And Now a Poetic Interview with Brittany Samantha Larson!

Brittany Samantha Larson is one of the most talented poets you will find: whether written or spoken word, her rhythm is seamless. I’ve had the privilege of hearing her read at open mics and it is an awesome experience as well. So, let’s get started with the interview.

12272672_146171765742354_1058507072_n

I’m 22 years old and a poet living in Seattle,WA. I am more than just a poet. I’m a spoken word artist.

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Brittany Larson. I am 22 years old. I enjoy hanging out in coffee shops and getting inspiration in any way I can.

When did you start writing poetry?

I wrote my first poem for myself in 8th grade. I had written poems before but they were always for school assignments.

Do you have a favorite poet/poem?

I really enjoy spoken word artist Andrea Gibson. I am also a spoken word poet.

***

Does music inspire you?  What kind?

I normally listen to abstract Indie Rock. It really gets my creative juices flowing.

Do you write on the computer or in a notebook?

It’s a combination. It really depends on where I am and what I have available. I one time wrote a poem on a McDonald’s napkin because I had nothing else.

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

I would love to write a poem at some little Café in Italy. I think the sights would be beautiful.

What do you enjoy most about writing poetry?

I think it is the story that can be told in your work. You can provide a voice for those who don’t have one. You can evoke powerful emotions with nothing but words…that is pretty cool.

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

Alive…again Andrea Gibson. I would love to write a poem. If he was still alive hanging out with Edgar Allen Poe would be so amazing. Possibly terrifying but really cool.

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

I think I could take Emily Dickinson J

***

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

Multiple times. I love it.

Why does nothing rhyme with orange?

Because it’s orange. What other answer do you need?

Do you post your poetry online?

Yes, poetrysoup.com is where I post.

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

No. They are too long.

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

I am terrible at rhyming. I just find it hard. I am not a fan of sonnets. I find them boring.

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

Yes, I think most people get too concerned and think that all poetry needs to rhyme. It seems like people think poems need to rhyme and they think they can’t write poems if they can’t rhyme. Reading poetry is alright but I prefer seeing it performed live.

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

Why? That’s my riddle. :p

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

I am working on my NaNoWriMo novel. It’s a romance novel.

Would you like to share a poem with us today?

This is my most popular poem titled:

Hello, My Name Is…

Hello my name is…

Isn’t this party great?

Hello my name is…

Let’s get to know each other

Hello my name is…

Can I buy you a drink?

Hello my name is…

I think I like you

Hello my name is…

Let’s go somewhere we can be alone

Hello my name is…

That girl you won’t remember in the morning

Hello my name is…

I can show you a good time

Hello my name is…

At least until you get tired of me

Hello my name is…

Just keep you voice down

Hello my name is…

No one will ever know

Hello my name is…

I promise, they always promise.

Hello my name is…

I can never recover

Hello my name is…

You stole that chance away

Hello my name is…

Low self esteem

I feel like I have nothing else to take

So instead I just give

I’ve struggled for years

But I got tired of saying no

In a voice you never heard

Like I could be happy

Like I could forget the life stolen from me

Like I could pick up the pieces of my porcelain heart

And put it back together

Make it whole somehow

Like I could just forget what happened

Like I wouldn’t remember that night

It just doesn’t work that way

Now all my encounters start out as

Hello my name is…

I can’t even remember anymore

Hello my name is…

Whatever you want to call me Sir

Hello my name is…

No longer a way I can identify myself

Hello my name is Brittany Larson

Why don’t you tell me your name

Why don’t we get to know each other

Just remember my story is a long one

It all started with

Hello my name is…

And he never let me finish

***

Bio

I’m 22 years old and a poet living in Seattle,WA. I am more than just a poet. I’m a spoken word artist. I am an avid reader as well. When I’m not reading or writing I’m usually doing other geeky things like watching Doctor Who, obsessing over Harry Potter or playing Magic, The Gathering. I also enjoy going outside when it’s nice out.

***

Find more about Brittany Samantha Larson:

On PoetrySoup: poetrysoup.com

On Facebook: facebook.com/Brittany-Larson-Creative-Insanity

Advertisements

And Now a Poetic Interview with Maria Haskins!

Maria Haskins has been supporting poets and their writing for some time. When I saw she had a collection I bought and reviewed it. Her words are as amazing as she is, which is really saying something, because she rocks. It is my pleasure to interview her on my blog today.

self3

Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and translator with a passion for writing and reading in general, and science fiction and fantasy in particular. She was born and grew up in Sweden, but since the early 1990s she lives just outside Vancouver on Canada’s west coast.

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a writer, I’m a translator translating between Swedish and English, I’m married, and I have two kids. My writing coach is a big black dog named Jake who makes me go for walks every day and mull over my writing ideas. I grew up in Sweden, and moved to Canada in the early 1990s. Since then, I’ve lived in the Vancouver area on the west coast. My first books were written in Swedish and published in Sweden, sometime in the far dinosaur age of old-school publishing. Through the years I’ve written poetry, short stories, and various kinds of prose. For a few years I suffered from terrible writer’s block and felt unable to write, a crippling experience. It’s only recently that I’ve felt able to write fiction and poetry again. I self-published a collection of science fiction short stories in March, 2015, and recently self-published a collection of poetry.

When did you start writing poetry?

I wrote stories from when I was just a kid, and started writing poetry when I was in my early teens, maybe even earlier. It was pretty awful stuff in the beginning: I know, because I still have an old notebook left as proof…

Do you have a favorite poet/poem?

Several! But one poem I always come back to both as a source of inspiration, and just because I can always find something new in it, is T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. I can read that poem anytime, anywhere and just get kind of lost in it: beautiful language, and so many layers of meaning.

Does music inspire you? What kind?

I love listening to music, and I do listen to a whole lot of rock and hard rock – both new bands and older bands. I think there’s a real connection between poetry and music: some lyrics are excellent poetry, and some music is poetic in its own right. Graham Greene is an Australian guitarist, he plays a lot of instrumental rock and his old album ‘Gaia Rising’ gives me inspiration whenever I listen to it. He also has a tune on his most recent album called ‘Through The Dark’ that is musical poetry of the highest order.

***

Do you write on the computer or in a notebook?

Both. I’m old enough to have started writing before word processors were the go-to thing. My first poetry was written by hand, and then typed out on a typewriter. These days, I write almost exclusively on the computer, but while I write all my prose on the computer, I still write some of my poetry by hand, at least the very first draft. There’s a deep connection for me between writing by hand and writing poetry, and sometimes I feel more disconnected from a poem when I write it in [Microsoft] Word.

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

By the ocean, in a very cozy writer’s den, with an ocean view. That would be my ideal writing location, or so I imagine! If I actually had such a place to write, I wonder if I’d get anything done, though.

What do you enjoy most about writing poetry?

