Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Dr. Marianne

Ppigpenn 5

Ppigpen Interview
First off, let me say thanks for thinking of me for an interview, John. I appreciate it!
Anyhow, my name is Scott Wozniak
Location & Occupation?
I live in the Rogue Valley of southern Oregon and work as an Agricultural Consultant.
How long have you been writing? Do you play an instrument as well?
I started writing in my early teens, as a pressure valve, mostly. It worked so well it just became habit and eventually, many years later, things that weren’t complete shit started to reveal themselves.
I play a half-assed harmonica. I can fake my way through a late-night jam session with drunk friends. I don’t really have the time to devote to two separate artistic endeavors, so I’ve never got very good at it. Poetry consumes most of my spare time.
Do you have a specific writing style? Hobbies?
Not that I’m fully aware of, I try to just write and don’t really think about “style.” But it does seem that realism and street poetry are the two tags that most fit what I seem to do.
Hobbies, not so much, other than the occasional motorcycle ride. I just try to hang out with my wife and son when not writing or working.
Do you write full time?
Well, I’m always looking at things going on around me for material or running lines through my head. But the actual act of sitting down and writing just happens when it happens. Usually after I haven’t done it for a while and I slowly get this weird pent-up feeling building inside of me that only writing relieves. It’s that same ‘ol pressure valve scenario that’s been with me since my youth, I guess.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
Sending out my first round of submissions (at my wife’s urging), receiving rejections for months, and still sending out more submissions until I started receiving acceptances. That whole process, while daunting, helped me figure out where I fit in with the small press scene, and it most certainly isn’t in the pages of Poetry Magazine.
What is your greatest challenge as a writer?
Good question, I’ve never really thought about this… I suppose its deciphering the shit from the good. A lot of times I will think a certain poem of mine is the weakest in a collection and, undoubtedly, someone will zone in on it as the one they identify most with. Its taught me that while yes, it’s good to follow my instincts, a second opinion is just as valuable. And for a control freak, such as myself, that can be difficult to admit. I don’t particularly like asking people for their opinions, you know, opinions, assholes and such…
What projects of yours have recently been published? Books or magazines?
My most recent was a chapbook, Ash on Your Face Like Warpaint, that was released by Analog Submissions Press. Other than that, I was in the latest Lummox Anthology and my collaboration with Janne Karlsson, Killing Our Saints, was released through his Svensk Apache Press not too long ago. That’s about it really, I’ve been kind of slacking on submissions as of late cause I’ve been focusing on my next book project.
What are you currently working on and what inspired this work?
A collaborative effort with my buddy, and illustrator, Andrew Nutini. It’s a graphic book of poetry titled, Shooting Gallery Vultures, that Moran Press will be publishing sometime this year.
Andrew and I have been planning and working on this project for almost three years now. We just started talking about how cool it would be to work together and what it could look like. As the idea fleshed itself out, we both realized we had a project that neither of us had ever seen before.
We’re both fans of graphic novels but neither had seen graphic poetry, besides what Janne Karlsson does, and this is a whole different beast.
At one point, it was finished, and we were gonna move forward with printing. Then I went ahead and chose to double the length of the book before that could happen. No one knew I was doing this, I just happened to have a bunch more poems that fit the vibe/theme. Andrew was expecting an email about our publishing date and instead I told him that he now had a shit ton more work ahead of him. Luckily, he took it well and cranked out a whole new batch of illustrations. We are at the finish line, just working on formatting, which has proven to be a challenge for all involved. Due to that, we don’t have a projected release date, yet. Everyone wants to make sure we don’t rush it or put out something less than amazing.
Where can we find your work?
Unfortunately, I don’t have a web page of my own set up that showcases my stuff. I keep saying I’m going to do that, but I’m a slacker and pretty tech challenged. But I have poems all over the web in various online magazines and anthologies and my books can be found through the various publishers that released them, Moran Press, Svensk Apache Press, and Analog Submission Press. I can also be found on Twitter @sewozniak. That’s where I do most of my promotion stuff.
How do you react to rejection?
Honestly, it doesn’t really faze me anymore. It just comes with the territory. Before submitting, I try my best to research pubs that fit my style of writing, to lessen my chances of rejection. It’s easy to tell if I fit with the vibe of a certain press. That being said, there is one magazine I love and have been rejected from 5 or 6 times. That type of rejection just makes me dig my boots in a little harder. I guess I’m a glutton for punishment.
How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication?
It thrills and amazes me every time, but I also know that, largely, it doesn’t mean shit. Actually, I have a poem that answers this question…

                                                Criminal Mastermind Hiding in Plain View

Every time
one of my poems
is published
I can’t help
but feel
like D.B. Cooper
pulling off
the greatest heist
of all time.

