Poet Interview, David Greshel

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Interview #57, with pop-culture junkie, David Greshel!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

David

Creative, Dreamer, Listener, Pop-Culture Junkie.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

watch the silhouette fade away to the inside of a distant shadow as we creep along the expanse of this haunted night…..footsteps tread lightly as we walk among the dwellings of the left behind….tension dimly lit by the last sliver of a dying moon….will the past undo the things we’ve often hoped for with their whispered resolutions and uncertain dreams….troubling this sleep we often never rest…compelled we wander on…..not quite lost but never really found…

Share an excerpt of your favorite poet’s work (10-100 words):

Sirens

Midnight
criminal metabolism of guilt forest
Rattlesnakes whistles castanets

Remove me from this hall of mirrors
This filthy glass

Are you her
Do you look like that
How could you be when
no one ever could

Jim Morrison

We just featured Matthew Andrako the other day who’s greatly inspired by Jim Morrison! Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

I think it was a bit of both really. My grandmother wrote poetry and she used to read some of them to us when we were kids. I think that was my first real exposure to the form, but I didn’t get the desire to write my own until much later on. That came from a Jr. High English assignment, and I discovered that I really enjoyed reaching inside myself to pull out these ideas and emotions that I had a hard time really getting out in other ways.

That was kind of like what I experienced with journal writing :) What goal do you seek through your poetry?

I think more than anything I want it to mean something. Not just to me, but to everyone who takes the time to read them. I want everyone to take a piece of it with them because it speaks to them, maybe in more ways than I even consciously intended. I remember reading Morrison’s work outside of The Doors, and also works by Rimbaud, William Blake, Baudelaire, Bukowski and Kerouac and being completely moved by them. They spoke to me on many different levels and enlightened experiences that I might never have but could somehow relate to. Those are the same things that I aspire to. Money and Fame might be nice, but Poets are generally not famous until after death and the last bookstore I was in had their Poetry section reduced to four shelves in the corner by the bathroom so record sales figures are clearly not there.

Yes, I do sometimes think that commodity production is costing society its soul (and its ability to appreciate good things like the arts). Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Don’t be afraid of your influences. It’s ok for those to shine through your work as they helped you develop and aspire to the work you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to grow beyond them either and become your own voice. Don’t let the fact that Publishers aren’t knocking down your door to promote your work stop you from putting it out. If you’re happy with it, there are plenty of DIY options available to help you share your dream with the world.

ITA — that DIY aspect is one of the best things about the Internet era. Your websites/blogs/etc:

* My book on Amazon

* My Blog

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Much thanks to Dave for stopping by!

Poet Interview, Matthew Andrako

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Interview #50, with poet, Matthew Andrako!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

knowledge seeker, thinker, dreamer, creator

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

mimesis

An excerpt taken from “To the Girl That Sat in Front of Me in Biology Class”

Once more I must remark upon
The visions aglow atop your look,
A cool moon eclipsed by a fiery storm
Of red waves and flowing reactions
Of gold and scarlet hues.
Or about the lips in a simpering muse
To the tune of a friendly smile or ruse
In tune to an admirer’s ha.

I doubt you’d expect such record or
Alluring expression at your accord
But I must respect
The wandering arts of beauty, esteem,
In a world where magnificence is so universal,
Has lost the power to move the heart.

I must depart, but say I before I arrive
At another call for interruption,
Thou hast remarkable qualities
In proportion to such refined effects.

Share an excerpt of your favorite poet’s work (10-100 words):

If you had asked me eight years ago, I would have remarked, “My favorite poet must be John Donne, Jim Morrison, or William Shakespeare!” They heavily influenced my love poetry and philosophical musings in Mimesis. Now, I enjoy Stephen Crane, Richard Brautigan, and others.

I will share with you today something from Stephen Crane:

Once, I knew a fine song,
–It is true, believe me,–
It was all of birds,
And I held them in a basket;
When I opened the wicket,
Heavens! they all flew away.
I cried: “Come back, little thoughts!”
But they only laughed.
They flew on
Until they were as sand
Thrown between me and the sky.

Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

A growing experience. I found the first spark of desire to write poetry during an American Literature class at North Carolina State University with a wonderful professor to whom my first book of poetry, Mimesis, is dedicated. Throughout lectures, I would find myself writing my own verses in the margins of my notes. Ideas of philosophy, purpose, and the pursuit of the American Dream inspired me to seek out and discover my own principles and place. I signed up for other literature and philosophy classes to broaden my scope. I ventured into the stacks of used book stores and gobbled up classics and contemporary literature.

jim_morrison

[Jim Morrison | Image from last.fm]

I watched The Doors at least twenty times and strove to comprehend the rock poet, Jim Morrison, and his journey to capture (or at least understand) the American Dream. The words of poetry and inspiration began to flow like a river within my mind that was unstoppable; I wanted to bottle up all that I could to analyze it, know where it came from, where it was going, and celebrate it. I carried with me a small notepad everywhere, and always had a pen in my pocket. I never knew when a particular verse would come and it had to be written down and remembered. To this day, I never leave the house without a pen.

Wow, twenty times! What goal do you seek through your poetry?

For the reader to find inspiration. I write love poetry. Poems of admiration. Poems of beauty. Satirical poems, often political. I enjoy a twist of philosophy. It is my hope that through my words, you will find a spark of inspiration that arouses you to create or open your mind to a new idea.

That’s a great goal. Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Seek your inspiration, your muse. Keep an open mind and do something out of the ordinary to add depth in your life: travel, enroll in a humanities class, attend a play, walk through an art gallery, speak to a stranger. Embrace beauty in all its forms and may you find inspiration in the smallest of things.

Yes, we certainly could do with more of that to combat materialism and crass commercialism. Your websites/blogs/etc:

Blog: http://meandrak.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Meandrak

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Matthew-Andrako-Author/117338498390343

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Much thanks to Matthew for stopping by! Be sure to visit his blog where you may find more of his poetry (text as well as recordings). The publication of his first book, Mimesis, is a step towards realizing his goals as an author.