That it’s such an immediate and visceral way of expressing emotions, thoughts, and ideas, without having to adhere to any strict “rules of writing” or even rules of grammar, necessarily. And you can express yourself in a multi-layered, complex way that says many things at once, without using a whole lot of words.

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

I’m going to say Ursula K. Le Guin. She is mostly known for her science fiction and fantasy, but her poetry is outstanding as well. I’d love to just hang out with her, and talk about language and words, and sources of inspiration. That’s if I could get past being completely tongue-tied in her presence!

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

Maybe Shakespeare. I’d love to hear what kind of insults he’d hurl at me.

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

It’s been ages since I read, or performed my poetry in front of other people. I was never very good at it. In my younger days I always got so nervous that my hands and voice would shake. I think I would be better at it now when I’m old enough to suffer less from stage fright.

Why does nothing rhyme with orange?

It’s another glitch in the matrix. Luckily, if you translate it into Swedish, you can find many words that rhyme with “apelsin”!

Do you post your poetry online?

Yes, I do, occasionally. I posted some of the poems from my new collection ‘Cuts’ on my website while they were still works in progress. Sometimes I wish I had more poems to share. I usually work very slowly when it comes to poetry: sort of like squeezing blood from a stone! One poem that came to me very quickly, and that I felt compelled to share immediately, was ‘Pain In Progress’. It was written in pretty much one sitting after I found out a good friend of mine had died from breast cancer. She hadn’t told very many people that her cancer had returned, and when I found out she had passed away it just clobbered me. I still can’t express very well how and why her death crushed me, but that poem is an attempt to put it into words.

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

I’ve paired a few of my poems with pictures, and the poem ‘Peek’ in my new collection is paired with a photo taken of my son moments after he was born. But I haven’t done it a lot. It’s something that I think I’d like to explore a lot more. It’s a very organic and beautiful way to share poetry, and I love seeing that kind of work by other poets.

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

Well, there is poetry that is technically difficult, of course. Like, how the heck could anyone express themselves in hexameter? But on a more fundamental level, I think that it’s hardest to write poetry that is simple, yet profound. And by that I mean poetry that uses simple words, but still manages to express something absolutely profound. Tony Connor’s poem ‘A Child Half Asleep‘ has the line ‘ I ask him what woke him? / ‘A wolf dreamed me’ he says.” That’s the kind of line that you almost can’t make up or imagine, and then when you see it, it seems so simple and deep and… I don’t know, inescapable. Like you should have always known it. I don’t really dislike any forms of poetry… though rhyming poetry that doesn’t actually rhyme sometimes annoys me.

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

I do believe anyone can learn to write it. But not everyone will become T.S. Eliot, of course. I do think it’s a good thing to try, and to allow yourself to write poetry, whether for publication or not, because it can help you process thoughts and feelings in a new way that doesn’t happen in prose. And yes, anyone can enjoy reading it: you just have to find a poet that speaks to you, that fits your thoughts and your emotions.

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

Time and space can bend and twist, so you must ask yourself this: did they vanish, or did you? If you look for something that you can’t find, maybe the truth is that you vanished, and they were left behind.

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

Right now I have so many writing projects on the go that it’s kind of making me dizzy. The main thing I’m working on at the moment is short stories. I have a brand new short story that I’m polishing right now, and I’m also writing short stories for the next installment in the Mind’s Eye Series which is incredibly exciting for me. As for poetry, even when I’m working on prose-projects I still end up writing poetry occasionally. It’s like a safety valve, a way to process what’s going on in my life.

Would you like to share a poem with us today?

I’ll share Pain In Progress, from my new collection ‘Cuts’.

PAIN IN PROGRESS
(For another Maria.)

The lamps are lit
in every window.
I feel the warmth beneath my own hands
feel the flicker
inside my own room.

What lights the lamps?
What makes a fire
where there was only
wick and oil and breath of wind?
I don’t know.
But the lamps are lit
the light is everywhere
spilling through the curtains
through your fingers
through the glass
through the whispers in the hallway
through your eyes, half opened.

I can feel the light
in you
in me
warm in my hands
every word
every breath
every cut and bruise and scar
another bit of light.

And then the lamp is put out,
extinguished.
I didn’t see
didn’t hear
didn’t feel
it happen.
Where did the light go?
What puts out the lamps?
What takes away the light?
What makes the darkness
fall
crawl
slither
over the horizon
over the threshold
over your lips?
What eats away the light
devouring
chewing
ripping it out of your grip?
(Or did you let it?
Did you let it
go?
Did you let it
go out?)
I don’t know.

I’m cold.
I look across the field:
brown reeds broken by the weight of snow
trees crouching low
cradling the dusk
in arthritic branches.

The sky is
cut bruised scarred
and there is just a breath of wind
stroking the grass.

I see your window
on the other side.
The lamp is not lit.

I can still feel the glow.

***

Bio

Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and translator with a passion for writing and reading in general, and science fiction and fantasy in particular. She was born and grew up in Sweden, but since the early 1990s she lives just outside Vancouver on Canada’s west coast.

Her English language debut ‘Odin’s Eye’ – a collection of science fiction short-stories – was published in March, 2015. Her book ‘Cuts & Collected Poems 1989 – 2015’ – a collection of poetry – was released on November 9, 2015. It includes both new poems written in English, and her own translations of her previously published Swedish poetry. She is also currently working on a science fiction novel, and various other writing projects.

***

Find more about Maria Haskins:

On her website: mariahaskins.wordpress.com
On Twitter: twitter.com/MariaHaskins
On Facebook: facebook.com/mariahaskinswriter
On Goodreads: goodreads.com/Maria_Haskins
On Amazon: amazon.com/-/e/B00UICDA2K
On Smashbooks: smashwords.com/mariahaskins

And Now a Poetic Interview with Pilar Edler!

Pilar Edler is a new poet who has been writing a long time. I helped her set up her website recently and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it. She has an honest gift for sharing her heart. It is my pleasure to introduce her today.

maria1

I was born in San Pedro Sula, but grew up in La Ceiba, Honduras-Central America. Studied at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras-UNAH- at the Faculty of Medicine. I’m currently living in Ohio, but would prefer warmer weather…

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a mother of three wonderful children. I have been with my husband Brad for 22 years. I’m a social worker who loves helping people.

I’m a romantic at heart, love art in whatever medium that it comes. When I write, I like connecting my heart with my soul… some of what I write is true, but other times I’m bending it a little… I like to leave things to the imagination of whomever reads my work, someday. For right now it been read only by my children and a few friends. I have lived dreaming of being published someday, but I’m a little timid when it comes to that, people assume lots of things and some assumptions can be bad for my relationships. Lol.

I’m a very friendly, loving, and caring person which can sometimes get me in lots of trouble. I can too be very ornery at times (chuckles).