And like D.B.,
I’ll live out
my days
surrounded by people
fully unaware
of my crimes.

What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as a writer?
Just do the work you enjoy and don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s not a fucking competition. Keep your ego in check and avoid those who don’t.
What’s your favorite book?
That’s really hard to say, but I think, You Can’t Win by Jack Black, is probably it. It was written in the 1920’s and is an amazing, autobiographical story of the train hopping, hobo, outlaw lifestyle Jack lived through his years.
Who is your favorite author?
Man, I have too many favorites in too many genres. That answer can change with my mood. It’s impossible for me to narrow it down to just one and, sorry, but I’m not gonna make some long-ass list to prove to the reader how well read I am. That shit always bugs me.
If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why?
I’m gonna go with Jesus, cause he’d probably have some wine on hand and a couple hookers with him.
What makes you laugh?
Things that probably shouldn’t.
What makes you cry?
Movies where a coach gives an inspirational, locker room speech to a team of underdogs losing at halftime. More specifically, the speech itself.
What is your preferred drink while you write?
Coffee, black with 2 teaspoons of sugar.
Beach or Mountains?
Seeing as how I live in the mountains, beach sounds better. Greener grass and all that shit, but I think a beach at the foot of a mountain would be ideal.
Cats or dogs?
Dogs, no question.
The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
Stones, hands down!!
Jimi Hendrix or Frank Sinatra?
At this stage in my life, I think Frank edges Jimi out.
Shakespeare or Bukowski?
While Shakespeare is, well, Shakespeare, my brain hurts when I read his/her stuff. I gotta go with the bard of the barroom, Bukowski.
Why would people like to visit your country? Any dangerous wildlife or fish?
 I’m not sure they would like to visit my country right now. It’s pretty well fucked at the moment. But, if someone wanted to come hideout in the hills where I live and pay no mind to the world burning outside our little piece of heaven, they’d have a good time. Sometimes I feel like where I live is a country unto itself. But we do have some dangerous critters like bears, bobcats, and pecker turtles, they’re the worst. They’ll come up while your swimming in the river, usually a low spot where the current slows down, and when you’re just splashing around, having fun and shit, they’ll bite your pecker. Been known to bite the whole head off, little fuckers. Dangerous!! Gotta watch out for them!

Ppigpenn Interview
Name? Marianne Szlyk

Location and occupation?  I’d like to say I’m from the internet, but really I live near Washington, DC, and I’m a professor of English and Reading at Montgomery College.

How long have you been writing? Do you play an instrument as well?
I’ve been writing poetry again since 2011 when my husband and I dug up some of my old poems when we were dismantling my parents’ house in Maine.  (I had stopped writing poetry in 1989 when I left grad school the first time.)  I’ve been writing off and on since before I could write.  I remember dictating stories to my grandmother who wrote them down on the blank pages in My Little Book House.
I don’t play an instrument now, but when I was in junior high, I took piano lessons.  My teacher was pretty serious, too serious for me.  I remember that he chewed toothpicks because he was quitting smoking.  Later on, once we had the internet, I saw that he was known as a bebop pianist in Worcester, MA where I grew up.

Do you have a specific writing style? Hobbies?
I started off writing free verse, but I do some counted verse now.  Tad Richards taught me a new format, so I’ve worked with that a little.  “Write Where You Know” is a good example of that format:  https://thelochravenreview.net/marianne-szlyk/  “Midsummer Moonrise” is another:  http://madswirl.com/author/mszlyk/
Do you write full-time?
Afraid not.  I write during my breaks (winter and summer).  During the semester I focus on teaching.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
I’m excited about my book, On the Other Side of the Window, that Pski’s Porch published this past summer.  It is a very full, rich book, with something for everybody whether you want personal poetry, ekphrastic poetry, nature poetry, or even science fiction (including alternative history).
I am also very excited about my blog-zine, The Song Is…. It’s a way for me to get to know many different writers such as Catfish McDaris, Will Mayo, Kim D. Bailey, and Mary Jo Balistreri as well as others like Felino A. Soriano and Angelee Deodhar who have passed on.  It’s also fun to choose pictures and songs for each entry.  Every so often I post themes, but all good poems are welcome.  Please send up to five of them to thesongis@gmail.com .

