Thursday, February 14, 2019


Ppigpenn Interview 7

 
  
Charles Plymell drawn by Robert Crumb

Name? Charles Plymell

Age? 84. I don’t want to seem impolite, but people have put a lot of my biography on Wikipedia.
WIKI DO?  OR NODOWIKI?
Location and occupation? Laborer, stone yard. Front end loader operator.
How long have you been writing? Do you play an instrument as well?
I don’t write if I can help it. Don’t play instument. Wish I did. At a young age, my folks bought me instruments. I wasn’t disciplined enough. In later years, I bought a piano. My good friend, the late Paul Bley, keyboard jazz guy, came over to check it out. I asked him if he would give me piano lessons. He asked me if I ever had a bicycle. I said”yes”. He said, “Just learn piano like you learned to ride a bike,” I sold the piano.

Do you have a specific writing style? Hobbies?
 None

Do you write full-time?
 No (no hyphen needed)

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer? 
To have recording artists sing my poems.

What is your greatest challenge as a writer? Staying alive.

What projects of yours have been recently published?  Books or Magazines? Too many to list. Here are a couple of websites. 


What are you currently working on and what inspired this work? 
Nothing. For Catfish.
Where can we find your work? 
http://www.vlib.us/beats/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oHMFcD7k8s https://rustytruck.wordpress.com/2010/02/28/charles-plymell-therusty-truck-interview/ https://realitystudio.org/bibliographic-bunker/charles-plymell-and-now www.feedingtuberecords.com/artists/bloodshot-bill/  https://soundcloud.com/johnnygee-1/man-overboard


 How do you react to rejections?
 I only answer requests for my work.

How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication?   Not applicatble.
  
What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as a writer? 
Go nuts.

 What is your favorite book? 
De Rarum Natura

   Who is your favorite author? 
Lucretius

   If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why? I’m not into fiction.
 
 What is the greatest occupational hazard for a writer?
 A bare bodkin 

What makes you laugh?
 Oddities, stupidity.

What makes you cry?
 Innocent creatures
What is your preferred drink while you write? 
Agua 

Beach or Mountains?
 Beach

Cats or Dogs? 
 Both (please make a contribution to go fund me for strays).          
https://www.gofundme.com/cvcats

The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
 Stones of course.

Jimi Hendrix or Frank Sinatra?
 Both. Don’t prefer one over the other.

Shakespeare or Bukowski?
  Willy The Shake for the long run. 

 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?
 My country gone to shit.  Dangerous humans, 
“Devalued human stock” W.S. Burroughs

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


Ppigpenn Interview 7
Name?  Tohm Bakelas

Age? (Feel free to ignore this question completely) 29 years old

Location and occupation? New Jersey and social worker.

How long have you been writing? Do you play an instrument as well? I’ve been in bands since I was 14 years old fluctuating between playing guitar and bass and then finally settling for the microphone. I started writing lyrics around that time too. When the bands started dying out I began writing poetry. If I had to place an exact date, I’d say December 2017 is when I shifted from lyrics to poems and in April 2018 is when I began submitting poems to various publications.

Do you have a specific writing style? Hobbies? I wouldn’t say I have a specific writing style, but maybe I do. Who knows. I’ve never studied writing and really don’t have any idea about the mechanisms of it. I just write what I see and what makes sense to me. As far as hobbies goes, I’d say the following: I used to collect coins, now I collect records, reading is a big hobby for me, and when time permits, making music with friends.

Do you write full-time? My initial interpretation of this question is: are you a paid writer? No I am not. Having settled that, I will state this: I do consider myself a full-time writer because I can’t stop the thoughts in my head. So to me, yes I am a full-time writer by curse.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer? I’d consider the mystery of how I haven’t burned myself out yet to be my greatest accomplishment as a writer.

What is your greatest challenge as a writer? Having too many thoughts and too many ideas swirling in my head. Knowing I have to keep sitting on them and not force them out. Knowing I need to await their arrival as to avoid a crash.

