they be?

Bukowski. He always talks about getting into all these fights in his stories and his poems, makes you wonder how tough he really was. Plus after the fight we’d probably have a drink and hangout, so it’s like getting a second choice for question #8.

10. Have you read or performed poetry live at slams or open mic?

I’ve spoken at one poetry reading and it was fun, but haven’t done another since. I’m a talkative person, but not necessarily the most comfortable in front of audiences – however big or small they may be. I did open with a joke though, so maybe my calling is actually stand-up…

11. Why does nothing rhyme with orange?

Door-hinge, George, porridge – in a poem if it’s close enough it totally counts.

12. Do you post your poetry online?

I used to post new poems often, almost daily at one point, but have since been submitting more to various outlets trying to get published. Still every now and then I’ll post poems to either of my websites. Posted a random one the other day actually, “written” by my Hank Saga character Hank Carpenter, which allowed the poem to be weird and nonsensical and really fun(ny?).

13. Do you put your writing into pictures to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook?

Not usually. The poem for question #18 would fit nicely though.

14. What is the most difficult poetry to write? Are there any forms you dislike?

Forms aren’t so much a problem; they can be a challenge but also push you to try something different. Writing poems to be judged in a poetry workshop though… is hard, because you want to bring your best and may overthink some things.

15. Do you believe anyone can learn to write poetry? Do you think anyone can enjoy reading it?

I’d like to think writers have some magical talent that is bestowed upon them in the womb, but that’s probably not the case. If you practice anything enough you can become great at it – and yes, that is a challenge for anyone willing to face me in Super Smash Bros. (I call Kirby)

Reading poetry is just a matter of finding the right author for you. I read a lot, but often find myself going to Bukowski if I just want to fully relax and read something – like after a crappy day, or when I’ve had work + night class and feel super drained.

16. Where do vanishing objects go? Remember to phrase your answer in the form of a riddle.

If something vanishes, is it truly lost?
If a dove sings, does it read Robert Frost?

17. What project(s) are you currently working on, poetry or otherwise?

Editing a novel on and off, but have been working more recently on new poems. “Blissfire” a while back was a way to separate myself from the first novel I wrote (currently have two written, both unpublished). Lately though I’ve been writing poetry like crazy – and hoping this stride doesn’t run out for a while longer.

18. Would you like to share a poem with us today?

I sure will! This is one was posted to DanLeicht.com back in July.

A Dozen Red Roses – By Dan Leicht

Wilting roses rest
On top of half eaten fast food and beer cans
In a park at night
Salted drops dry slowly beside a bench
As footsteps disappear into the distance.

***

Find more about Dan Leicht:

On his websites: deeliopunk.comdanleicht.com

On Twitter: twitter.com/Deeliopunk

On Facebook: facebook.com/Deeliopunk

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Writing Spaces: Part Deux

I read an article last year on where famous authors do their writing. There were some remarkably inspiring locations and it made me wonder where the authors I know (the majority being small press and indie) write their stories, poetry, and other words. I collected photographs from ten talented writers last year. This year, I invited twelve more to do the same. They span the spectrum from paranormal to poetry and children’s fiction. Thank you once again to all the writers who let me into their homes and special places with their photographs: Paula Walker Baker, Melissa Craig, Michelle Franklin, Kelly Stone Gamble, Tracy James Jones, Dan Leicht, Dionne Lister, Jeanne McDonald, Charity Parkerson, Poppy Ruth SilverJacqueline E. Smith, and Danielle Thamasa.