What is your greatest challenge as a writer?
Getting started during the break and progressing as a poet.  Sometimes I feel
What projects of yours have been recently published?  Books or Magazines?
First of all, there is my book!  A few new poems appeared in the Loch Raven Review.  One poem was a kind of haiku written in tribute to the late Dr. Angelee Deodhar who was known for her advocacy of haiku and haibun.  Another was “Write Where You Know.”  Mad Swirl recently took a poem of mine, “We Can Never Live Where We Want.”  Two other poems (“In This Love and Time” and “Congressional Village”) are also appearing in Claudine Nash’s anthology of love poems that is due to be out on Valentine’s Day.. 
What are you currently working on and what inspired this work?
Mostly I’m revising poems.  One is a tribute to the late jazz poet Felino A. Soriano (gone too soon).  Oddly enough, this poem was originally a stanza in an earlier version of the poem that you just published.  A few of my poems have branched off from other poems in that way.  I am also responding to visual art.  My husband, a Scrabble friend, and I went to the Phillips Collection in DC.  We were shushed in the Rothko room, so I got a poem out of that.  Then we saw an exhibit of striking work by Bice Lazzari, a pioneering, female artist from Italy, which gave me at least two poems. 
I hope to post some more poems at The Song Is… tonight.
Where can we find your work? 
Two of my books are on Amazon, and the first is free at Kind of a Hurricane Press’s site.  Not sure how long Kind of a Hurricane will be around though.  And there is your anthology about Vincent Van Gogh!  I’ve been published in a number of sites and journals.  Mad Swirl, of/with, Setu, and Duane’s PoeTree are good places to start.

 How do you react to rejections?
It really depends.  Sometimes they make me realize that the poem isn’t quite ready.  At other times I’m annoyed.
How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication?
  I’m always thrilled, and I may let my husband know.  I don’t let others know until the poems are actually published.  Too many sites have gone under.
What is your preferred drink while you write?
I won’t answer since it’s a little too tame for your crowd. 
Beach or Mountains?
These days probably mountains.
Cats or Dogs?
Cats!  My husband and I live with two cats: Thelma the Tabby and Callie the Calico.  They have very distinct personalities and have appeared in a number of poems by me and my husband.

The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
Jimi Hendrix or Frank Sinatra?
This is tougher.  I listen to a lot of instrumental jazz, some of which sounds more like Jimi than Frank.  Larry Young’s Lawrence of Newark comes to mind immediately.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Ppig 4

Ppigpenn Interview
-Yuan Changming (Chinese way袁昌明), or Changming Yuan (English way), or whatever.
Age? (Feel free to ignore this question completely)
-Getting newly old.                     
Location and occupation?
-Living in Vancouver, Canada, as a semi-retired private tutor.
How long have you been writing? Do you play an instrument as well?
-Since early August 2004. Used to play erhu, accordion and the Chinese flute quite well, but nothing really well now.
Do you have a specific writing style? Hobbies?
-Hopefully simple and concise. My hobbies include browsing, reading, practicing Chinese calligraphy, singing Beijing Opera, sightseeing, watching Chinese TV dramas though they are mostly low and lousy.
Do you write full-time?
-No, or I would have died pennilessly long ago.
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
-As a Mandarin speaker who writes mainly in English, I may prove to be the most widely published poetry author from China in the English speaking world today. Considering the fact that I did not begin to learn the English alphabet until I left my native village for Shanghai at age 19 (as an ESL student), this accomplishment has really been hard for me to make.
What is your greatest challenge as a writer?
-Writing long narrative poetry. (While my attention span is very short, I hate long ‘poems.’) 
What projects of yours have been recently published?  Books or Magazines?
-Some individual pieces accepted most recently by Lullwater Review and Teesta Review.
What are you currently working on and what inspired this work?
-More individual poems. In most cases, I get inspirations from reading experiences. 
Where can we find your work? 
-Online; simply by googling my name. I do have a personal blogsite, but mainly for archiving my poet-son’s work as well as my own.
 How do you react to rejections?
-Always take them lightly like those little clouds passing by high above my roof.
How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication?
-Feel delighted for a whole day, but only in a reserved way because the (new) editor can change his/her mind, or because the magazine may stop operating just when my work is scheduled to appear  - I have had quite a few such bad experiences and thus come up with a ‘blacklist’. 
What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as a writer?
-Do not take anything or anybody too seriously, for no matter what, the earth rotates as usual.
 What is your favorite book? 
-Hope to find one and buy it at any cost.
Who is your favorite author?
-No one in particular, though Bill Collins and Lorna Crozier have written more poems I like than others.
If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why?
-Would rather not do so with any stranger or a non-family member, realistic or fictional.
What is the greatest occupational hazard for a writer?  
-Luck, which could extinguish any literary spark (or turn it into a huge fire).
What makes you laugh?
-Drastic irony. 
What makes you cry?
-Probably self-pity.
What is your preferred drink while you write?
-I don’t drink, not even water while writing.
Beach or Mountains?
-As Confucius says, whoever is kind-hearted loves mountains. (仁者爱山)
Cats or Dogs?
-Never a pet lover. 
The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?

