Wednesday, January 2, 2019

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

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

Price: $5.73
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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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