Monday, December 2, 2019

100 Ways to Propose to a Married Woman: An excerpt from Gitanes @ Hobart

100 ways to propose to a married woman: an excerpt from GITANES

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

An Interview with bibles Appropouture -- Author of THE BETTER FACE OF FASCISM (Expat Press): " I acknowledge that it's my responsibility to harness language skillfully to accomplish the primary task."

Give me a little bio of yourself. When did you know you wanted be a writer ? Did you always write? What was the first book that captured your imagination ?

I don't recall always wanting to be a writer. It's been a constant undercurrent, but I've wanted to be a few different things in my life. The one that I remember most is an actor. That's the one that transitioned into being a writer. I wanted to not just be Tom Cruise; I wanted to be Ethan Hunt. I wanted to be Captain Kirk. I wanted to be Harry Potter. I figured that I could write my life and inject it with narrative power. I think that I've done that to a degree. I can't just hop into space, and I have no intention of being the first man on Mars, but through writing, or at least through thinking like a writer, I can drive my ship to some desert around here and scamper with the coyotes like aliens and tarantulas in the dark at my feet.

Writing has always been the easiest, most natural way for me to channel the supernatural power of art. I remember feeling free from the obligations and responsibilities of adulthood because I was going to be a writer. My dad would try to impart his patriarchal wisdom onto me, or offer me a job at his steel shop, and I would object because I was going to be a writer; I was going to be famous, and being famous gives a person star power. Star power is more powerful than wealth because it has fame attached. I was going to be richer than my dad. He was just around to help me survive until I rose into my own. He'd failed at art, and I saw it as my destiny to fulfill that dream of his.

The first book that captured my imagination was probably Jurassic Park or Goosebumps or The Boxcar Children. I liked Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, but then I remember trying to grow as a reader and picking up a copy of Brothers Karamazov and reading Moby Dick. I was blown away by the energy of these books. Kerouac changed things for me. Bukowski. Celine. I'm definitely of that school as far as what I am continuing, but I also really thought that I was going to be in The Tour De France because I was obsessed with Lance Armstrong and his book. I'd ride my bike thirty miles a day, and I got really skinny. And then I read A Course on Miracles, and I thought that I could be like Jesus. Don't even get me started on The Book of Mormon. That Had to be the first book to capture my imagination. My parents would sit us down in front of the TV and think that they were fulfilling their spiritual destiny by having us watch cartoons about the battles of Nephi and Moroni.

Right from the beginning, your novel, “The Better Face of Fascism” (Expat Press) reminded me a lot of Tropic of Cancer.

We might have spoke about this on Twitter, but have you read much Miller? I feel you belong to the same school — writers that create a distinctive voice to tell personal stories that are woven into a myth until the truth and the fiction are all intertwined.

I have a soft spot for confessional/first person writing like that because it takes a special talent to just “rant” for 200 pages and keep your reader hypnotized not so much because of the story but a vibrant narrative voice that could read off a shopping list and turn it into literature.

I remember watching a Henry Miller documentary on YouTube where he’s walking through this old neighborhood in Brooklyn and he’s telling all these great stories about his life back then — and that’s who he was, a guy who liked to talk, a great conversationalist, telling anyone who would listen stories about his life. And he just happened to start putting them down on paper.

Did you like telling stories as a little kid, and having long conversations into the morning hours?

I realize now that when I was a kid, way before I even put anything to pen, I was always lying. Always telling these crazy lies to anybody who would listen. They were, for the most part, innocent lies but I now can see that it was storytelling.

Henry Miller, as an American writer, stands out as one of those great authors to transform his life experiences into art by "somewhat" honestly examining his own life through his failures. Not much censorship of his thoughts and feelings and desires. I love the idea of examining yourself, or maybe even being your own therapist.

Was bibles born from that same desire to examine yourself ?