-Never had any exposure to either of them.
Jimi Hendrix or Frank Sinatra?
-Unknown to me.
Shakespeare or Bukowski?
Please provide as much or as little of the following information as you’d like. We want to hear about your country, please. Any dangerous wild animals or fish? Why would people like to visit your country?
-Growing up close to the Yangtse River, a mainly hilly county called Songzi (松滋) in Hubei Province, I had an innocent taste of ‘river pig’ (or Chinese river dolphin) at age 14, whose skin turned out too thick and too hard for my teenager teeth, but a few days ago, I happened to read an article saying that the species has officially become extinguished in this world when the last river pig died 22 years after it was caught (and then taken good care of). I would like people to visit my native place, as well as my native land, where there are numerous fantastic sites to see, though most of them are never known to outsiders, let alone foreigners. This fact makes me think of the interesting word ‘sonder’. As in the human case, you would find every river, every mountain, every place, or every day to be a treasure house as long as you are willing to spend time to open and read it. I know China has become an increasingly hot topic nowadays, but how many of those criticizing or even hating China have gained any true or in-depth knowledge of the country?
Though I never really love my native place (mainly because of its terrible climatic conditions and bad cultural environment), though I somehow can neither speak English nor write any poetry whenever visiting my hometown, I have managed to compose some after returning to Canada. Here are several examples: 

Visiting the Weisui Lake, Songzi

Exactly the same kind of pine trees
The bushes no less or no more bushy 
The same lines of mountain ranges
                        As irregularly handsome
The waters also composed of h2o
Certainly just as clear and clean
With even more lively fishes swimming
In leisure, but in this unknown valley

How come it has not become a costly resort
Like the famous louise lake there
At the feet of rocky mountains, for instance?

Jingzhou Pepper
            Grown in my native place, the ancient Chu Kingdom, where both Mao Zedong and Qu Yuan were born and raised, the Jingzhou Pepper is the most tasteful pepper in the whole world.

Neither too fat
Nor too skinny
But perfectly in a unique shape

Each is
Just hot enough
To make you
A poetic revolutionary like Mao Zedong
Or a revolutionary poet like Qu Yuan

Long Time No Hear

I never knew the names of
These birds, but their voices are far
More familiar than my late playmates’

One sounds like a soprano
Though with only one high-pitched note
Another like a three-toned frog 
And a third like five-fold whistling

After nearly half a century, this is the first
And very last time I return to
My native village, in the right season

https://www.facebook.com/poetry.pacific, We encourage poetry submissions among your fans/friends. 
Yuan Changming, author of seven chapbooks, started to learn the English alphabet in Shanghai at age 19 and published monographs on translation before leaving China. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. Credits include ten Pushcart and three Best of the Net nominations, the 2018 Naji Naaman's Literary Prize, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17), Best New Poems Online and 1,509 others across 42 countries.  

Yuan Changming

Death Has Arrived

The hooves of the lamb
still echo
off in the distance

The fourth seal
has been broken
and I come riding.

A galloping steed
stained with the
sickly pallor of a corpse

And Hades mouth
goes to the bellow
and jaws engulf mankind.

We were given this power
and over a fourth
of this earth.