What projects of yours have been recently published?  Books or Magazines? I've had poems accepted and published by these publishers: Outlaw Poetry, Nixes Mate Review, Sheila-Na-Gig, Piker Press, Ghost City Press, Tower Journal, The Raw Art Review, Razur Cuts, Medusa’s Laugh Press (forthcoming), and Weasel Press (forthcoming). I've had three published chapbooks “Orphan Crows” (Analog Submission Press, July 2018), “Destroy My Wound” (Budget Press, August 2018), “In Living Rooms” (Iron Lung Press, November 2018) and a microchapbook “We All Arrive” (Origami Poems Project, October 2018).

What are you currently working on and what inspired this work? I am working on too many things! First, I have a 3 poem project titled "Swallowed Smoke" that is coming out in some form through Robert Hansen's Poems-For-All at some point this year. Then I have a chapbook titled "Decaying Sun Under Noontime Rain" that will be published by Analog Submission Press. Then i have another chapbook titled "Orphan Road" that will be published by Uncollected Press very late in the year. I also have been corresponding with John D. Robinson (Holy&Intoxicated) and we are planning to do a split chapbook sometime towards the end of the year. And with all that shit going on, I'm still working on my first full length poetry book that I may or may not self-publish. The inspiration behind this work is simple: fear of stagnancy. That and the want to take over the small presses. I want to be apart of as many small presses as possible. Either with a poem, collaboration, or chapbook.  Ideally, I’d like to solicit interest in my full length and have that published by the small presses too. We’ll see what happens.

Where can we find your work? My website it: http://tohmbakelaspoetry.wordpess.com and that is where you can find links to my published poems as well as a link to purchase any available chapbook.

How do you react to rejections? It depends on who is writing the rejection and what they say. I’ve had poems accepted by a journal and then the next month rejected by the same journal. So I think rejections are a naturally occurring process. Sometimes I lose my mind though. There’s only so much “Thank you for this opportunity, we appreciate it” bullshit responses I can take. Sometimes there is no opportunity and the appreciation is a farce. There, I lost my mind. I even wrote a fucking poem about it! It’s called “note upon the rejections” and it can be found in my third chapbook ‘In Living Rooms’ (Iron Lung Press, November 2018).

How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication? I’m completely floored! I really enjoy when a poem is printed amongst other poets and writers. It provides me an opportunity to read others’ work and an opportunity to reach a new audience.

What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as a writer? Don’t burn yourself out, either in writing, or submitting, or publishing. And definitely don't force anything.

 What is your favorite book? My favorite book? I don't know if I could narrow it down to one. I respectfully decline to answer this. However, see the next question.

 Who is your favorite author? My favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut. My favorite poets are: Charles Bukowski, Li Po, Du Fu, Bob Kaufman, William Carlos Williams and Dylan Thomas.

 If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why? Kilgore Trout. He's written so many stories that were published in bizarre places that I feel he could be a guide to this whole publication thing.

What is the greatest occupational hazard for a writer?  Carpal Tunnel, haha. Also, the possibility of being murdered by someone I write about.

What makes you laugh? I have a very dry and dark sense of humor, so I find myself laughing at very inappropriate things. I grew up on Mel Brooks movies which might explain a lot. I also think gallows humor is unparalleled. Famous last words by serial killers or people sentenced to death always makes me laugh.

What makes you cry? Reading or watching the news. I’m dead fucking serious. It's true horror. And having children of my own makes seeing that shit more difficult.

What is your preferred drink while you write? Honestly I mostly write sober. However, when I do drink and write, it's beer. I can pace myself and not get totally blasted out of my head.

Beach or Mountains? Mountains.

Cats or Dogs? I’ve always been more partial to dogs. I think the interaction with them is unmatched. However, I like cats too because they know when to fuck off and when to come around.

The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? The Rolling Stones for sure. They were rock and roll. I think The Beatles fucking suck.

Jimi Hendrix or Frank Sinatra? Neither, Black Flag.

Shakespeare or Bukowski? Bukowski for sure. When I was middle school and high school, Shakespeare was taught. It always bored me. I never felt a connection to any of his writing. Shakespeare never did a fucking thing for me. My friend Chris gave me "Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit" and my world was shook. Bukowski walked on the cusp of madness and wrote about the hell he saw. I can relate to that. I see it too, some days more than others. 