I don't particularly love talking. I talk a lot though, and I'm usually chastising myself after wards. I come home and squeeze the guilt and motive behind my conversation onto the screen. Miller, I have read a lot of. My friend was into him before I was, and I wanted to be like my friend, so I gave Miller a shot. What struck me was how much like a painting his writing was. I loved how he would be on and then off. I could let my brain ride his books, and it naturally would hold on and focus and then release and relax. In this way, I've been able to create a window into worlds within and beyond the world. I have always felt that if I'm going to write, I'm going to do it in a way that is not simply spitting out the skeletal map of a movie. It's a sacrifice that I'm making. It had better be worth it. It is my path to God. Growing up Mormon, I was taught to take my talent and nurture it. It becomes the tree of life. Selling it is the worst thing a person can do - next to giving it away. I miss the church in some ways. Bearing my testimony is one of those ways. My writing is a way for me to clean my soul. When I confess, I am able to let emotions out of me. My problems can become something external to me. They are the true enemy, whatever the actual sin may be. It's case work. It's progress. Victory is a hot shower. Nothing colors battles better than writing. Paired with music, you can extend or contract your moments and reach deeper through them than many understand possible. 

Can you talk more about growing up as a Mormon, and how it has informed your writing in any way?

Growing up Mormon could be the best thing that ever happened to me. It kept me safe, and it blessed me with the priesthood. We are talking about the Lord's secret service. They are called to people's lives through their homes. For all they know, they're saving souls. They can't be called Mormons anymore -- You can't even call them LDS. The proper term is members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It's something that the prophet announced a few weeks ago. No more pageants either. There's something rotten in Denmark. Today's Mormonism is quite different than it was at its founding. Joseph Smith died, and things moved to Salt Lake. Brigham the builder got to work. I'm living in a church state. It's something that I tend to forget as I churn Guns n' Roses through the shop's speakers, my book dangling like it's my balls, out and over the counter, baiting someone to write a negative review. I'm holding the doctrine in my hands, the living light. I'm putting it in yours, and I'm saying, "It's okay. You're relieved. You can sit back. You can unpeel. I'm working us into negativity. I'm aiming for obliteration."

Calling myself bibles wasn't arbitrary. I live in a religion that has a few. Joseph Smith was a long way back, and God is still among us. How does a person capture the holy ghost? Become the worthy vessel? We can't be dealing in terms that we're familiar with. These different religions aren't aiming to understand a facet of the whole; their name's a stamp for the truth. Everyone not within the sphere will be forever shed into eternal darkness. The choppy waters that drown coldly. That's what my future holds. All for trying to save somebody. True prophets in today's LDS church. This city of saints. A hole on the map at the bottom of which is a gunfight. Standing there taking fire. Hunching over. My back / the vertebrae / further expanded. I'm dragging myself through the days. I need to touch the electricity. I have cured baldness. We're programmers, bro.

What is your writing schedule like? Do you listen to music? Do you do it via computer? Do you think about a book a lot before you start writing?

Also, I wanted to tell you I love the title of your book: The Better Face of Fascism.

It reminds of
 Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño. It feels like a title he would choose.

I like titles that make you wonder what the book is about before you read them like: Catcher in the Rye, A Confederacy of Dunces, and Tropic of Cancer.

I feel your title can go right up there with these others.

How did you come up with the title for this book?

My writing schedule is out of whack. It's been like that ever since the baby came. Right now, one of my goals is to get more sleep, but I used to stay up and write deep into the night. I need to be alone. I'm the sole provider. I have a full-time job. My wife is a stay at home mom. Back when I was writing more straight forward fiction, it wasn't such a problem. Now, when I talk about having sex with babies, or I bitch about my work, I've got to be alone. So, I'm writing on my lunch break, but my coworkers keep popping up behind me, and my brain starts to fray as I flip tabs like a porno watching pubescent swiveling the kitchen TV's turntable of American Pie away from my mom. I have also been writing in the mornings, before work. Another reason to go to bed earlier. It's not going great. Maybe the quality is up. Hard to say when I'm sitting here, groggy, trying to rapidly pump posts onto my Telegram, which is the first stage. Quick, constant, current. That's something that my dad taught me. 

I don't remember what caused me to land on the title. I remember throwing it on the doc, and then feeling it stick to a bunch of aspects. People think that the book is a kind of manifesto; if it is, then it's in the undercurrents. So, yes, to answer the music question: I do. AI, grace, and the randomness of curation all contribute to the revelation of the holy ghost. I think about a book like a person thinks about a math problem or a crush or a killer. It's a case to me. Writing the book in the structure of a book, this last time, was a challenge. I've got machines working to collate my scattered documentation as I progress. The problem is that sometimes setting those machines up becomes a distraction, and I'm all about ridding my process of distractions. So, a book is a box, and it's wooden. Not a lot of stuff is made from wood anymore. I love it. It's artisanal; but it takes a carpenter woodworking to fit something the scope of literature within a coffin like that. At times you have to clip wings or crush dimensions to make the thing fit. Those are the laws of physics. I can't help feeling like I've been there, and I know that we as a species have, so I work a different medium.