We will devour our piece
and crunch down
with our beasts of the earth

digesting into brimstone
to nothing but

Donald Armfield

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Mendes Biondo eating with his first book Spaghetti and Meatballs. He's an editor at Ramingo's Porch and lives in Northern Italy.


Ppig #3

Ppigpenn Interview – Mendes Biondo
Most of the time people call me Mendes. I suppose this is quite enough. You’ll never know my magic name. Ha!

Last time I checked I was 26. But time is passing and the White Rabbit is running on a red hot rod towards the sunset with a drunken Horace kissing his beloved Lesbia.

Location and occupation?
Physically I live near the 45th parallel, in a town ruled by a soothsayer, the daughter of Tiresias and mother of Ocnus. It’s the same city that gave birth to Virgil. Virtually I’m fucking everywhere.
I try to bring some bucks in my pockets working as journalist for the local newspaper.

How long have you been writing? Do you play an instrument as well?
I started writing my stuff in Italian since I was a child. You know, like George and Harold who invented Captain Underpants. I started in the same way. Then I understood it was hard for me to find a good place for my writings in Italy and I started wandering the world writing in English.
I used to play piano but I gave up when I understood it wasn’t a typewriter. Sometimes, now, I play guitar like a drunken tramp.

Do you have a specific writing style? Hobbies?
I should not say these kind of things but I suppose my style is confidential, something similar to crooning in music. I like to think poetry is the strongest way to make things happen on paper. It’s a mix between magic, god’s creation and fun. Probably the big G had the same fun creating Adam and Eve.  I often talk directly to the reader when I write. C’mon, dude, I know you’re there watching me. You’re the Perfect Gonzo, man. And you like to know I know. It’s like porn. Probably all life is a sophisticated kind of porn.
I have a lot of hobbies and they constantly change.

Do you write full-time?
Creative stuff, no. It’s not a job in my opinion, it’s more an alchemical great work. I totally respect those who work full-time with writing, they made it. But in my case I still enjoy the freedom of creativity. It’s like the passing of seasons, the tide and all that is natural. Buk said it in one of his poems: do not prod the muse.
Non creative stuff, yes. It’s the only way I can get money. I’m a lazy bone guy…

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
Consider I like to think that a poet should be a megaphone for vibrations. Generally good ones, but sometimes you need to share also the bad part of life. It’s that feeling of playing the same music all together. So meet other creative minds, play the poetry game together, enjoying the moment and giving pleasure to readers is my greatest accomplishment as a writer. I’ve never thought to write for myself. You folks are the protagonists of the stories I share. And there is always a fire, a dark night, some booze and a happy people round the fire sharing food and wine in my mind while I’m writing.

What is your greatest challenge as a writer?
Sanctify the reader with my works. Seriously, if you feel good reading my stuff, if your inner mountain is moved and your inner river flows stronger, this means my spells worked well. I studied philosophy at the University and one of my professors started each lesson with poems and excerpts from philosophers works. Only a few authors, while reading them, made me feel a sensation of inner freshness. I’m not able to explain it well. They were, and are, like a balm for the spirit, and I hope to be able to transform my words into that spiritual balm for you.

What projects of yours have been recently published?  Books or Magazines?
Recently some of my poems were published here and there in magazines on the web. If you google my name you can find them. But my first book of poems in English is yet to come. Marc Pietrzykowski from Pski’s Porch will publish it. The title is “Spaghetti&Meatballs – Poems for Hot Organs”. Let’s cross fingers.

What are you currently working on and what inspired this work?
Spaghetti&Meatballs is a tribute to my Italian origins and to my new linguistic roots that are growing deeper into English language. But S&M is ready to be published, now I’m working on something new. I won’t tell you the title now but I can say it’s a book full of poems for rebels and wanderers. Probably it will be stronger than this one. At the same time I’m working on a collection of poems dedicated to sex, women and the beauty of enjoying pleasure. Rebellion, wandering and sex are themes that are dear to me.
Where can we find your work? 
Ten poems of mine are collected into the wonderful anthology “Resurrection of a Sunflower”. If you’re a fan of Vincent Van Gogh, that book is the right choice for you. Other works are published on printed and digital magazines here and there in the web. I think you’ll be able to find them simply googling Mendes Biondo.

How do you react to rejections?
I send rejected poems to another mag. Editors have different “tastes”. If they decide not to publish you, it does not mean you suck. Probably hardest rejections are those you send to yourself once you re-read your works. But they are part of the game…

How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication?
I share it on my socials during the afternoon, and I toast the Editors of that mag with wine during dinner. It’s quite weird but, c’mon. They deserve a bit of acknowledgement.