Paula Walker Baker 1
Paula Walker Baker, author of Jack Learns to Grill
Melissa Craig 1
Melissa Craig, author of The Unblemished Librarian
Melissa Craig 2
Melissa Craig, author of The Unblemished Librarian
Michelle Franklin
Michelle Franklin, author of Khantara
Kelly Stone Gamble 1
Kelly Stone Gamble, author of They Call Me Crazy
Tracy James Jones
Tracy James Jones, author of Torn: Sixty Days of Calaboose
Dan Leicht 1
Dan Leicht, author of Blissfire
Dan Leicht 2
Dan Leicht, author of Blissfire
Dionne Lister
Dionne Lister, author of Shadows of the Realm
Jeanne McDonald 2
Jeanne McDonald, author of The Truth in Lies
Jeanne McDonald 4
Jeanne McDonald, author of The Truth in Lies
Charity Parkerson
Charity Parkerson, author of A Dash of Desire
Poppy Ruth Silver
Poppy Ruth Silver, author of Soon to Melt
Jackie Smith
Jacqueline E. Smith, author of Cemetery Tours
Danielle Thamasa, author of Project Death: Ressurection

***

Find more on Pinterest.

Poetic Perspectives on Love

Last year I invited poets to write a few lines about love on my old blog. What is it and what does it mean? How can we unravel something so painfully elusive? This year I invited them back to reflect a year later: Helle Gade, Regina Puckett, and Poppy Ruth Silver.

But also, I invited more writers: Justin Bog, Tim Giles, Dan Leicht, Michelle FranklinNatasha Head, Chris McQueeney, Christopher G.J. Smith, Kim Stapf, Saket Suryesh, and Rob Zimmermann. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and opening your souls.

Additional thanks to those contributing last year whose poems I have reposted: Brock Gates, Amber Norrgard, Susie ClevengerSreya Bremtin.

Last Year

6072627190_d78fdf6d6e_z
Image Source: Flickr

I will fight against you, for you
Because you mean more to me
than any fight can ever erase
Amber Jerome~Norrgard

Visit her blog here. ~ Find her books on Amazon.

Breathes held between
lingering sighs. Tangled thoughts
hemorrhage through loving eyes.
Regina Puckett

Visit her blog here. ~ Find her complete book of poetry on Amazon.

It is the surrender
that loses light
and yet invites
Poppy Ruth Silver

Visit her website here.

I walked into your soul
Embraced all that you were with my love
But death is a jealous lover
Now that you are gone
I’ll forgive, but never forget
Helle Gade

Visit her blog here. ~ Find her poetry on Amazon.

When hate dies, compassion begins, when a violent urge to take care and be one with another, that is a two side deal, to break free of the curse of loneliness
Brock Gates

Visit his Facebook Page here.

Love is energy
And motion over time
Transcending distance.

Love will save us
If it doesn’t kill us first.

Broken bottles
Shatter glass
Into a love letter
On the tear stained floor.
Ben Ditmars

Find his books on Amazon.

I.
midnight rain kisses
shower eye lashes with dew
the sweet love of you

II.
spider web wishes
tangle around thoughts of you
to hold fast my heart

III.
you spoke, i answered
together we wrote the words
that said everything
Sreya Bremtin

Visit her website here.

I came with heartbreak
and you never left my side
through sickness and health

together we stood
facing every storm trusting
faith would see us through

goodnight never saw
our heads lay upon anger
forgiveness our choice

life came with its thorns
but they couldn’t divide us
love defied all odds
Susie Clevenger

Visit her blog here. ~ Find her poetry on Amazon.

Revisited

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Undefeatable Debt

Hearts are like fragile, breakable beasts
When we yield to love’s unforgiveable feasts
We’ll partake of what it offers without any regret
Any pretend we won’t drown in its undefeatable debt
Regina Puckett

Visit her blog here. ~ Find her complete book of poetry on Amazon.

There is only the
softness of your heartbeat, merged
eternally, here
– Poppy Silver

Visit her website here.

Careful Motion

years have taught me to be careful
with finesse and tenderness
but rules are made of fragments
to be broken down as motion
shatters obstacles –
we groove on the same
wavelength.
Ben Ditmars

Find his books on Amazon.

Love’s Light

I’ll keep that light
Always in my sight
So I’ll never be lost
In the chaos again
Helle Gade

Visit her blog here. ~ Find her poetry on Amazon.