But we can call cases books. They're just different. I don't want to get bogged down in those details. I acknowledge that it's my responsibility to harness language skillfully to accomplish the primary task. I don't think much about the book until I'm in the book. The book seems to start when I'm in it. A person shouldn't go looking for ideas. I understand that we have to work. It's just that there are books hanging from our inboxes all the time. To me, it's a ringing call approaching through peace. You follow it to its end. You get it to shut up. You kill it before it kills you. 

That seems to be the life of the working writer — finding the time and energy to write.

The pressure of your main character to write no matter what is boiling over. He has a baby on the way, he has to work, has to deal with a whole new responsibility and yet most of what he thinks about is writing and how he’s going to get the book done.

I felt the spirit from Tropic of Capricorn beaming from the main character.

It hits home, that moment when he’s realizing he just has to get it done — the act of writing it down- it’s no longer a holy, spiritual thing where he has to go to a private room and write in peace for a few hours. He doesn’t have that luxury. He has to write in any little moment he can find or else he will never finish anything.

Do you feel like writing helps with your spirituality? Has it replaced your “religion?”

For many writers it’s a Holy act that must be done no matter what.

What other works of art inspired this book?

Writing has replaced religion for me. You're right about there not being a holy sanctuary. My desk is gone. The baby's crib is connected to it. If I type, she wakes up. I'm a factory, vaping like a steam engine. Pardon my crankiness, by the way; I'm detoxing -- running on fumes. Weed costs so much. It's a major chunk of my paycheck. I haven't told my wife that I'm running low. I'm trapped like the last samurai in front of a TV. The cable is a feeding tube pumping babysitter gas into my mind. I watch too much. My wife loves it, and we're not talking The Criterion Collection. We watch 90 Day Fiance. Jonas Brothers. Bear Grylls. It's a prison, and she's keeping my eyes propped open. I'm telling her that I want to put on some music. She's crushing my playlists with PinkFong. She's bored. She wants me to brush her hair. Two hands. Full attention. Search for a white. That kind of thing.

Every moment that I can, I have to pull out the machine. I've said it once, and I'll say it again: it's an LMG. Typing into my phone constricts my soul. When you've got to do it, you've got to do it. Twitter is about all that I can handle, and that's fine. Here I am though, now, with you, at home, fending off soul death by letting off some steam, filling up the screen, adding to the scroll, handing over my password and saying -- here you go New Pop Lit -- here's the stupid author that you were looking for. Your Tiger Woods. Ernest Hemingway. Jack Kerouac. I just want to be like, let 'er rip. Let it out. Let it be free. I'm finally dead. Make a bot. Keep it going. That sort of thing. But obviously Celine is a major influence. This is what I'm talking about when I'm talking about Henries though. I mean, like, idols, others. Glued to the Neutral Spaces chat to see if someone is holding me to the flame. Trying to keep on because I haven't shaved my face in weeks. Stupid asshole. Maybe I'll do it tomorrow. I'm supposed to be going to my parents' or my sister's (who has a house, unlike me, even though she's the younger of us two children, and we both have the same amount of children (1) even though she's got another one inside of her, and I found out that she miscarried not long ago, which is something that my wife and I (should I call her Musette here?) have never done).

Writing can be thrilling. That's what I like about it. I don't have time to read. I can't be inconvenienced to pull out a book on the train. I'm supposed to be keeping up a Goodreads account, praising Atticus as I roll through his book, and Homeless, but I can't. I'm not like the rest of the lit crew. Makes me feel like a podunk. I don't have everybody's latest copy. Why should they buy mine? Pointing at me and calling me illiterate is what I feel like they're going to do. They're in my head. The henries, or the horde. Hard for me to tell the difference, but we are talking about Henry Miller, so those types get a higher podium position -- obviously. They're billed into the credits. We feel for them. They have stories. They're Negan or Glen, and I'm Rick Grimes, impaled by the white horse, popping shots from my LMG into the jungle. Cigar between my teeth, monkey on my back. Helicopter explosion at the bridge. Ride on Space Cowboy. That sort of thing.