What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as a writer?
You should not stay sane at all. We are surrounded by healthy-wealthy bureaucrats, health fanatics, engineers of safe life, diet paranoids and so on. They are boring as hell. Start getting drunk, done, empty your testicles or have sex until your vagina hurts. Poetry and art are not for those who fill documents behind a desk. Get mad, cut your ear and eat oil colors, turpentine or all the shit you think you need to experiment for knowing life.

What is your favorite book? 
I have so many favorite books: “The Odissey”, “Arabian Nights”, “The Divine Comedy”, “The Canon” by Kavafis, “Visions” by Blake, “About Origin” by Heraclitus and others.

Who is your favorite author?
“Ithaca” by Kostantinos Kavafis changed my life, so I suppose he is my favorite one. But I’m open to other perspectives.

If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why?
I would probably have dinner with Scheherazade from Arabian Nights or Penelope from The Odissey, they were both strong, wonderful, witty women. Lot of good stories would come out from that dinner.

What is the greatest occupational hazard for a writer?
Compromises, they are the greatest occupational hazard for everybody.

What makes you laugh?
All surreal things that happen in life make me laugh. And shit, everybody laughs about shit.

What makes you cry?
Beating my pinky toe against the angle of the bed when I woke up for breakfast.

What is your preferred drink while you write?

Beach or Mountains?

Cats or Dogs?

The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
The Beatles.
Jimi Hendrix or Frank Sinatra?
Jimi Hendrix.
Shakespeare or Bukowski?
 Please provide as much or as little of the following information as you’d like. We want to hear about your country, please. Any dangerous wild animals or fish? Why would people like to visit your country?
Catfish asked me to talk about things Italian women love to do under the blankets, so… Get ready for a lot of 69, cunnilingus, blow jobs, titty fuck and other funny things. It’s hot here when you talk about sex. This is just my experience, not “the truth”. But you must be a gentleman if you want to get into the sacred bush. If you want to follow a brief course, listen to “Treat Her Right” by the great Billy Gibbons.
Cat also asked about toilet paper into Italian trains, but I think the sex part was more interesting…

Top of Form

Tell me a little bit about The Ramingo’s Porch.

This magazine is a shared dream between Marc, Catfish and me to create a place for every kind of writing, in particoular those “outlaw” and “wandering” ones as Marc said before. We worked for the first issue with fun and care, choosing the best part of what we've received and I can say that I'm particoularly proud of all the authors that submitted their works, even of those that we decided to reject because of our tastes.

How/why was The Ramingo’s Porch originally started? What type of work are you looking for? What do you wish you'd see submitted, but never comes in? What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals? Where can folks send submissions? If someone has a question, how can they contact you?

It all started with an anthology (Resurrection of a Sunflower) and an interview. In the interview I asked Marc what would have been his next projects and he told me: “I would like to run a magazine”. After  two days from the publication of the piece on my blog I told myself: “Hey buddy, you're running an e-mag in Italy, he has a publishing house in New York, let's match them togheter in an international project”. So I asked Marc what he thought about this mad idea and, probably, he thought the same thing I did.

What type of work are you looking for?

Marc already answered to this question better than I could do. Anyhow I would like only to underline that we are not opened only to poems and short stories submissions but also to short essays – not boring academical papers but something new and unconventional, something about things that is difficult to read in other books – articles and, as usual, “unconventional” book reviews.

What do you wish you'd see submitted, but never comes in?

Short essays and, as for Marc, long poems.

What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?

I started publishing my poems with Visual Verse because of their “challenge” between the image and the words so Visual Verse is one of those I prefer. Then I often enjoy reading The BeZine, I Am Not A Silent Poet and Ink, Sweat and Tears. I mostly read e-mags because it's difficult for me to find printed lit mags and journals in English language in Italy.

Where can folks send submissions?

«Show me your writings!» Send all your bests to ramingoblog@gmail.com.

Ppigpenn Interview-Brenton Booth

Brenton Booth.

Location and occupation?