When did you start writing poetry?
When I was about 10 or 12 years old, I wrote over 100 poems, lost most of them with my move to the United States… left things behind and family disposed of it without knowing what they were destroying.

Do you have a favorite poet/poem?
Umm, not really…there are several that I like depending of what I’m applying them to…that I can relay with…I don’t know if you know what I mean.

But one of my favorites is “Cultivo una rosa blanca” “I cultivate a white rose” by José Martí.

Does music inspire you? What kind?
Oh my God, does music inspires me? Definitely, I enjoy music so much… and dancing! I have never done any kind of drugs, but I can tell you…music keeps me high (from what I can experience that would be being high, lol). I like all kind of music, enjoy all genres, but specially reggae… I’m from the Caribbean and grew up dancing reggae and Punta (Stylistic origins‎: ‎West African, and Kalinago (Carib) music‎.

Cultural origins‎: ‎Late 18th century Garifuna music in Honduras, Guatemala, Belize). I also enjoy classical music… I have a collection of really old records of Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert to mention a few… my old record player is something I couldn’t part with.

Do you write on the computer or in a notebook?
I write on both, I carry a small notebook with me to jog thoughts and keep one next to my bed. Sometimes, I will be trying to go to sleep and my mind is reeling with thoughts…then, I write. I do must of my writing at night, when is silent and I can only hear my thoughts in my head or can read them to myself. Also, I suffer from insomnia, so I fill my “downtime” by writing 😊

If you could write a poem anywhere, where would it be?
Sitting on white, soft sand at the perfect time for a sunset. I love the ocean! Something I really miss living in Ohio.

maria2

What do you enjoy most about writing poetry?
I can freely express myself; my thoughts, my desires, my dreams, my anger, disappointments, etc.

If you could hang out with any poet, who would it be?
Tyler Knott Gregson

If you could physically fight a fellow poet, from any point in time, who would they be?
Nuñez de Arce. Though I’m sure he would win, but not before I put some hurt on him

Have you read or performed poetry live at slams or open mic?
No, I have been invited and I have gone to listen, but never had the valor to participate.

Why does nothing rhyme with orange?
I have no idea, never thought about it until I read your question 🙂

Do you post your poetry online?
Yes, I have in the past on Facebook and Twitter. Then, had the pleasure to talk to you about WordPress… something I forever will thank you for.

Do you put your writing into pictures to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook?
I do have a terrible time with it because my poems tend to be long and I cannot fit them, but learnt a few tricks thanks to a little bird that told me how to use only part of my poems into the pictures. 😉

What is the most difficult poetry to write? Are there any forms you dislike?
Unfortunately, I can’t stand to be limited on words. Haiku, does not work for me… I admire people that can do it with easy. I don’t like to rhyme things either… if it happens is by pure luck.

Do you believe anyone can learn to write poetry? Do you think anyone can enjoy reading it?
I think anybody could if they have an easy way to express themselves and even if they don’t, that would be the way for them to do it. I don’t think everyone can enjoy reading it, until they get to “understand” it or how to relay with it. Poems can mean different things to different people.

Where do vanishing objects go? Remember to phrase your answer in the form of a riddle.
Now you see me, now you don’t. With a flick of your finger I’m either seen or I’m not.
Darkness vanished me, but all you have to do is reach to touch me or turn a light on me and unseen I’ll be no more.

What project(s) are you currently working on, poetry or otherwise?
Working on one, or maybe two, poetry books to possibly be finish on time to be published by Christmas time or early next year. Also trying to finish a series of poems and short stories titled “When we meet series”. At the same time, I’m trying to edit a series of photos I have taken and finish a few paintings that I’ll like to be used with my poems on those books

Would you like to share a poem with us today?

“Roof Top” – Pilar Edler

I hear the train whistling not too far away,
the motor of an ac working hard to keep the air cold,
the crickets in the night, a dog whining.
While the moon shines bright, I’m wishing a wish,
I’m hoping for a shooting star.
Roof tops were made for shelter, and so it’s become mine.
Here is where I come to think of you, of life with you, without you,
of death…in between, and beyond.
This roof top is my shelter out in the world,
my world…today at 3 am.
The moon is so bright…
it is a blue moon they say, but it is not.
It’s a light so pure and so strong, its beauty consumes me;
a perpetual matter of calming assurance that everything will be all right.
My love, after I have fallen asleep, after I have let it go…the moon you know,
will still light the world, but my world…it will forever remain blue. My soul then numb.
I came out to see a shooting star, seen none…
there is no hope in my roof top shelter as sunrises come.

maria3

***

Bio

I was born in San Pedro Sula, but grew up in La Ceiba, Honduras-Central America.

Studied at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras-UNAH- at the Faculty of Medicine.

I’m currently living in Ohio, but would prefer warmer weather… cannot stand the cold!

I’m a Ohio State alumni holding a BSSW. I have not been published, yet. I am working on a series of books to be hopefully ready by the end of the year. I enjoy writing, painting, and inventing a sort of things to use my creativity on. I’m a tomboy, always been…love working with tools of all sorts. Love taking things apart and putting them back together, though I hate following directions. Lol.

One of my best past-times is listening to music. My T.V. will hardly ever be on when I’m home by myself because I rather listen to music.

I enjoy photography way too much… I run out of memory space in all my devices because the amount of pictures I take and edit.

***

Find more about Pilar Edler:

On her blog: pilaredler.wordpress.com

On Twitter: twitter.com/Mili66Pili

And Now a Poetic Interview with Susie Clevenger!

Susie Clevenger is amazing. There is no other way to put it. She reads and writes with such passion, and is also one of my favorite photographers. In fact, her picture of my book is the header for this blog. Her influence is essential, and I can’t imagine where the world would be without her. But, I’ll let her take it from here…

Me dark2 (1)

Susie Clevenger is an author, poet, and amateur photographer. She was first published at the age of fifteen in Missouri Youth Write. She is author of the poetry collections, Dirt Road Dreams and Insomnia’s Ink. Her work has been featured in the online publications, The Creative Nexus, Poetry & Prose Magazine, The Brinks Gallery, The Global Twitter Community Poetry Project, and Journey of the Heart. She is a member of the Academy of American Poets, The Poetry Society of Texas and coordinator for the Blog Talk Radio program the Creative Nexus Café™. Susie resides in Houston, Texas with her husband, Charlie.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Well, I am a 64 year old poet/author who calls Houston, Texas home. I have been married to my husband Charlie for 45 years and have two daughters. I love blues music, dancing and finding the humor in life. Oh, and I have ADD. I am a blond with a legitimate reason to be referred to as scatterbrained.

When did you start writing poetry?

I started writing poetry my freshman year in high school. After high school I stopped writing it. Why? I don’t know. It was a car accident in 2006 that reanimated the poet in me. A severe concussion + brain damage = poetry.

Do you have a favorite poet/poem?