I do listen to music though. I try to capture the sensation of an author's experience, doing what I can to bring that as close to the audience as possible so that we can experience it together; but music is a gateway drug. It's bringing me closer to the blood of myself, which is where we connect on a cellular level. You can listen to music while you read, and your music will do something to you like how my music does something to me. It's a shared personal experience. Forget about movies for a second. The Criterion Collection, etc. We're not talking about Ninety Day Fiance anymore. What we have here is a man with his struggle, just like you, even if you're a woman, or I honestly don't know all of the things that a person can be, and please, just let that be okay for me. My doughnut is already on the ground. The neon war is in the works. It's in the dishes. The baby in the crib. Our desk connection. As we lift higher together, our stations in tune (which is what I call the holy ghost or the grace of God). PayPal is ringing even though the book says the N-word, and I am white -- in case you were wondering. Just because Billy Ray Cyrus can get away with it doesn't mean that I can. I can't, however, deny that I see myself in him. The black community knocking at my notifications. I'm pissing my robe, homophobic, transphobic, agoraphobic, et al. Little white boy bitch, spitting on prison cliques, praying for suicide without wanting to die, trying to write because it seems like God is the only one that can save me, and I'm sitting here in this interview. You're saying that I'm Henry Miller. I'm saying that I've got to kill him because this is the age of bibles. The phase that we're in. My phase anyways. To you, I'm an NPC, but I'm not trying to kill you. I'm not trying to kill any of the other people who are dancing on my mind either. I'm just trying to kill the version of them that's actually doing it so that I can go on to dance within other people's minds, having a mind of my own, a hero -- not a zombie.

The Lit world, not matter which one you may be referring to, does have that kind incestual quality about it.

It’s hard to keep up with all the books and presses — which there are so many great writers from independent publishers now.

it’s about your own tastes and what you’re into.

But I remember watching the Oprah Interview with Cormac McCarthy, and he told her that he doesn’t socialize with writers. He prefers scientists and folks from other industries. I found that really interesting and it made sense to me.

The reading/writing is a tricky thing and I see your point.

I don’t feel like you have to read a whole lot of stuff.

You have to know how to read the right books and be able to identify what it is in those books that will be useful in your own work.

You can learn a lot from rereading your favorite novel every year.

But writing is a narcissistic craft in the way that a writer is falling in love with their own voice, so other people can fall in love with his/her voice as well.

How did you land on that voice from your book? Did it come naturally? Did you have many false starts?

Your writer’s voice is natural and captivating that even your answers to these questions feel like good prose.

What’s your advice for writers looking for their own unique voice?

And last question, Bukowski has on his tombstone — “Don’t Try.” 

What would you like written on your tombstone when it’s all said and done?

I as well am of the opinion that there's a lot of great writing out there. The presses are blowing up with it. I can't take it in. I'm not one of those who's going to bash this or that writer. Most of what I read, I enjoy. My main problem is that I don't have the time for damn near any of it. I'm unable to answer the question of whether I'm worse for it. I spend a lot of time on my phone. I get distracted away from the television because I'm scrolling Twitter or some chatroom, waiting anxiously for more content to appear. I'm focused on that aspect of the lit world. I deal with books all day, everyday. Shelving them and protecting their jackets. A beautiful book is a thing to behold, but I'm not that guy. I'm the guy who is up late at the coffee shop with cigarettes. I stare and I think -- not for long though. My connection to this life is carnal. People are threatening my family. I have to move through the bureaucracy. I am a cow in the grinder. The drama, the narrative, the where are we going? What's going to happen? How can I get this across to someone without the story losing its magic? That sort of thing is what I'm trying to bring forward.

If anything, my tombstone will say "I tried." It can't be said that I didn't reach for the needle. I've been as present as I could be. I have tried to disconnect my attachments to the past. I've been looking for a way to go further. So much of what I have been seeing in the lit scene has been a scraping against a ceiling. I am concerned with the other side, the sky and space. Flying is easy. It just feels impossible, and you get frustrated when you find yourself stuck to the ground. It requires a dreamlike atmosphere, which we are provided with in this realm of imagination. Here, in the future of the past that we left behind with the skins of Henry, we are beyond simply a showing over telling; now we're really doing it. Even from where you're standing, we can do things with what we've done.