Sydney, Australia. I work as a deck hand on boats at the moment. Have for a few years now. I have had lots of jobs: dishwasher, bartender, blackjack, dealer, security guard, wildlife park attendant, clothing salesperson, tour guide, cleaner, usher, cashier. They are the jobs I can remember. The usher was a good one. I got paid to listen to opera. Problem was they put on “The Lion King” after the opera season. I managed to last 2 performances before I quit. Which really surprised me.

How long have you been writing? Do you play an instrument as well?

Over 20 years now. I never planned on becoming a writer. I didn’t think I was intelligent enough. And had a terrible education at one of the worst schools in Sydney. I never even read a book until I was 19. I was a security guard at the time. I had just finished a 12 hour shift in a cosmetics factory (my 5th day in a row) and decided to go to Chinatown and get some dinner before I did the 2 hour drive home. I passed a second-hand bookstore next to a massage parlour and for some reason decided to go in. I ended up buying about 20 books. I went from section to section. I walked out with Hemingway, Chekhov, Freud, Dostoyevsky, Wilde, Shakespeare, Nietzsche, some autobiographies and others I no longer remember. The first book I read was the Chekhov plays. I had honestly never experienced anything like it in my life. There was true wisdom in those pages. He understood me, he understood everyone. I doubted I would ever be any good. But that day I decided to try, and never quit, no matter what.

I play electric lead guitar. I started playing when I was about 14. I heard Eric Clapton playing on a Cheech & Chong cassette I found somewhere. The guitar solo in “Basketball Jones”. That really did it for me. I hadn’t heard much rock music before that. I quickly became obsessed and would practice 6 hours a day, every day. I always had a guitar in my hand or an imaginary one. I was terrible, but eventually improved. I wanted to play like Steve Vai, and Yngwie Malmsteen. I started a metal band and we wrote a bunch of songs. Problem was we weren’t that good. And when I finished school I needed to make money, not music, that was the reality. I occasionally play guitar now. Not often though. I find writing a far greater form of expression for me. And also like it a lot more than music.

Do you have a specific writing style? Hobbies?


I love MMA. I started watching it about 14 years ago. And have trained a bit over the years. The problem always was though, I didn’t want to train too much and give up writing for it. I had a few trainers that wanted me to fight. Whenever that happened I stopped training. I knew I would be good at it. And it was an easier thing to get success in than writing if you have talent. And that always scared me. Because writing is my thing. And I am terrified of losing it to something else.

Do you write full-time?

All day every day I think of writing. I never sit down to write. I am always thinking about what is going on inside me and around me and trying to turn that into poems or stories. I guess you could call that full-time writing. I work 45 hour weeks though.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer?

Continuing to write through nearly 10 years of rejections. Teaching myself to write through reading and writing. Finding my own way and not changing it to get published.

What is your greatest challenge as a writer?

Having the time to write with a full-time job. The constant negative reactions from people that don’t understand your work. Sydney is a hard place to be any sort of an artist. It is ultra-conservative and truly uninspiring. Most my work is about bad experiences, which Sydney is very rich in.

What projects of yours have been recently published?  Books or Magazines?

I have work in the latest Chiron Review, Lummox, Nerve Cowboy, and Big Hammer. I also have a new collection of poems and stories “BASH THE KEYS UNTIL THEY SCREAM” recently published by Epic Rites Press. It is a monster of a book: 57 poems and 3 stories spanning the last 16 years. The publisher, Wolfgang Carstens, gave me a lot of freedom with the book. He originally asked me for a “selected works”. I told him I would love to put together a collection of poems and stories with the same free, innovative, uncompromising spirit of Miller’s “Black Springs,” and Buk’s “Love Is A Dog From Hell”. He thought it was a great idea. It took us nearly 2 years. A lot of headaches and confusion. Lots of living and writing. But I am happy with the results. Check out the link below for a copy. I have also published the second issue of my print journal “The Asylum Floor.” Which features 110 pages of poetry, fiction, comics, and art by Jack Micheline, Matt Borczon, Wolfgang Carstens, Janne Karlsson, Dave Roskos, K.W Peery, Victor Clevenger, Adrian Manning, George Anderson, Ryan Quinn Flanagan, Mike Mahoney, me, and of course you Mr. McDaris. Your non-fiction on Van Gogh and Dali are really great. Was a pleasure to publish them both. There are so many standout pieces in this issue. And I am truly grateful to all the contributors for trusting me with their inspired work. The issue is available on all book sites. There is also a link below for those interested.

What are you currently working on and what inspired this work?