PIGGY 7

Ppigpenn Interview
Name?
David Boski

Age? (Feel free to ignore this question completely)
 35

Location and occupation?
Toronto, ON, Canada: a painter by trade/painting business owner

How long have you been writing? Do you play an instrument as well?
I started writing in 2005 while I briefly lived in Los Angeles: most of my writing back then was “performance-based slam pieces”. I made a splash on the Toronto Poetry Slam scene back in those days, but then I stopped performing and barely wrote for 5 years. I started writing seriously writing again in 2018 and now I write poetry that is to be read rather than performed.
I played some guitar as a kid when I wanted to start my own punk band but I think the only song I can probably still play is “Anarchy in the UK” because I remember it being easy as shit.

Do you have a specific writing style? Hobbies?
I don’t know if I have a specific writing style. I prefer to let the readers decide; hopefully they think it’s good, I just try to be honest and not censor myself. It’s an ever-evolving process, I believe a writer is always adapting and learning, no matter how old or how experienced.
As far as hobbies that don’t relate to anything literary. I enjoy watching NBA basketball, that’s something I got into as a child: my dad was a big fan. I also enjoy drinking: often times too much and beyond any reasonable limit. I enjoy trying different whiskey and wine lately, especially any Japanese whiskey which is hard to find around here. I also enjoy spending time with my dog Melvin and finding excuses to avoid social gatherings/events of any kind. I love my friends and family, but the older I get the more I enjoy my solitude: human beings can drain your energy and I don’t find a need to constantly surround myself with/talk to them. A good TV show here and there, and poker. Ok fuck, that was way too long.

Do you write full-time?
No, I don’t, but I’m hoping Rupi Kaur invites me on her next tour so I can quit my day job. Unfortunately, she’s ignored all my messages thus far.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
My first time being published was big for me. Most recently, being offered the opportunity to release two chapbooks this year, very excited for those. In the past when I was performing on the spoken word scene, making the TPS finals and being the subject of a documentary short (no matter how much I hate the fucking thing and the editing they did) was pretty cool.

What is your greatest challenge as a writer?
There are so many: just being able to create something I like enough to send out to publications, hoping that somebody else might like it too. Trying to write things that make people feel something, whether positive or negative. Most stuff thus far is all autobiographical: so just trying to remember dialogue verbatim, or recalling events and how they happened, made more difficult from my past partying.

What projects of yours have been recently published?  Books or Magazines?
My poems have most recently appeared in: Down in the Dirt; Horror Sleaze Trash; Outlaw Poetry; Duane’s Poetree; Rusty Truck; Spadina Literary Review; Beatnik Cowboy; Synchronized Chaos; Winamop(forthcoming).

What are you currently working on and what inspired this work?
I have a forthcoming chapbook being released by Analog Submission Press later this year, the manuscript for that is done and we just have to iron out the details/put it all together. I’d like to thank Mark Bruseke for giving me the opportunity. I am currently still writing and will begin to format a new chapbook in the coming months that will be released by John D. Robinson and his Holy&Intoxicated Publications later this year. To say I’m excited about this would be an understatement. As soon as I found John’s work, I was mesmerized by it and have tried reading anything he’s ever written, so when he offered me this opportunity, I was extremely grateful.

Where can we find your work? 
See the previous two answers.

 How do you react to rejections?
I take it in stride. You can’t please everybody, it’s fucking impossible. I have seen poems on literary journals/magazines that have rejected my stuff that I personally didn’t like. It’s all very subjective. Some people might love it, some people might loathe it. Just try to write something you like/are proud of, try to improve and fuck everything else. Don’t get too high, don’t get too low. Some of the greatest writers ever dealt with numerous rejections.

How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication?
Initially the first few were exciting, and now I am grateful but also motivated to create more; with that also comes a pressure, to keep it going.
  
What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as a writer?
I don’t know, I have enough trouble trying to stay sane in general. So, if anybody has any advice, I’m all ears.

What is your favorite book? 
I don’t have one in particular; favorite questions are always tough, but three novels I really love/that spoke to me are: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo, Women by Charles Bukowski, Ask the Dust by John Fante.

Who is your favorite author?
Truthfully, I wasn’t much of a reader when I was young as I was too busy being a fuck up/getting fucked up, so I’ve had a lot of catching up to do and am always discovering new authors, living or otherwise but some of my favorites are: Charles Bukowski: John Fante: Ernest Hemingway: and back when I was interested in the theatre, Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller.

