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.

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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!

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Find more about Michael Veloff:

On his website: agnewpickens.com

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And Now a Poetic Interview with James Peercy!

I’ve seen a lot of authors interviewed on blogs, but far less poets. I don’t know if it’s because there are fewer poets or they choose other means of expression. I think poetry at its heart is very intimate and personal and it’s hard to make ourselves more vulnerable than it has already done. That said, it is my privilege to have not only a fantastic poet, but a fantastic author here today. James Peercy is one of my favorite people and I know you will love his answers.

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1. Can you tell us a little about yourself? I’m the owner of a computer/web design company located in Denison, Texas. I’ve been married for 27 years and currently own four dogs. Although I enjoy working with computers, writing is my passion.

2. When did you start writing poetry? I started writing poetry in Middle School. I remember starting when I was in the 7th grade. My assignment was to memorize Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The Concord Hymn”. This is where I developed my love of poetry and learned that I could write my own.

3. Do you have a favorite poet/poem? Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The Concord Hymn

4. Does music inspire you? No, not really.

5. Do you write on the computer or in a notebook? I write on anything that is convenient at the moment. It can be text message, computer or a napkin at a restaurant.

6. If you could write a poem anywhere, where would it be? I can write anywhere. I don’t have a preference. I write what I feel from what I see before me.

7. What do you enjoy most about writing poetry? It is the emotional release and the understanding that there is always hope.

8. If you could hang out with any poet, who would it be? Ralph Waldo Emerson. I would love to talk with him, but I like meeting all poets and writers; it’s all fun. I like knowing what inspires them.

9. If you could physically fight a fellow poet, from any point in time, who would they be? No one comes to mind.

10. Have you read or performed poetry live at slams or open mic? No, I have not. However, I’ve had an original poem recorded and videotaped for use at my college. I also create poetry on the fly while speaking with patrons at the Texas Renaissance Festival.

11. Why does nothing rhyme with orange? It’s because it’s not a native English word, and it doesn’t come from either German or Latin.

12. Do you post your poetry online? I’ve posted on Facebook.

13. Do you put your writing into pictures to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook? Yes, I have done this in the past, mostly on Facebook.

14. What is the most difficult poetry to write? There is none I consider too difficult to write. Are there any forms you dislike? There are no forms I dislike, but I prefer poems that have rhyme and rhythm because they make them stick in people’s minds.

15. Do you believe anyone can learn to write poetry? Yes. Do you think anyone can enjoy reading it? Only if they choose to.

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

Into a world of never more.
Lost upon the twist of time
To be discovered when sought
In a careful rhyme.

17. What project(s) are you currently working on, poetry or otherwise? Currently consolidating poems that I have already written to go into a poetry book, along with photo’s Claudette and I have taken. Hydra Publications is currently formatting my second Cliff Fulton Mystery, called “…Thought that’s Thin…” and I am currently completing the third book in my Fantasy Series, “Twisted Fates”, it is part of the Xun Ove series.

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

Chaos Reigns

Chaos reigns,
But not the kind we think.
It’s caused by all the decisions
That a billion people make.

We contradict our neighbor.
We clash against the sky.
We dare that all of nature
Defy the will we set on high.

We bicker with our spouses.
We try to set the laws
That give to us more advantage,
Causing others to then fall.

We struggle to take dominion
When we need a giving hand.
We forget that helping others
Is the only working plan.

Yes, chaos reigns.
We planned it, each the one.
When will we each
Wake up to see
The destruction that we’ve done?

James William Peercy – 02.05.15

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Find more about James Peercy:

On his website: jameswilliampeercy.com

On Amazon: James William Peercy

On Twitter: twitter.com/JamesWPeercy

Sunset Poetry (with Helle Gade)

I wrote a poem with my good friend and poet, Helle Gade. It was inspired by the amazing photography of Kim Stapf.

Kim

Theirs is sky above the trees
And we are lost below
The crimson failure
With a tangerine and blue indifference
~
Molten lava runs through our veins
While we gaze upon the liquid gold
That runs across the celestial sphere
As we try and find our way through life
~
Into a new horizon
Blanketed with clouds
And silhouettes of us
Entwined as scoria
~
With scarlet dreams
We enter the night
A new beginning
Of hushed whispers

© 2014 Ben Ditmars and Helle Gade

You can find out more about Kim here:
Purplerose123 Blog
Twitter

And Helle here:
Facebook
Twitter
Amazon

Cover Reveal: Reflections – The Mind’s Eye Series

Reflections is an amazing collaboration between authors, poets, and photographers. It has 18 stories and 18 poems in all. The cover design by Jason McIntyre is stunning as well.

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Follow the book on Facebook

And find more information on the first book

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You can find out more about the authors here:

Martin David Porter: http://www.martsartsphotography.com/site/

Jason McIntyre: http://www.thefarthestreaches.com/

Darcia Helle: http://quietfurybooks.com/

Helle Gade: http://hellegade.wordpress.com/

Me: https://benjaminditmars.wordpress.com

J. Michael Radcliffe: http://www.theguardiansapprentice.com/

Darkness Devoured

A collaboration with Christopher G J Smith

Brave the demons inside
As they try to hide
Devouring the soul
Continuing to grow.

Dark thoughts they deliver
As you try not to shiver
Night takes over the day
The demons come out to play.

Rogue visions never free
From worry or
A searing pain
Against the grain.

Exertion caught in gridlock
While the devils talk
Of oil spills and
Unpaid bills.

Life smashes into the face
Where we fall from grace
And hell takes over life
Causing too much strife
So where are those few people
Who thought us all equal
Where powers that be lied
And all our heroes died.

Bodies strewn on tanks in misspelled towns
as if killing could be worth the crown
or price paid for a higher share…
how quickly we forget despair.

Power lies and
Evil never dies but
Carelessness might
Be the deadly bite

© Ben Ditmars and Christopher G J Smith 2014

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Image Source: Flickr