This Year

Perspectives
Image Source: Flickr

Love Is…
A steady gaze, calm,
Prescient worlds, universes;
Celestial bangs
Justin Bog

Buy his collection of holiday stories on Amazon. ~ Enter the Goodreads Giveaway.

I was thinking though and I can’t accurately describe love right now just because of where I am. I hope to have an answer one day, but for now the very thing eludes me and is drenched in a kind of monochrome nostalgia with hues of yellow.
Timothy Giles

The sloom of sense,
the first confusion of limerance,
the equal joy of redemancy:
affection unbound
Michelle Franklin

Visit here website here.

A Lovely Way To Share

The feel of a new book, knowing you have a new escape
Finding a new show to watch on Netflix, learning there’s two seasons
Meeting someone for the first time, finding out they actually like your jokes
Waking up to a Saturday morning, sitting down to write right away
Seeing that same person again who liked your jokes, laughing together again
Love is many things, our interests, escapes, but it’s also the feeling of never being alone
It’s the feeling of finding those things that make us feel closer to others.
Dan Leicht (D.e.e.L)

Visit his website here. ~ Follow him on Twitter. ~ Find more books here.

In love, we are, at best…inadequate.
We have mastered infatuation
Manipulation, copulation and lies.
We have embraced jealousy, envy and resentment.
Love is free
From all these things.
I’m not saying we’re not learning.
I’m not giving up Hope.
I try to love every day,
Without prejudice
Without condition.
In this I know,
Until I defeat selfishness & self-hate
The heart I have to offer
Is nothing more than illusion
The “love”
A dictionary definition.
Natasha Head

Visit Tastoo.com for news & poetry from Natasha Head, including a chance to win a signed copy of her latest release “Birthing Inadequacy”

Wall punch your way

A friend asked me today
What love meant to me
And what I had to say
About it
I drew a blank
And I have to thank you
For getting out of it-
What does love mean to me
Is it the thing that has
Caused me countless
Hours of misery
Heart ache and pain
Eyes dribbling
Wall punch your way
Through another day of love
Or is it the other
Chest constricting
Heart melting through your
Fingertips kind of way
Love is like an IV drip
Keeping me alive another day
I like to think the latter
At least that is what keeps me
Coming back for more
– Chris McQueeney

Visit his blog here.

A beautiful woman approached a man and asked him for a light, he picked up his lighter and lit her cigarette. He never spoke, she stood watching him and walked away. For most of the night he could she her watching him but not once did he show any interest. The bar closed and he walked through the dark streets before a woman’s voice asked him to stop. “Do you not think I’m beautiful?” she asked. “Yes” he replied. “Would you like to spend the night?” she asked him, but he shook his head. “You are the most desirable woman I’ve ever seen, but it cannot be” he said. “Then tell me why?” she questioned. He answered, “Someone waits at home for me, she makes me laugh but also makes me cry, she helps me but can make the bitter of arguments, she has gone through so much with me and to me she is the most beautiful woman that will always shine through my eyes”. The woman kissed the man on the cheek, but as she turned to walk away said; “You are both blessed to know true love, I wish I could find love like that”.
 Christopher G.J. Smith

Visit his page Facebook Page here.

To be in love
Soaring high
Passion burning from within
Raging for release
Kim Stapf

Visit her blog here.

Love speaks in whispers
Holding shoulder, looking into eyes,
And when cries in longing
Pierces through the mellowed
Breast of the skies.
It arrives unannounced
On tip-toe, like a gentle breeze
Through lonely nights,
And when leaving
Slams the door so hard
That a thunder roars
With the feral vengeance of death,
Which reverberates through the soul.
Love, when it meets you
Nourishes the soul,
And in awkward shyness smiles.
It keeps you up long nights
Writing reams and running longest miles.
Saket Suryesh

Find his poetry on Amazon.

What Love Is?

Do you know what love is?
Can you define thousands
of emotions in the four letters?

I cannot. But I try.

Isn’t that love, in the end?
Realizing you’ve found her,
knowing no words are worthy.
Rob Zimmermann

Visit his blog here.

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