There are so many wonderful poets, but Edgar Allan Poe was the first poet I was introduced to in my Freshman English class. I had a lot of dark secrets in me and his work helped me to voice it. I like to call him my godfather of verse.

Does music inspire you? What kind?

Goodness, I am not sure where to start with music. I’ve already mentioned blues music, but I love all kinds of music. One moment I might be listening to my friend Mike Zito, the next classical. I actually have Bach playing in the background as I’m writing this. I think because I can’t play an instrument other than my iPod I am urged by listening to music to fill that void with poetry.

Do you write on the computer or in a notebook?

I actually write on both. I have journals all over the house, in my car, in my purse to store thoughts before I lose them. I tweak most of my work on the computer. One reason is if I get stuck in the creative process I can search the web for quotes, photos, music, etc. to break down the wall of writer’s block. I literally have the world at my fingertips.

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

It would be where I do most of my writing, my library. I am surrounded by my photography, a messy desk and books. It is a little piece of the world that is totally me.

susie-clevenger

Originally found on my post Writing Spaces.

What do you enjoy most about writing poetry?

It is the freedom to say whatever I want without censor. It doesn’t mean I share all of it with the world. Writing poetry is therapeutic for me. I can “write out” whatever is troubling me. It is the joy of participating in art. I can paint with words what I lack in talent to paint with a brush.
If you could hang out with any poet, who would it be?

I don’t know. I really haven’t even thought about it, perhaps Emily Dickinson. I am a fan of her work and love her punctuation style. I find myself at times following a similar style. It gives a feeling of blank space that teases or encourages the reader to fill in the lines.

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

I don’t want a physical fight unless it is a pillow fight. Charles Bukowski would be interesting
to pillow spar with. I imagine he would carry quite a wallop though.

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

I haven’t really done either of those. My public poetry readings have been in a poetry group and sadly at the funerals of my parents and in-laws. Maybe I should try a slam or open mic.

Why does nothing rhyme with orange?

It is a bright colored loner. I suppose it has dared the world to find a rhyming word, but the English language hasn’t taken the bait to spin a new word into its vocabulary

Do you post your poetry online?

Yes I do. Why not? The internet is google exploration. My poetry may be the very words
someone needs. At least that is my hope.

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

Yes. I often search images for inspiration. I am not very talented in Photoshop, but I like trying
my hand at creating an image to fit my words.

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

There are so many poetry forms I find I have no competence with. One of the hardest things for me to do is rhyme. It is always a struggle. I feel the poem reads like someone tried all they could to find words that rhyme. I do have small success when the poem is geared for a child or has a nursery rhyme hint to it.
Do you believe anyone can learn to write poetry? Do you think anyone can enjoy reading it?

No I don’t. I think a passion for the art form is what is required to sustain any effort. Well, I suppose anyone can write a poem, but not all who write them are poets, if that makes any sense. Not everyone will enjoy reading poetry. There are preconceived notions about poetry that turn people away from it. I know I see the letdown in people’s faces when I tell them I am an author. Then there is the question as to what I write followed by the deflated “oh.”

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

Seen becomes unseen when toes stand on end to chase what lies on the other side of the fence.

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

I am tossing around ideas for my 10 minute spot on the Creative Nexus Café’s blogtalk radio show coming up on October 25th.

Would you like to share a poem with us today?

Sylvia and Wings

“Is there no way out of the mind?” ― Sylvia Plath

I cup the quiet in my palm;
feed it imperfect thoughts,
and wait for dreams
to grow from incapable.

Where is the good witch,
red sequined shoes,
a thrice repeated wish
to take me out of my mind?

Tomorrow is the butterfly I chase.

©Susie Clevenger 2015

***

Find more about Susie Clevenger:

susieclevenger.com
confessionsofalaundrygoddess.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/susie.clevenger
https://twitter.com/wingsobutterfly
http://susie-clevengerphotography.blogspot.com/

And Now a Poetic Interview with Peter Forster!

Peter Forster is an interesting poet who always provokes deep thoughts. I read his work online regularly and wanted to know about the mysterious man behind the words.

PeterBForster

The plain in simple truth is that I enjoy writing. I always have. Sometimes it feels like the flow of hungry words is never ending and I will be swept right off my feet, carried along on an imaginative stream of unconscious process…

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am 67 years old and from the north east of England…Murton… a small village between Sunderland and Durham City.
After leaving school and being unable to persuade my parents to let me go to art college I trained in engineering (yes I know-it was what was expected from a boy from a tiny northern colliery village in the olden days) whilst getting my kicks playing drums in a rock band. On turning 21 I decided to move to London and after a few years trying for the big time and failing I worked in engineering as a design draughtsman before diversifying into the service industry (it seemed like a good idea at the time…more people oriented). I got married had two children and after 7 years and a very difficult divorce was a single parent for close to 8 years during which time I began to write again. I had written lyrics for my old band and began to write with a new partner. We were moderately successful for a while without setting the world on fire and I began to write more poetry. After a period of unemployment I returned to study and eventually was awarded a couple of psychology degrees and qualified as a Chartered counseling Psychologist.

I met Kay in 1988 and we married 1989…one of my better decisions.
For close to twenty years I worked in a busy East London NHS community health setting and have just recently retired. I now write and do some consultative work from time to time. I have previously been published in academic works and provided chapters in books for counsellors’ psychologists and psychotherapists. I have also written 3 novels as well as collating a collection of my daily missives.

*
When did you start writing poetry?
I began writing song lyrics over 40 years ago at a time when prog was a foppish prince regent and Dylan was (and still is) the king. At school which was a very small colliery school we were just about taught how to read…(I remember going to see a production of the Merchant of Venice in Sunderland…and being absolutely transfixed)… so my knowledge of poetry and literature was quite basic until my early twenties when I began to read and write with equal hunger. Looking back at my early work the songs were too wordy and much too political to be successful but over the years my style did develop a more mellow tone and I was able to speak in different voices. I would say my first real poetry was written in the mid 1980’s.

Do you have a favorite poet/poem?
No…I like a number of different poems and may favour one over another…depending on my mood…but I have always been a sucker for the sonnets…Blake…Wilfred Owen and the divine play for voices…Under Milkwood are all close to my heart.

Does music inspire you? What kind?
Music has always been a passion. I love all types other than overly sentimental pop songs.
I am an old jazz and blues player and love raw blues guitar as well as Miles Davis…The Mahavishnu Orchestra…The Impossible Gentlemen… and the thrill of Leadbelly Jack Johnson John Lee Hooker…Hendrix Clapton Beck or Led Zep. However I hold a special place for Bob Dylan…Nick Drake and John Lennon…and many others such as Van the man…David Bowie…Tim Hardin…Kate Bush. I like contemporary music… The Shins…British bands such as Elbow and London Grammar…as well Father John Misty…Spoon…The National…Animal Collective…Tame Impala…The Phoenix Foundation…et al…I often listen to music whilst writing it relaxes and stimulates in equal measure.