In answer to your other question, I found my voice not by adding what not or ever to the atmosphere and saying, "Look, I've got a face!" I felt the voice running around inside of me, and like me, it wanted to pop through. We knew that we needed to team up. Sure, I'm being sliced from the bone, but tomorrow I'm diluted into the season of abandonment where men shouldn't be unless they're divorced, or they never got married or had that kid that I'm always talking about. Truth be told, I've become a patron saint for parents. It was never my intention -- as such, I can tell you that life is so much harder and more frightening once you've pulled an organ that runs wild to get hit by cars or has its pussy murder sliced by a fan of all the handsome Bundy fame.

YOU CAN BUY THE BETTER FACE OF FASCISM @ Expat Press's site:  & a review by Anthony Dragonetti at Neutral Spaces

Sunday, April 28, 2019

This Modern Man is Beat on Amazon Prime

This Modern Man is Beat is on Amazon Prime. Watch it today. Based on my short story of the same name. Directed by the brilliant Alex Merkin and adapted to screen by David Schroeder.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Rarity of the Century Review Over at Neutral Spaces


"If you need a book in your life that covers Rapture-like events, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, communist Cuba, and the frustrations of being kind of a dork but filled with extremely youthful horniness and concepts of love, step right up. If you didn’t know you needed all of those things in one book, well, now you know."

-Anthony Dragonetti, Neutral Spaces, Book Review

Monday, January 14, 2019

An Interview with Giacomo Pope, Founder of Neutral Spaces

Give me a little bio of yourself and how you started writing and doing music.

Little Bio: Recently Giacomo has been writing poems and releasing spoken word music. When not doing those things, he is writing his thesis on black holes and running Neutral Spaces.

The spoken word music started with a love of Adam Gnade’s “Run Hide Retreat Surrender” and a little later Listener’s “Wooden Heart”. For years I was writing different types of music, generally always with my two best friends Tom and Finn. It was only in the past couple years I tried my hand at the spoken word music itself. I sent Sam a long-shot email asking whether he’d be up for it and I ended up with an inbox full with recordings from the whole of “Your Glass Head Against the Brick Parade of Now Whats”.

I totally fell in love with the process of listening, responding and creating around the world of Sam’s poems. I spent weekends sat with Finn in the little room in my house recording the EP. Some of my happiest memories are from when Finn and I lined everything up and the tracks seemed to just burst with life.

A little bit after, while still writing the EP with Sam I approached Zoë ( after listening to her read. I loved the melody in her voice and a few months back we finally released that EP as well.

Approached another author which I’m really excited about - but I’ve learnt not to talk big about things until they’re finished.

How did you get the idea for Neutral Spaces? What is your ultimate goal with the project?

When I first noticed your tweets online regarding Neutral Spaces I thought it was a wonderful idea, specially the non-profit aspect kind of reminded me of Wikipedia.

I also liked the idea of an online encyclopedia of contemporary writers with links to all their work.

As a writer I do want to thank you for this. I enjoy the community aspect of it, because you get to discover other people’s work.

The idea wasn't really a "cooked" idea. The whole process has been really impulsive and has been edited/moulded as it's got more attention. I think the seed for the site came from a few things.

One was a sadness that came from the ugliness of “Black Friday” and Christmas spending. I was getting hundreds of emails a day telling me to buy shit. It fucking sucked. On top of that, I was trying to explore people’s work and I’d end up on a wordpress site, filled with ads and it just bummed me out to see my friends using such shitty platforms.

Another inspiration came from a Tweet Elle Nash made about how after Tumblr started banning porn, she wanted to move her site. It struck me that writers were giving up control of their work and that’s total bullshit.

I guess all those things together ended up in me wanting to carve out a space without any of that. There’s no “writer of the week” or “buy this specific book” it’s just a big alphabetical list filled with art. I like that.

It feels really good to be able to use my nerdy side to champion my friends.

As a result, there’s no ultimate goal. The project is bigger than I ever thought it would be, which is incredible.

I have a tumblr and I got it because I didn’t really have anything else except for my lit blog: mi patria Es la literatura.

I have friends that tell me I need to get a “professional” website but I’m not really to into that much self promotion.