If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why?
Henry Chinaski because he likes to drink. gamble, write, and bed women. Or Hannibal Lecter, so long as the meal wasn’t human because I’ve always been fascinated by serial killers.  

What is the greatest occupational hazard for a writer?  
rejection.

What makes you laugh?
my dog: george carlin: bill hicks: sam kinison: richard pryor: plenty of other things and people
doing dumb shit on the internet.

What makes you cry?
I try not to, but I’d rather not say.

What is your preferred drink while you write?
Red Wine - Cabernet Sauvignon or Scotch

Beach or Mountains?
What’s the fucking deal with the beach? I don’t get it. It’s where dirt meets water, alright. Is that, that fucking amazing to you? I got a bathtub and an imagination, I’m staying indoors this summer. That way I can listen to music I like - Bill Hicks

That being said beach if it involves cold mountains, fuck the cold.

Cats or Dogs?
Dogs

The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
Tough … The Rolling Stones

Jimi Hendrix or Frank Sinatra?
Jimi Hendrix

Shakespeare or Bukowski?
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?
The most dangerous wild animals I’ve ever seen or encountered have been other human beings. Toronto is a great city, many people compare it to New York and having been to NY 6 times now I can see why, but they’re still very different. We have great restaurants, plenty of bars, public transit is terrible but it’s clean and relatively safe. Whatever you enjoy doing you can do it here. Just don’t come in the winter: it’s complete and utter shit: long and depressing. I haven’t even seen much of Canada myself, Montreal is nice but I haven’t been to the west coast or the east coast.



Friday, February 1, 2019

Ppigy 6
Name?
Alexis Rhone Fancher
Age? (Feel free to ignore this question completely) As my mama used to say, old enough to know better.
Location and occupation?
San Pedro, California (20 miles south of Downtown Los Angeles, on the beach)
Occupation? Full-time writer/editor. Street and portrait photographer. Private chef for my husband of 16 years.
How long have you been writing?
Writing since I was a kid. Writing seriously since 2008. Writing for publication since late 2012.
Do you play an instrument as well?
I played guitar when I was younger, before I sold my 0018 rosewood Martin guitar for rent money. Sometimes I dream about it.
Do you have a specific writing style? I’ve been called a confessional writer. I strive for fearlessness.
Hobbies? I have a “green thumb” and love to garden. I enjoy cooking. I’m a voracious reader.
Do you write full-time? Yes.
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer? Since 2014 I have four published books of poetry. Two more, a chapbook, THE DEAD KID POEMS, and EROTIC, a full-length “new & collected” will be published in 2019. And in 2016 Edward Hirsch chose my poem, “When I turned fourteen, my mother’s sister took me to lunch and said:” to be published in Best American Poetry 2016.
What is your greatest challenge as a writer? Getting it right.
What projects of yours have been recently published? Books or Magazines?
At the end of 2018 several my poems were published in Italian translation in the book Anthology of Contemporary American Women Poets (Italia), curated by Alessandra Bava, alongside poems by Natalie Diaz, Francesca Bell, Maggie Smith, Diane Seuss, Patricia Smith, Joy Harjo, Nikky Finney, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Jenn Givhan, and Kelli Russell Agadon.

