I rarely speak of this because I’m afraid he’ll demand them back: my high school best friend actually bought those pants for an 80’s themed Christmas karaoke party we had at the Dairy Queen we worked at in high school. He wore those and an Iron Maiden shirt. We lived together in college and I would add them to my laundry and wear them around the house. Eventually, I moved out and kept the pants. One day, he said he hated me and I said I probably hate you too and we never spoke, especially of the pants, again. So I guess you could see if he’s found a new pair.
Where have all the cowboys gone?
I saw them throwing a pigskin last night on a television, like standing on top of a TV, or maybe it was a picket fence in Ohio. They thought it was a river. They had hats on made of dead things, but maybe their shoes were still alive. Their horses couldn't walk on the blacktop. Their wives couldn't walk at all. It was strange to see a gunfight in a public place and feel okay about it. I'm surprised you can't find them; their hope broke down about 3/4 a mile back thataway. It has a lowercase t painted on the side. Each of them looked alike but also completely different. Brown jeans and silly necklaces, glow sticks in their mouths. Except one, who didn't even look like himself. He looked like a pro football player because he was wearing a helmet and shoulder pads.
Who are you? - Ryan Rader
Probably closer to these 16 and 18 year old versions of myself than I'd like to admit.
Why do you think hardcore/punk held such importance for guys like us when we were growing up in the Midwest? And how do you feel about that kind of music now that you're a college graduate? - Ryan Rader
We Midwest teens have a strange struggle between frustration and hope. It is both with others and ourselves. Sure, we're pissed about how shitty our communities are, but we're also pissed that we haven't done more, tried a little harder in school, volunteered more at the hospital, spent less money on Taco Bell, to aid in that betterment. That might be the first time I've admitted that. Yet still, we seem to have a hopefulness that is inextinguishable, even though it may hide in the garage at times. We see the potential in the friend who will probably be a rad firefighter, if he just finishes high school. We know there's a good chance we might say something that makes someone not kill themselves someday. And that is where punk/hardcore music, at least for me and the bands I listened to growing up (Comeback Kid, Have Heart, In The Face of War, Shai Hulud, Welcome Home; feels funny but I'd even put the Distillers in here, who I've never been able to get myself to stop listening to), thrives: in that expression of frustration and guilt and rage, but in that unshakable optimism, no matter how subtle.
Maybe it is because I've moved back home, I'm single again, I'm hanging with a couple of the dudes from I used to back in those days again, and I'm recovering from my most terrible nervous breakdown, but these songs and bands and attitudes mean more to me than ever. Like I've been listening to "Turn It Around" by Comeback Kid on repeat for a few weeks; those two minute blips of THIS SUCKS BUT IT'LL PROBABLY BE OKAY save me again and again.
Do you think your pomes have social relevance? - Christopher Newgent
Why don't you call anymore? - Kyle Broyles
A little messy pile of factors: 1) me moving away; 2) the haunting fact that you knew Sara way before I did (even though that's pretty much irrelevant, I know); 3) I'm a routine guy and you're not and we fell out of "running into each other"; 4) a little disappointment in the fact we didn't hang more when we were neighbors.
Anywhatever, I think you're mega-neat. I'm glad you came to the reading last night. I hope I call you soon.
How about the not very literary just to shake things up: How do you view the role human beings play in context with the natural world, and why? - David Tomaloff
Which poem was the hardest to pen and why? - Melissa Ewers
Here I'm taking hardest to mean the biggest emotional jut my body experiences when I finish a poem: An Addition of Blank Spaces. I wrote this after reading "King of the Rats" by David Peak at Wigleaf, an intense little smack of a story. It's a wacky wild associative trainwreck that shook me up quite a bit. One of those that you look at and say "where did that come from, dude?" and you're face has no answer. I still am like WOAH WUZZ when I read it.
Here is the start of it:
The webcam is a family man
which makes the teenager
a shotgun answering the chat
request in double-clicked pow pows.
Sometimes a better solution
is to buy a leopard or hide
yourself in a blank reflection
of the moon. This is a hint
towards the survival of 2011.
I can only slaughter a virus
so many times, a lesson a father
should teach. Sturdy, imagine a tarp
over his bald head.
Do you ever worry or think about the distance between the speaker in your poems and you as a poet/person? Are you okay with people assuming you're the speaker, or do you work to maintain that you & your speaker(s) are separate entities? - Joshua Helms
What is it that Dean Young says? Something like "All my poems are autobiographical. I just don't know who they're about." Maybe I'm too emotional, maybe I'm too selfish, maybe I'm not smart enough of a poet-thinker, but I don't worry about this at all. A good deal of my poems in here are "me" as the speaker, sure, but even the ones that are not "actually me," like "An Addition of Blank Spaces," the speaker is a part of me, came out of some wacky feeling, some point of my body sitting in a room, and I have no problem acknowledging that fact. I have a poem in my first chapbook called "Unlimited Texting," which is a sestina with the ending words being text lingo like LOL and BRB, and it is in the persona of a young teenage girl about losing her best friend. That's not me, obviously, never was, but when I read that poem, I feel like that is about me. To riff a bit on what Gregory Sherl said in an interview I did with him awhile back (Is “Where You Were” Realer Than “What You Were Feeling?”)
Possible topics: the aesthetics of kicking ass, how are the potatoes, how they both have the first name John, war as dance, dance as war, cool painting on the wall, not girls though Castle would try, me obviously
What is your terrible power? - Ashley Farmer
One of my favorite bands, Away With Vega, have a song that goes: "Don't talk to me about rebuilding, because I've lifted up, and I've let down, everyone that I know well." Sometimes that lyric gets in my gut and I'm like GEESH MAN TERRIBLE.