Monday, June 17, 2019

Ppigpenn Interview
pete donohue.

Age? (Feel free to ignore this question completely)
more than sixty-one wild & painful years baby. sixty-two come june 18th. do i feel it in my wasted body. only when i breathe. do i feel it in my addled brain. only when i’m sober. do i even feel. you better believe it.

Location and occupation?
well. you can’t get there from here. or maybe you can. actually. i was born in county cork ireland. raised in london. & been operating from hastings on the dirty south coast of england these past thirty-three years. i work in mental health. to pay the bills that is. we’re all troubled to some extent. & we’re all crazy in our own different ways. i grew up in a maelstrom of dysfunction. not all of my siblings survived. but i was the oldest and somehow i made it through. i support folk with severe & enduring mental health issues. like paranoid schizophrenia. bipolar affective disorder. obsessive compulsive disorder. stuff like that. & some with learning disability. or acquired brain injury. it’s a stress at times. but can be rewarding. my aim is to help people achieve the best quality of life they can. often through adversity. & sometimes torment. that can take a certain amount of creativity. poetry story-telling music & art can all come into play in this kind of work. & you always have to balance empathy & sensitivity with the right level of humour & self-disclosure.

How long have you been writing? Do you play an instrument as well?
been writing since i could write. that’s a few decades ago now. stories poems novels songs diaries reviews apologies & nonsense. whether anyone wants to read it or listen to it is another matter. but if i stop i’ll die. & i’m not ready for that transition just yet. & i know i play a bad guitar like keef & mick in loving cup. but i’ve written songs all my life. had some radio play. & i survived for three years as a full-time musician. back in the day.

Do you have a specific writing style? Hobbies?
this is it man. suck on it & see. as for hobbies. staying alive is probably my favourite one. i do that in lots of different ways. many of them quite risky. i like to explore the world in all its glorious seediness. from the love of seeds to the seeds of love. i cook. & try to eat at least once a day. lovemaking is private. use your imagination.

Do you write full-time?
in my head yes. believe me baby you don’t want to go there. i have to constantly juggle the weirdness of my thought processes with the practicalities of getting on with life. i hold down a professional full-time job. have a rich family life. nuclear & extended. edit the literature pages of a free community-run fortnightly local newspaper the hastings independent. host regular local poetry nights. & perform my own poetry & short stories at various gigs around the place. draw cartoons & illustrations. sometimes for money. sometimes for pleasure. sometimes to support the underground & alternative literature scene. in between all of this. & sometimes simultaneously. i scribble & type. fuck only knows how i ever get any of these things together.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
getting out of bed every morning.

What is your greatest challenge as a writer?
getting out of bed every morning.

What projects of yours have been recently published?  Books or Magazines?
i had two chapbooks published in 2018. poems for tommy two-guns by analog submission press. scream before they kill your poetry by holy&intoxicated publications. also a double broadside with john d robinson. poems & short stories of mine appear in a constant stream of independent  alternative litzines & collections throughout uk & us. check out paper&ink. glove. razur cuts. alien buddha press. rust belt press. horrorsleazetrash.

What are you currently working on and what inspired this work?
too many projects to mention. everything i encounter & everything that ever happened to me inspires my work.

Where can we find your work? 
on the edge. be careful not to fall off though.

 How do you react to rejections?
when you throw your soul at a vehicle & it bounces back then it must have been the wrong number bus. just wait until the right bus comes along to take you to your destination.

How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication?
like i’ve hooked up with some long-lost brothers & sisters. it’s always a privilege & a buzz to know that some of your stuff is out there & may touch people in ways you’ll never even know about.
What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as a writer?
don’t bother. the best writers walk a fine line between sanity & insanity. often slipping. or deliberately hop-scotching between one & the other. sometimes writing can drive you insane. other times not writing does that too. we do crazy things when we’re wounded everyone’s a bit insane. so sings tom waits on please call me baby. that applies to all true creatives in my view.