Do you write on the computer or in a notebook?
I generally write on my laptop…as it seems to suit my style. I am left handed a health professional and my hand writing is diabolical. I do have a journal and can capture thoughts on the move should something need to be written and I am away from my laptop…some of my café pieces were written that way…almost as the action happened.

If you could write a poem anywhere, where would it be?
Right where I am…on my sofa with my wife’s head resting against my chest…I am typing with one hand…my right arm is draped across my wife’s tummy…my absolute favourite place to be…full stop….even better if my children and grandchildren could be here. However if we could still sit in the same position…a view across the dunes from Bamburgh Castle toward Holy Island…off the Northumberland coast…on a beautiful sun kissed day…early morning…the sun rising from the sea…would take some beating.

What do you enjoy most about writing poetry?
Its surprises. I struggle to understand where the words come from…how I find them…it is like alchemy…and when I read somebody else’s poetry…if it is good I can’t fathom how they were able to do it either. I love the feeling when it seems to flow…and the first time I read it aloud…if it works…it is a moment of euphoria.

If you could hang out with any poet, who would it be?
You Ben…who else.

Me: Aw, shucks!

If you could physically fight a fellow poet, from any point in time, who would they be?
I know this would be easy to answer if I was being dishonest…Bukowski… just because…Ginsberg because he was ultimately a disappointment…but I am a pacifist of long standing and have no interest in violence…not since Ali retired anyway…but if pushed I could be seriously miffed with Dylan Thomas for croaking so early. If I could have met him I might have been tempted to give him a good shake…even if it did mean he spilt his drink.

Have you read or performed poetry live at slams or open mic?
I performed some of my poems last year in front of a group of 70 members of a local women’s institute…they were lovely but it was a little nerve racking…they are notoriously a difficult audience and can be a little jam and Jerusalem. Previous to this I gave a slew of performances in the 80’s in pub’s and once at the Royal Festival Hall on the Southbank in London, at a benefit concert…I don’t think I was a very good performer back then as I could never remember my words and always had to read them…now at my age that is expected so it is not so bad.

Why does nothing rhyme with orange?
It is a mystery Ben and one that has baffled many a Satsuma resulting in a few sleepless nights for feisty Clementine…so much so she packed herself in an air tight bag and moved to Jaffa. But in my basket she can be found alongside a wide range of strange fruits with a host of zesty tangerine flavours.
Do you post your poetry online?
It is currently all I do Ben…my latest novel is a work that is not making progress and I post a poem every day under the heading ‘A daily missive for…’

Do you put your writing into pictures to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook?
I have little interest and fewer skills in other aspects of social media other than Facebook and Twitter…and I don’t use those platforms very well. I rarely use images…because of my clumsy computer literacy…unless I enter a picture challenge on one of the Facebook sites I use.

What is the most difficult poetry to write? Are there any forms you dislike?
I am a terrible rebel and don’t even consider myself a poet really…I prefer rhythm to rhyme as a rule…and do not like to be restricted by a rigid poetic convention. I admire those who do it well but so much of it feels contrived and a bit smug. Haiku’s rarely work and seem as though they need a few extra words and those that limit syllables seem to be an exercise in literary cleverness. Of course I am over generalizing and the Sonnets are beautiful but not everybody can write that way without it sounding twee and trite.

Do you believe anyone can learn to write poetry? Do you think anyone can enjoy reading it?
Anybody can write a verse…whether it works is another story…but if it is written from the bottom of the heart it can be very moving…I think some people close their mind’s to poetry and that might be a product of poor early exposure…poor teaching…and a mistaken belief it is not macho…but even these people will laugh at a funny or crude monologue…so a qualified yes to both questions.

Where do vanishing objects go? Remember to phrase your answer in the form of a riddle.
Objects never vanish
they become unseen
familiarity breeds indifference
and in absence we grieve their
re-appearance.

What project(s) are you currently working on, poetry or otherwise?
I am hoping to have a second collection of missives published soon…certainly before the end of the year. As already mentioned I have stalled on my 4th novel but hope to kick start that process soon.

Would you like to share a poem with us today?
Certainly. Here is one I wrote earlier:

Daily missive breaks into the weekend Sunday the 13th of September..
Remembrance.
Anniversaries turn me back
And looking at the past
From a world of my creation
Is a bitter truth
That may never taste as sweet.
It is a mordant reverie,
To stand closer to the man
I thought to be
But further from the world
I used to know.
It cannot be denied
Adversity and life
Have changed me,
Not all for good or ill.
Although, mindfulness
And cautious self awareness
Are valuable gifts
To be richly celebrated.
But at what cost?
When so much is lost.
Can we pay too high a price
To be the better man?
Is it enough to have survived
Life’s spiteful challenge
And still remain upright,
When it might have been so easy
To fall by the road side.
Experience can forge a sharp mind
With a keen edge,
And temper wisdom
In a heart that barely smoulders.
Heed the call
And stoke the dying of the fires,
Feed the hungry embers,
That may yet burn with a warmer glow.
And in time,
Sadness, though deeply
Etched into the pages of a story
Will not steal the glory
Of the final line.
Words can themselves be golden,
And spin a thread, to mend a broken heart,
Weave new magic from
A tiny grain of truths
Finely craft the old sack cloth
Used to cover the grey ashes
Of our broken past,
And transform it
Into a silken cloak.
Of many hues and shades,
As may yet,
When worn anew,
With a more beneficent
Persuasion
Change this world
And lighten its complexion.

***

Bio

For the past fifteen years I have practiced as a consulting Counselling Psychologist in a busy East London community health setting.
Although I have previously been published in academic works and provided chapters in books for counsellors’ psychologists and psychotherapists I have always nurtured a love of and talent for creative writing. Over the years I have attended writer’s workshops, written and performed poetry as well as provided lyrics for jobbing musicians. However I have long harboured the ambition to write full length fiction. And this I am now doing.
The plain in simple truth is that I enjoy writing. I always have.
Sometimes it feels like the flow of hungry words is never ending and I will be swept right off my feet, carried along on an imaginative stream of unconscious process. But like everybody else I have a life. To some it may seem narrowly defined. Focussed as it is on work, family, writing and music but to others without the opportunity to learn, make relationships build a future and have the freedom to choose it may seem like it is a world of riches. Whilst on most days it really can feel like that to me, on other occasions it can be an effort to maintain enthusiasm: In other words my life is not that much different from many and better than most. I have known tragedy and delight and struggle to account for what might be its unequal measure. But I live, love and am loved so in truth I have to say I am blessed. I hope the same can be said of you.