What are you currently working on and what inspired this work? I’m writing a photo-graphic noir novella, My Criminal Boyfriend, a cross-country crime romp. I hope to have a finished first draft by summer, 2019. Stay tuned!
Where can we find your work? I have been published over 200 times in such diverse publications as: Rattle, Verse Daily, Nashville Review, Plume, The American Journal of Poetry, Diode, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Hobart, H_NGM_N, Blood Orange Review, The MacGuffin, Bloom, ONE, Pirene’s Fountain, Literary Mama, Paterson Literary Journal (2019) Duende (2019), and elsewhere. Find my work in more than 50 anthologies, including Wide Awake: The Poets Of Los Angeles. My essays/non fiction have appeared in Unmasked, Women Write about Sex and Intimacy after 50, Shark Reef, and many other publications, and my feminist anthem, “I Prefer Pussy” has been published numerous times, including in the New York Times’ op ed page and in the best-selling, Nasty Women Poets Anthology.
How do you react to rejections? I send out more work, immediately. It is a numbers game.
How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication? I do the happy dance, make myself another cup of French Roast coffee, and go back to work.
  What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as a writer? Not sure thats always possible. Stay focused. Edit your work. Believe in yourself. Keep breathing.
What is your favorite book? Novels? John Fowles’ The Magus, is right up there with Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, and I loved Lawrence Durrell’s The Alexandria Quartet. Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone, and Edward P. Jones’ The Known World are also favorites.  
Who is your favorite author? Novelist? I love Donna Tartt. Also Michael Cunningham. John Cheever. Thomas Pynchon. Poets? These days I’m really into Michelle Bitting. Her latest, Broken Kingdom, is incredible. I’m also reading Richard Jones’ new book, Stranger On Earth, which is spectacular.
If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why? Joseph Cotten in The Third Man. No. Orson Welles in The Third Man. Why? I’m a fool for noir.
What is the greatest occupational hazard for a writer? It’s a toss up between jealousy and complacency. 
What makes you laugh? I love stand up comedy.
What makes you cry? Deliberate cruelty.

What is your preferred drink while you write? Freshly brewed French Roast coffee with a dollop of cream.
Beach or Mountains? These days I’m living on the beach, lusting for the mountains.
Cats or Dogs? Cats. Although I love Dalmatians!
The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? If you’d asked me back in the day, the rocker in me would’ve said Stones. Now, I kinda like em both.
Jimi Hendrix or Frank Sinatra? Hendrix. Absolutely.
Shakespeare or Bukowski? Although I live in Bukowski’s zip code in San Pedro, if I had to choose, I’d say Shakespeare.
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?
Come to California for our beautiful beaches! Climate! Mountains! Art! Culture! Tolerance! You’re in danger of wanting to stay.


Links to my books for sale on the web:









Poem for Mary, My College Roommate, Who Sells Drugs & Wants To Be A Porn Star

The Movie
Take off your clothes or get out! the director shouts.
You’re entering my set!
I thought I was entering my apartment.

I traverse a writhing girl, trip over her muscular,
long-haired lover. Mary waves from our sofa. She’s naked,
except for a glittering tiara.
A man’s head emerges from between her thighs.

Hungry, I head for the kitchen.

When I grab a jar of Nutella from the ‘fridge,
the director is behind me, still shooting.

We’ll film it, he says.
You could smear the stuff all over you.
Mary could lick it off.

Mary’s Boyfriend, Ron
breaks into the bathroom while I shower.
He reaches through the curtain,
offers to scrub my back.

I offer to call the cops.

While my roommate sleeps,
Ron slithers between my sheets,
his snake dick seeking me out like prey.

What will Mary say? I ask.
Ron shrugs. Who’s going to tell her?

The Next Day
I slide open the door of my closet:
floor to ceiling bricks of marijuana,
pungent and penitentiary-worthy,
wall in my wardrobe.

Don’t worry, Mary promises.
It’ll all be gone in the morning.
(first published in Carbon Culture Review, 2018)


The Famous Poet Asks Me For Naked Photos

1. “You are a forbidden planet,”
he says at the bar after his reading,
when all the hangers-on have gone.

He drains his third martini.

I smile.

Encouraged, he puts his arm
around my shoulder, confesses
he can jack off to a photo only once;
he needs a constant supply.


2. The famous poet smells
musty, shopworn. He pops a breath mint,
runs a hand through his silver mane.

“You are my muse and savior,” he says,
right after he tells me his second wife
no longer likes sex.

He smoothes an aberrant bang
from my forehead.
“Are you clean-shaven?” he asks,
staring at the mystery between my thighs.
“Or do you roll au naturelle?”


3. The famous poet wants me to
take a selfie in the ladies’,
pull my skirt up and my panties
down, and I admit, it gets me wet.

Like him, I’m not getting any at home.
I want to wrap my legs around his head.


4. The famous poet swears his wife
is cool with his serial betrayals,
that they inhabit different countries
in the same, small house.

But I’ve seen his wife at parties, how
his philandering makes her flinch,
the face of desperation, choked down,
Sylvia Plath style.

The face that wants me to suffocate
like Sylvia did

and watch. The face that says
once I was you.



Published in DIODE, 2017