 What is your favorite book? 
the one i’m reading at any given time. otherwise I wouldn’t be reading it.

   Who is your favorite author?
impossible question to answer. it’s probably an author i’ve yet to read.

   If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why?
 satan. he/she seems like a character with a lot of ideas & attitude. i imagine we’d have plenty to talk about. we could share vices & maybe turn each other on to some new ones.

 What is the greatest occupational hazard for a writer?  
getting out of bed every morning.

What makes you laugh?
looking at life.

What makes you cry?
looking at life.

What is your preferred drink while you write?
the one with the most alcohol content.

Beach or Mountains?
my lungs are fucked now so these days it’s beaches.

Cats or Dogs?

The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
crazy cat keef became my role model at age ten & that still hasn’t changed. you know what i mean man.

Jimi Hendrix or Frank Sinatra?
please excuse me while i kiss the sky.

Shakespeare or Bukowski?
shakowski for sure.

 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?
it’s no country for old men. poets are dangerous. fish are mesmerising. all is wild. alcohol is cheap. drugs are good. revolution approaches. everything is everything. peace & poetry baby.

Pete Donohue works in community mental health in amazing Hastings on the Dirty South Coast of a proudly multi-cultural England and preserves his dubious sanity through creative writing, drawing, editing, reviewing and performing poetry and music.

Twitter: @petedonohuepoet
Instagram: petedonohuepoet
Facebook: pete donohue

poison within

in my early twenties
i went along
for sinus treatment
a full flush
good poker hand
those days were free
& easier than now
the nurse was a dish
she pushed it
between my legs
a metal kidney
confused me
the doctor had
a secret drawer
to unlock
cocaine hydrochloride
in a labelled bottle
with skull & bones
& a cotton-tipped
to tickle my brain
into anaesthesia
welcome territory
as he shoved that tube
through the holes
in my bonehead
& syphoned off
gobbets of
clotted blood
green phlegm
& custard yellow
to swirl in harmony
as gruesome gumbo
balanced between
my numbskull legs
the doctor smiled
with satisfaction
the nurse
scratched her breast
as if
to torment me
& her action did
in a way
but i got over it
to focus upon
things closer
to home
& as i floated
through the streets
of west london
heading towards
my city garret
i began to realise
that this is what
i am
made from
& no amount
of medical sucking
can free me from
poison within.

woman i love

woman i love
is serious as fuck
that’s a good thing
& when she laughs
she sounds like
the little girl
inside her heart
so i melt
at her feet
what times
we have known
over three decades
& when
we make love
you don’t wanna know
you probably do
but fucked
if i’m gonna tell you
so just be happy
within yourself

pete donohue

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Brian S Gore

My name is Brian S Gore. I’m 34 and work as a bartender at New London, Connecticut’s oldest bar (second oldest in CT), Dutch Tavern. It’s located in a pre-Revolutionary War building, which is saying a lot, since Benedict Arnold burned down the rest of town.

I began writing in earnest back in 2007 as I finished college and set out to learn about the world. I play guitar and harmonica and write songs, as well, primarily as a solo act, but more recently in duos, trios, and a year-stint with a rock and roll band, Brian & the White Birds.

As for style, I can’t say I stick to a specific one. Sometimes things come out more sing-song, and sometimes more prose, and sometimes either one will work as a song. I wouldn’t say full-time, but between music, poetry, and stories, I do spend much of my time creatively. In my down time, I enjoy cooking and coming up with recipes very much.

A woman bought my book as a gift to her husband, which I would consider my biggest accomplishment. My biggest challenge would have to be publication. I self-publish, which is easy enough, and I encourage people to do it, but stepping into the queue of a publisher who looks at so many poems a day can be daunting. I do it, of course, but to stand out in the lineup is what matters, and this is the biggest challenge.