An example of my academic work can be found in:
Professional and ethical issues when working with learning disabled clients, in Tribe and Morrissey (eds) Handbook of Professional and Ethical Practice for Psychologists, Counsellors and Psychotherapists. Brunner-Routledge (2005)

***

Find more about Peter Forster:

Peter B Forster
www.peterbforster.com
twitter: @peterbforster
facebook: peterbforster

***

Mr Charalambus and the One Soul

6181ca70b660eb0ff6a0bc7122479f1c
First Published 12th September 2012
Published by Createspace self-publishing platform and KDP Kindle Direct Publishing.

Copyright 2012 Peter B Forster
(cover art from Createspace, licenced for all uses)

Amazon UK Paperback | Kindle

Amazon US Paperback | Kindle

Reviews on Amazon UK

The Book
A young man is barely alive. He is lying in a ditch and has no clear memory of who he is or how he got there. Revived with the last two drops of an elixir by Cora, a healer with whom he has an instant mutual attraction she charges him with the task of re-filling a silver phial with the healing tears of the fabled Wolf-Dragon. Accompanied by Lightning, a broken down old horse with the gift of speech and a need to regain the power of flight he embarks on a journey of discovery, betrayal and redemption. He is confronted by his connection to earlier times and learns of his relationship to Josep, a hard working loner who has spent much of his young life drinking and talking to an invisible friend. In this parallel story Josep meets an exotic stranger known as Mr Charalambus, a mysterious and enigmatic man with an unusual hypnotic personality, who may or may not be the Devil. He acts as benefactor to the poor boy and introduces him to the trappings of wealth and society whilst promising the hand of his niece the Lady Karina. Guided by Charalambus the young Josep steps into a strange new world of privilege in which wealth confers power and the expectation of obedience. One day whilst investigating an enchanting orchard he has an electrifying encounter with Karina to whom he is instantly attracted. He also discovers that she is a ‘one-soul,’ as well as a healer of great power and keeper of the Wolf-Dragon tears.

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

And Now A Poetic Interview with Terri Malek!

Terri Malek is a great friend and talented poet. I had the privilege of interviewing her for my blog recently. Please read her incredible words for yourself.

1429284895

Living a healthy lifestyle balancing mind, body, and spirit, and helping others do the same is my life’s purpose. The body and spirit can heal itself with the proper treatments, awareness, and creative expression. Living a holistic lifestyle and birthing your true self can create balance in every area of your life and teach you techniques to remain in balance.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
All things mystical and metaphysical create movement in my soul. I will be married 19 years this fall to my best friend and soul mate. I currently have four pets. My lifestyle and passions marry with my line of work, which is extremely fulfilling and freeing. I am in Holistic Healing for the mind, body, and the spirit. My primary passions within this field are teaching and writing. I am a Reiki Master and Practitioner, a teacher of other forms of Energy Healing and Holistic Healing modalities, and Founder and Executive Director of a Holistic Healing and Educational Center. I use creative expression of many forms to include writing, which brings about much healing for self and others.

2. When did you start writing poetry?
I began writing poetry as a young teenager.

3. Do you have a favorite poet/poem?
My favorite poet is Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, known more commonly as “Rumi”.

4. Does music inspire you? What kind?
Music highly moves and inspires me if it is music that brings out my true self and makes my soul dance. Some of my favorites are Indie, Classical, Kirtan, and music used in sound therapy that mimic sounds in nature and the cosmos.

5. Do you write on the computer or in a notebook?
I prefer to write on a computer when writing books and blog articles, but I still find myself often pulling out pencil and paper to write poetry.

6. If you could write a poem anywhere, where would it be?
I write poetry, or other forms of writing, anywhere and anytime that spirit moves me.

7. What do you enjoy most about writing poetry?
I enjoy writing poetry because it affords an opportunity to express what is often difficult to articulate verbally, or is not received well audibly by others.

8. If you could hang out with any poet, who would it be?
I would love to spend more time in the presence of Snatum Kaur, musician and poet.

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

10. Have you read or performed poetry live at slams or open mic?
No, I have never performed poetry live.

11. Why does nothing rhyme with orange?
I just recently learned that this is the only word in the English language that does not have a single word that rhymes with it. Since I am not one for conformity, and am a proponent of uniqueness, I say hooray for orange!

12. Do you post your poetry online?
I just started posting minimal poetry online earlier this year.

13. Do you put your writing into pictures to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook?
I have never put my writing to pictures, but am drawn to this form of poetic expression.

14. What is the most difficult poetry to write? Are there any forms you dislike?
The most difficult poem to write is the one that is not ready to be birthed. I do not follow or prescribe any defined styles necessarily, but let the message tell me what it is to be.

15. Do you believe anyone can learn to write poetry? Do you think anyone can enjoy reading it?
Anyone who is willing to freely express themselves can do whatever they put their mind to, whether that be writing poetry, or reading it from a perspective that truly resonates with them.

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

Objects vanishing
Is only an illusion.
One’s frequency of vibration
Delineates conclusion.

Objects re-emerge
When frequency shifts.
Universal alignment
Brings magical gifts.

17. What project(s) are you currently working on, poetry or otherwise?
I am currently in the later stages of writing my own book of memoirs and recording of my physical, emotional, karmic, and spiritual growth and healing process. It includes stories, lessons, poetry, blog articles, and journal entries.

18. Would you like to share a poem with us today?
Yes, I absolutely would love to share a poem with you today. Thank you for the opportunity.

Pieces

To feel your own heartache
With each painful pulse
Is to feel like you are dying,
But to truly be alive.
So alive that each heartbeat
Resounds like the beat of a drum
In your chest, your ears.

As the rhythm rises and falls,
The wrenching grip of pain
Clutches at each breath.
As the pain climaxes
Death feels so near,
As despair overcomes all else
Thoughts twist and turn.

Surrender sounds promising
Yet so far away,
Like a fairy tale
Floating on a cloud
Millions and millions
Of miles into another galaxy
In an altered universe.

Yet you are here
In this place, at this time, in this pain.
In between the moments
Before the incident,
And this instance in time
Where future does not exist
And the past cannot return.
To feel the heartache of a
Soul sister is to know
Complete helplessness.
Experiencing one’s heart
Contort in unfathomable ways,
As if your heart was a piece of theirs
Strengthens the bond of sisterhood.

To know their pain physically
In every cell of your body
As if you opted
To take just a piece of that burden
That they carry every second,
Every minute, every hour,
Every day, and into eternity

Hoping somewhere
Deep within you
That you can ease even a moment
Of suffering
That you can replace even a small
Piece of the broken vessel
That is their heart.

***

Find more about Terri Malek:

On her blog: healingtouchreiki7.com

And Now A Poetic Interview with Poppy Ruth Silver!