I am always writing. I have written a short story and 5 poems over the past month. The story I had been planning out in my head for over 2 years. I am glad I finally wrote it. It is called “The Cleaners” and is an attack on conservatism in a strange humorous way.

Where can we find your work? 

How do you react to rejections?

I normally just send more stuff if I think the journal is worth getting into.

How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication?

It is a nice feeling.
What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as a writer?

Get a job that has nothing to do with writing. Keep away from people that are either negative, or overly positive about your work.

What is your favorite book? 

I have a few: Herman Hesse “Siddhartha,” Checkov “The Seagull,” Sartre “The Wall,” Henry Miller “Tropic Of Capricorn,” Voltaire “Candide,” Hamsun “Hunger,” Hemingway “The Old Man And The Sea,” and Maxim Gorky’s “My Childhood,” to name a few.

Who is your favorite author?


If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why?

Nina from “The Seagull.” I like her.

What is the greatest occupational hazard for a writer?  

I imagine it would be success.

What makes you laugh?

Nietzsche, Bukowski, Woody Allen, Ancient Aliens.

What makes you cry?

Too many things.

What is your preferred drink while you write?

I don’t really drink and write. Over the years I have occasionally, and it was always whiskey.

Beach or Mountains?

I hate the beach. Such a shallow, stupid place. I live a few minutes drive from the mountains and like to go there. It is a nice place to be away from people and remember yourself.

Cats or Dogs?

I have never had either. I would much prefer a native animal. I worked in a wildlife park when I was a teenager. And really like koala’s and wallabies. It isn’t legal to have them as pets though in Sydney. It is a shame; beautiful creatures.

The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?

I think The Beatles had better songs. I listen to them occasionally. I never listen to The Rolling Stones. I’d prefer The Doors or Velvet Underground.

Jimi Hendrix or Frank Sinatra?

I like them both. Jimi at Monterey, and Woodstock, is always good at 5am before anyone is around cleaning endless windows on dark, empty boats.

Shakespeare or Bukowski?

Shakespeare was a great genius. Bukowski was a great artist. They were both great in their own way; and I think it is a mistake to choose one over the other.


It will hang you hurt you
knock you down to
it will take and take and
it will cook you eggs and
bacon of a morning when
what you really wanted
was burnt steak and
watermelon rinds
it will tear out your eyes
and perform the final
dance of tumbling Spartacus
on Cinderella’s flattened
it will be numbers on paper
less valuable than the years
they took to get
it will fill your prick with
decades of pain when what
it really wanted was decades
of love
it will stand on a street corner
in a short pink skirt and bright
blue heels with a beautiful ass
cheek exposed calling your
name day and night
it will jump the Grand Canyon
and confuse the sinking
it will burn the great paintings
and mythologise tiny
it will talk to you in languages
you don’t know but immediately
it will wait for you at every barstool
in every bar you ever visit
it will never never ever
it will keep calling over and over
and over
until the day
you finally


He went on the road
fucked like
drank like
memorised the dictionary like
campaigned like
divorced like
watched the bulls like
lived alone like
tramped like Hamsun on his
hands and knees through the
dirty city
until the
he finally
he had


You wanted
long tender
beauty of
a morning
perfect dignity
in the
it failed
as things
but I just
want you
after all
you are
what I
when I

Bio: Brenton Booth lives in Sydney, Australia. He started writing when he was 19 and began sending the literary journals when he was 24. After nearly 10 years of rejections he had his first poem accepted for publication. Since then he has been published in over a hundred journals and anthologies internationally. He has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and is the author of the chapbooks, Dying Under an Unforgiving Sun, Dancing on the Cactus, Drowned as the Fish, and the full length collections Punching the Teeth From the Sky, and Bash the Keys Until They Scream all available from Epic Rites Press. He also edits and publishes the underground lit journal The Asylum Floor. To read more of his work visit brentonbooth.weebly.com

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The Asylum Floor is a yearly anthology dedicated to honest, inspired writing in all its forms. This issue has 110 pages of poetry, fiction, art, and comics by Jack Micheline, Matt Borczon, Catfish McDaris, Wolfgang Carstens, Janne Karlsson, Dave Roskos, K.W. Peery, Victor Clevenger, Adrian Manning, George Anderson, Ryan Quinn Flanagan, Mike Mahoney, and its editor Brenton Booth.
Paperback, 94 Pages 
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