When I saw your offer on twitter I liked the idea. It was very earnest and kind of you to offer yourself to help writers collect all their work in one place.

How did you run into Sam Pink’s work?

Are you a fan of past spoken words albums like Kerouac with Steve Allen? Poetry for the Bear Generation?

I think the subject of self promotion is really difficult. I’ve always struggled with finding a balance between wanting to shout about the work I’m proud of and not wanting to be too-ego or too boring when it comes to my presence on social media and self-promotion.

I still don’t have the answers.

In fact, Neutral Spaces was a way for me to deal with my latest EP release. I was spending so much energy trying to promote my music, this was a nice way to distract myself. It was an extension of my “every time you want to tweet to get attention about yourself, write a tweet promoting art that you love” mantra that I’ve been working with recently. I think it’s helping.

I can’t remember how I found Sam’s work. A long time ago I somehow found Nosferatu ( by Noah. I just remember reading it over and over. I hadn’t read anything like it before. Bearparade is still up there with my favourite websites of all time. I think I found Sam through Noah and maybe bear parade was through Vice? I dunno.

Anyway, I first really got into Sam's writing when I was travelling through the states. I managed to get hold of Rontel, Person and I am going to clone myself… at Powell's as I passed through Portland. I remember the books had this massive affect on me. My internal voice changed and the whole world felt different. Sam's way of writing about the world made helped me understand it better. I really think he's up there with the best of all time.
I’m mainly into more punk spoken word than the Beat stuff, but I wanna support it all. Poetry and Music should be friends

I remember Nosferatu!

I always felt that there’s a strong connection between music and the written word.

There’s music in poems and in novels. There musicality in a clean page of prose.

Was your first love music ?

What was your musical education like?

For example — I was born in El Salvador and I remember my brother collected records and i still remember some of them: Iron Maiden: Kill Em

All, The Tom Tom Club, Michael
Jackson: Thriller and Kiss: Dynasty.

When I moved to the USA as a kid I was into hair bands and then got really obsessed with the blues: people like Son House, Robert Johnson and Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Then I saw the Doors movie and after hearing the Velvet Underground in that Factory scene - I just became obsessed with Lou Reed and the VU which I listen to this day. Eventually i got into rap and techno and other alternative acts.

Also, how has music influenced your own poetry and vice versa?

Yeah, it was music first. When I was younger I found reading hard. I could never focus on books, it wasn’t until I was at university that I really got into reading. Poetry was even harder. School made me think it was just writing with extra rules. Counting syllables or finding rhyming words always seemed like a strange way to try and express yourself.

Music ed. wise I learnt guitar after I got my cousin’s old guitar. I played pretty obsessively for a while and after by GCSEs (16-17 years old) I went to art school to study music. I ended up dropping out after a year though and since turning 18 everything has been DIY.

Musician wise I feel overwhelmed trying to talk about all of the influences I’ve had.

Recently my partner and I went to a Karaoke bar to celebrate her birthday. They [her & her friends] did Earth Song. It triggered a memory of me stood in my Dad’s work, watching the music video and crying.

Lou Reed is amazing. Totally with you on that. Techno is a funny one, because recently I’ve been really getting into it. Acts like “Giant Swan”, “I hate Models” or the older electronic stuff like “Burials” are some of my most listened to albums now. I used to work in a pub / bar and the owner would always tell me I’d stop listening to metal one day and that I’d love techno. I used to just dismiss him. Sorry Dan.

Speaking of, have you listened to the Gil Scott Heron remix by Jamie XX? That’s a really cool piece of spoken word music.

As for me, I dunno how music and my poetry are related really. Sometimes people read it and say it’s musical. Other people say that it’s obvious I’m a mathematician from my poems instead. I don’t know what that means. I think maybe people like to say these things after they find out I do music or maths as a way to try and express that they understand me better.

I have not heard the Gil Scott Heron remix but I will be looking into it.

I did listen to the Gil Scott Heron track “Who Will Survive in America” In Kanye’s MBDTF and I looked up some of his stuff on YouTube.

I really need to listen to more spoken word stuff. I haven’t listened too much. Except for the Beat stuff I find on Spotify.

So you’re a mathematician? Majoring in mathematics?

I hated math in elementary school and in community college I had to take remedial classes and I just didn’t click with it until I met a teacher in college that had such a passion for it that it made me look at it in another way.