I have recently been published in the Rye Whiskey Review and, last year, Outlaw Poetry, as well as several poems published at In-Between Hangovers. A poem called “Homage, for George Antheil” was accepted, along with mixed-media images, to Swifts & Slows - a project started by ARTEIDOLIA.

My newest chapbook, Drawn Thread, is now available. It is a follow-up to Tangled World, which, collectively, will include a third book that I am working on.
The Tangled World project looks at the current global socio-political atmosphere and inspects relationships and the everyday things that affect people more directly. My goal with this book is to address the issues and not dwell on them, but move from the anxiety of the news to a level of transcendence, but still refusing to accept the malevolence of current politics. All my books are self-published and available at my music website, which is linked below.

When my work is not accepted to a publication, I don’t have much option but to shrug and move on. A tinge of frustration slithers through my gut, but quickly leaves. Frankly, my rejected folder is heavier than my accepted file, and I have come to terms with this. But if I change my approach, I would be doing my Self a disservice.

I maintain a skeptic optimism when my poetry is accepted. I want to see it published before I get too excited. I had several poems accepted last year and I was very excited. Then, the month before I was to be included, the publication became defunct.

If I offered any advice it is to not take yourself too seriously. Be truthful. Write the bad ideas.

I’ll give you my top 5 favorite books, in no particular order: White Jacket (Melville), The Songs of Maldoror (Comte de LautrĂ©mont), Ivanhoe (Sir Walter Scott), Something Wicked This Way Comes (Bradbury), The Town and the City (Kerouac)

Herman Melville is one of the funniest and poignant American authors. Queequeg may be an interesting person to have dinner with. Maybe difficult table conversation, and the spread may be outside my area of comfort, but a very interesting time, no doubt.

The greatest occupational hazard for a writer is Ego. Whether too little and afraid to put oneself on the line, or too much and confidence gets in the way of growth, ego, in all aspects of Life, is the most dangerous thing in humans.

I enjoy stand-up comedy and TV shows like Bob’s Burgers, Stoned Quakers, and Dr. Katz. George Carlin was a great comedian and poet. In the world, kids make me laugh. Sometimes, obnoxiously stupid situations make me laugh, in a desperate kind of way.

I don’t cry at sad things so much, but do get a bug in the eye when I share a look of sincerity with someone, or a sincere conversation. Nothing crushes me more than a kid having too much fun and then is scolded for doing so. A good conversation will get me teary-eyed.

Coffee in the morning, maybe some seltzer water during the day, alcohol as soon as possible. A line from Ivanhoe: “For my part, I like to feel the grapes in my very finger ends before I start the strings to tinkle.”

Beach in the winter time, mountains the rest of the year.

Cats and dogs, for different reasons, but I’m trying to figure myself out, so I’m not ready for anything else to be under my care. Maybe a pet Tardigrade.

Beatles or Rolling Stones? Depends on the day.

On cold nights in the middle of winter, I sit outside shivering with a glass of gin and cigarettes, listening to Frank Sinatra.

Shakespeare before Bukowski.

I grew up in the beautiful state of Texas, which is full of great, deadly critters. Copperheads, rattlesnakes. One time, I went into a newly-built garage in an otherwise undeveloped field. The floor was littered with dead June Bugs and strung about with thick spider webs. As I walked through, I realized thousands of Black Widows were nesting in every wall, nook, and cranny. I have come across black widows probably a dozen different instances, never bitten. I grew up with heavy thunderstorms and the occasional tornado. Once while on my bicycle through town the sky turned Wicked Witch of the West green and the storm sirens began to blare. New England is a bit tamer, although my first two visits here while hoboing around in 2011 and ’12, a hurricane showed up. The scenery is beautiful across the US and taking a road trip is strongly encouraged. Southern New Mexico, for me, is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, but then, I’ve also watched plenty of Nature Documentaries to know there are some truly remarkable landscapes I’ve not had the joy of visiting.

Mendes Baratti

Mendes Baratti in Prisoner of War Camp in WW 2