Poppy Ruth Silver is a rock star poet: she writes and sings with incredible raw talent. In fact, when I hear or read her I’m reminded of the passion brought forth from one of my favorite bands: Florence and the Machine. She’s also a person of incredible caring and conviction, lending her time and energy to great causes. It’s my pleasure to introduce my friend and poet, Poppy Ruth Silver.

mee

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a writer and musician with a love for photography and spirituality. An animal activist and a lover of nature and the Old Ways.

2. When did you start writing poetry?

I started writing around fifteen or sixteen years ago. I originally started out writing a stream of consciousness novel but somehow stumbled onto poetry form. I try to write in whichever style is felt at the time for me.

3. Do you have a favorite poet/poem?

Hard to name just one really. Favourites would be Anne Sexton, Jim Morrison, Sylvia Plath and Wilfred Owen, to name a few.

4. Does music inspire you? What kind?

Music is medicine to my soul. I like any genre of music. There are times when heavy and dark is needed, times when the poetic purge of violin is needed. Times when classical is desired or times when a fast beat is needed. A true lover of music finds it hard to limit to just one genre. Music is as important to me as words are.

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

Both. I tend to write more prose in a notebook and more poetry on the laptop these days. Technology seems to have replaced the book and pen but sometimes there is nothing like sitting in nature and just letting the ink flow in a traditional way.

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

By the Ganges river.

7. What do you enjoy most about writing poetry?

I think each writer feels something different on a personal level from writing poetry. For me, it is a process of pausing a moment in life or purging emotion. I find release in writing and the process itself, the flow, the structuring and so forth, all therapeutic. To know you can educate with words at your disposal is also a humbling experience.

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

Tough one that. I guess it would be Jim Morrison, I actually see him as a Poet more than a musician.

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

I would rather share a whiskey with ole Jim than fight another Poet.

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

Not as yet but it is on my to do list. I have released a spoken word album though called “Welcome to Dajjal” and spoken word is a favourite form of poetry for me so open mic is definitely on my agenda in the future.

11. Why does nothing rhyme with orange?

Because words each have a personality of their own and perfect rhyme is over rated (smiles).

12. Do you post your poetry online?

I do indeed. I post at a few sites but mainly at my official site on Weebly.

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

I like to put poetry to my photography which is usually posted at my website also and at Facebook.

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

I think with any practice, like a musical instrument, all forms can be mastered over time, it depends if you wish to learn and master them. That is the key. I don’t dislike any form of poetry but guess the most difficult for me would be Sonnets. Mainly because they are my least favourite form of poetry and too disciplined. I prefer to write free form.

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

I do believe anyone can learn to write poetry. I hear too many people say they can’t and most of the time it is because they fear structure and form. I have always encouraged such people by saying True art is from the heart. My motto to say that any art, be it words or any other vein, can be created if your heart wishes it so. As for reading, I am convinced that anyone could find a poem they enjoy in some form, they probably already have and not realised it, in films for example or such. More than one way to absorb a poem.

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

A four lettered word
is where vanishing objects go
you only have to ask your soul
where you are from and when you die
where shall you go

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

I am currently working on my second poetry book and a Haiku nature book. I am also working on my band’s third album called “Winter’s Frozen Tears” which is set to be released this Autumn. My second poetry book will be released around Christmas time.

18. Would you like to share a poem with us today?
Here is a recent piece I wrote in honour of all the animals held in captivity, a topic that wrenches my heart and needs voicing far and wide.

Sold Souls

Do you ever pause to think about the space you inhabit?
I mean really think how vast your space actually is
how you are free to walk for miles, should you wish
to dance in endless spirals, should you desire
to roam the world at your leisure, should it appeal

Do you ever pause to really think about your space?
how your movements are unrestricted and unlimited
how you are able to step outside and feel the breeze
wander through nature and hear the wisdom of trees

I wonder if you reflect on such an important factor
that should be a basic, important humane right
for there are souls without freedom who have no say
those without a voice who become targeted, easy prey

Ripped from the womb of life, they become entertainment
nothing more than slaves for a mere fee and payment
kidnapped from the ocean to mourn, train and torment
who do they ask for help when they can not vent
when corporations add up the money spent

Do you ever pause to think of the space you inhabit?
for the souls who are sold, butchered and bled
have no such thing in the land of the living dead
only restriction in small tanks that become their deathbed
as we look on without a care for their silenced dread

I wonder if you reflect on such an important factor
that should be a basic, important humane right
I wonder if you ever stop to examine their plight
however painful and insidious the barbaric sight
it is up to us to educate and continue the fight

©2015 PoppySilver

***

Bio

PoppySilver is a writer from the UK who has a passion for photography, spirituality and nature, She is an animal activist and a lover of the Old Ways. She is also main vocalist to Orbitally Re-Arranged Monatomic Elements.

“To pause a moment in time and allow it breathe or seethe. Now that is a passion.”

***
Find more about Poppy Ruth Silver:

On her website: poppysilver.weebly.com

On her Facebook Page: facebook.com/pages/PoppySilver

And Now a Poetic Interview with Michael Veloff!

Michael Veloff has the distinction of being the strangest poet I’ve encountered. We’ve known of each other for a while but only met just recently at a poetry meeting. Suffice to say, his beard is better than mine. But he also writes and memorizes poems, that he and others have written. If that’s not enough, he granted me written permission to use his organs in the event California declines. It’s all part of my plot to collect parts from the best poets and create a talented monster. Now… let’s get rolling with the questions.

***

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

If I told you a little about myself, it would likely lead to more questions, I’m not sure you have the time to go into my background, nor I, the energy.

2. When did you start writing poetry?

When I was in my teens, spent 10 years in the business world as a sales and marketing person, then years recovering from mental health issues, picked up writing for pleasure again in 2007.

3. Do you have a favorite poet/poem?

Since Feeling Is First, E.E. Cummings

4. Does music inspire you? What kind?

(I) Listen to a lot of Grateful Dead, but am fond of all genres as long as they are well written and performed.

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

I write most of my work on this Similachron (TM Pending).

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

On Neptune.

Me: Neptune is very underrated as a planet.

7. What do you enjoy most about writing poetry?

The finished product, so that I can clear the word streams in my head and get some rest…

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

I honestly don’t know that many poets, living or dead, and with all my personality quirks, not sure they could handle me, I’d have to say, not knowing him, Robert Hunter (nee Burns) lyricist for the Grateful Dead.

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

Would I be permitted to use my wizard powers or would it be strictly human rules, if it’s human rules, I would abstain.

Me: Wizard powers are always welcome.

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

No and yes.

11. Why does nothing rhyme with orange?

Because some writers haven’t sufficient imagination, I have used slant rhymes and such, but the best response I got was from my adopted dad, Ray, in West Huckabuck. When I told him that nothing rhymes with orange, he said: “What about lime? You can color it to match.”

12. Do you post your poetry online?

Yes, sometimes, have a bad habit of losing poetry I don’t post online.

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

Hell NO!

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

I find poetry with specific syllable counts the most difficult for me, although I interact with many poets that love these forms, just too restrictive for me, and I find myself breaking out of the prescribed formulas without really making any serious attempt at the forms.

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

Yes and Yes.

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

Where should vanishing objects go?

Me: Wherever you send them.

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

I am currently planning a film photography class for the Toledo Free School, compiling another collection of my tripe for consumer consumption is currently on hold. Seems the market is glutted for tripe.

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

No, maybe next time, it’s late, but thank you for asking.

Me: Thanks for the interview, Michael!

***

Find more about Michael Veloff:

On his website: agnewpickens.com

And Now a Poetic Interview with Amber Jerome~Norrgard!

Amber Jerome~Norrgard is one of the coolest writers you will ever meet. She is also one of the best and most bad-ass people on the planet. And if that isn’t enough, she writes incredible fiction, nonfiction and poetry. An amazing friend and philanthropist, she teaches and supports charities on a regular basis. But don’t let me tell you everything. I’m here to introduce: the woman, the myth, the legend (and reverend) Amber Jerome~Norrgard.

11008901_10153142745841241_148439165_n

Amber Jerome~Norrgard is the bestselling author of more than twenty books including The Eve of Leaving, The Allegory of Dusk, Interpretations and In the Gloaming. She is the Executive Director of the non-profit organization The Quillective Project, the President of 629 Publications and a professor at Collin County College. Amber is a coffee addict who currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her family.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a mom to three amazing kids, a publisher, an author and a professor at a local
college. In other words? Exhausted.

2. When did you start writing poetry?
I started writing around the time I was thirteen or so as a way to work through what
I was going through.

3. Do you have a favorite poet/poem?
My favorite poetry always changes depending on my mood.

4. Does music inspire you? What kind?
Very much. If writing is my first great creative love, music is the second. And again,
It very much depends on my mood what I’m going to want to listen to.

5. Do you write on the computer or in a notebook?
For my short story fiction, I write on my computer. But since my poetry is so personal,
I do that long hand in a notebook

6. If you could write a poem anywhere, where would it be?
I had the excitement of seeing the Cadillac Ranch on a recent road trip. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a ranch in West Texas with several cadillac’s buried nose down that has become a type of every changing artistic experience; you’re actually encouraged to use spray paint to leave your mark on the vehicles. I had the luck of being able to write the favorite poem I’ve written on one of the cars. It’s probably long since been covered by a can of spray paint, but I love that I placed it there.

7. What do you enjoy most about writing poetry?
I can’t always say with my lips what I’m feeling. Poetry allows me to express myself in a way nothing else ever has

8. If you could hang out with any poet, who would it be?
Rob Thomas. While he’s not a poet technically, songs are really just poetry set to music.
So he qualifies in my mind.

9. If you could physically fight a fellow poet, from any point in time, who would they be?
I’m a lover not a fighter Ben!

10. Have you read or performed poetry live at slams or open mic?
The closest I’ve come is reading my work at signings.

11. Why does nothing rhyme with orange?
So you’d ask that question

12. Do you post your poetry online?
Yes, I certainly do!

13. Do you put your writing into pictures to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook?
Yes. I find this is an excellent way to get my readers excited about upcoming book releases.

14. What is the most difficult poetry to write? Are there any forms you dislike?
For me, its Haiku. I have a hard time following rules.

15. Do you believe anyone can learn to write poetry? Do you think anyone can enjoy reading it?
I think you can if you’re open minded enough.

16. Where do vanishing objects go? Remember to phrase your answer in the form of a riddle.
I was not told this was a test!

17. What project(s) are you currently working on, poetry or otherwise?
The Quillective Project’s 2015 book, a new poetry collection, a non-fiction, and a new
Erotica collection

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

And You

And you
You promised me more compassion
More welcome
Less pain…

You lied.

Bio:

Amber Jerome~Norrgard was first published in her hometown’s paper at the age of seventeen.  Since then, she’s used writing as a free form of therapy to celebrate the best parts of her life, and to work through the rough experiences. She is author of the bestselling collections of poetry, The Color of Dawn, and In the Gloaming, as well as 4 a.m., a poetry and essay collection, Wanting, a collection of short erotic stories, My Beautiful Jewel (Book One of the Miracles Trilogy), The Allegory of Dusk, a short story fiction collection, 11:59 p.m., a poetry collection, Waxing Poetic: The 2012 Collected Poetic Works of Amber Jerome~Norrgard, 9:17 a.m., a collection, Longing for 3 a.m., a poetry collection, Slipping into Evening, a poetry collection, Yearning, a collection of short erotic stories, Midnight Musings, a poetry collection, Six Hundred and Twenty-Nine Miles to Sanity: The 2013 Collected Poetic Works of Amber Jerome~Norrgard, Volume One, Autumn Dreams (Book Two of the Miracles Trilogy), The Cusp of Nightfall’s Caress, a poetry collection, Under the Moonlight, a poetry collection, Interpretations, a short story and poetry pairing, Daybreak, a poetry collection, Six Hundred and Twenty-Nine Miles to Sanity: The 2013 Collected Poetic Works of Amber Jerome~Norrgard, Volume Two, The Eve of Leaving, a poetry collection and the northbound path, a poetry collection. Amber is also one of the founding members and Executive Director of The Quillective Project, a literary collective designed to annually benefit one nonprofit or not-for-profit organization through the power (and sale) of the written word. Amber is the president of 629 Publications and FireFlower Promotions, and an adjunct professor for Collin County Community College and currently lives in Dallas, Texas, with her family.

Other Work by Amber Jerome~Norrgard:

The Color of Dawn: Poetry by a Member of Generation X

4 a.m., a collection

In the Gloaming, a poetry collection

The Wanting Collection
James
Jeffrey
David
Estella
Bruce

My Beautiful Jewel (Book One of the Miracles Trilogy)

The Allegory of Dusk, a short story fiction collection

11:59 p.m., a poetry collection

Waxing Poetic: The 2012 Collected Poetry Works of Amber Jerome~Norrgard

9:17 a.m., a collection

Longing for 3 a.m., a poetry collection

Slipping into Evening, a poetry collection

The Yearning Collection
Why Not?
David: The Beginning
“Say it.”
Steven
Matthew

Midnight Musings, a poetry collection

Six Hundred and Twenty~Nine Miles to Sanity: The 2013 Collected Poetic Works of Amber Jerome~Norrgard, Volume One

Autumn Dreams (Book Two of the Miracles Trilogy)

The Cusp of Nightfall’s Caress

Interpretations, a short story and poetry pairing
Maelstrom
Remember This

Under the Moonlight, a poetry collection

Daybreak, a poetry collection

Six Hundred Twenty~Nine Miles to Sanity: The 2013 Collected Poems of Amber Jerome~Norrgard, Volume II

The Eve of Leaving, a poetry collection

the northbound path, a poetry collection