He was a Cuban refugee, former MIG fighter pilot and even spoke Russian. I took one remedial class with him but sometimes I wonder if I would had him in grade school how different my life would be because with my disdain for math, my love for writing and books grew.

But now when I write stories or novels, I try to look at it as a math problem that only I can find the answer to. Many times, I find that a lot of the issues in a story or novel or whatever can be solved by fleshing out the symmetry of a piece.

i hope you enjoy it. That LP is one of my favs.

I’m doing a PhD in theoretical physics. So it’s a bit of maths & a bit of physics.

I think that’s true with all teaching (maybe maths more so). A good teacher shows you the joy in learning about the subject. Maths suffers twice as hard from the harshness of it being right / wrong. Teachers can really destroy a student’s self confidence by not encouraging growth. A lot of people are left behind by bad teachers and left feeling alienated or stupid by the subject.

I like the sound of using problem solving for your work. That seems nice.

I guess for me the writing is an escape from analytical thought. A place where I don’t have to be so strict. A lot of the contemporary poets I love are writing poems that seem super charged with emotional truths but leave all other rules aside. I think that is powerful.

Who are some of the contemporary poets that you’re reading now?

Any novels/poetry books that you reread every year or keep coming back to?

Some UK based poets who I want to shout about are Jack Underwood, Emily Berry, Sophie Collins, Rebecca Perry and Sophie Robinson. I recommend losing yourself in their work. I hope that I can introduce some of my American friends to these people by mentioning them now.

Cristine Brache’s recent book tore my heart out. It’s wonderful.

When I visited new york last month I picked up some stuff at random and discovered Amy Lawless, Katie Fuller and Emily Skillings. I was really impressed and inspired by those.

Noah’s Nature Documentary and Shy Watson’s Cheap yellow are two of my favourite poetry books I read last year. I’ve gone back to those again and again. In particular “I cant help you, dad” by Noah. That poem made me realise some stuff I was trying to ignore.

I talk about how much I love Sam’s writing all the time, but I can’t not mention him. I think I’ve been more inspired to create in all forms by Sam than anyone else.

Richard Silken’s “crush” is another poetry book I carry around with me a lot. I find it really inspiring. I don’t actually know how old that is, maybe it’s not “contemporary”.

Non-poetry wise the work I go back to most is the work Édouard Levé. Every time I go back to his work I feel like electricity runs through my blood.

Another writer who I feel like I can’t learn enough from is Markson. There’s always more juice from his fruits. Both in the context of the content of his writing as well as the form.

Eimear McBride has a book called “a girl is a half formed thing”. It feels like reading someone who has perfected the ability to use and manipulate language. I open that book and just dive in when I want to remember there’s always more rules to break.
Stephan Dixon’s “His Wife Leaves Him” is for me the ultimate book of consciousness. Stunning.

That’s probably too much isn’t it. I’ll just stop typing now.

Oh shit. No.

Elizabeth Ellen’s poetry book last year needs to be added to the top books.

Holy shit I love her work.

Person/a changed my life.

Fuck! Add that in. Can’t miss out EE!!!

You mentioned a lot of poets I’m not familiar with.

I am taking notes and will be googling names.

On a side note, I just received your e-mail regarding the Neutral Spaces project and I’m planning to contribute my part to it soon.

This is a great idea! The Miami Herald used to have a Sunday Magazine called the Tropic that serialized a short novel composed of thirteen chapters written by different writers. Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard each wrote a chapter.

In a short period of time I’ve already noticed writers taking part in the Neutral Spaces are already discovering other writers and sharing links and talking to new people. Everybody is checking out each other’s work and discovering stuff that was published old and new pieces.

What is your dream for the future of this project ?

I hope you enjoy the UK poets. They’re really talented writers.

I’m glad you like the project. I have no idea how the stream will go. Whether people will like it or not or when I decide it’s “finished”. I guess I’ll just wait and see.

Someone earlier described it as a literary exquisite corpse. I like that.

Yeah!! People finding new writers through the site is so beautiful. I love that. Makes me so happy to know that the site is clean and simple enough that people feel a desire to explore.

The lucky dip is popular too. That’s cool.

I don’t have a solid dream future. I want to be able to help as many people as I can. So a short term goal is just to keep producing interesting ideas and projects to try and reach new people.

I want Neutral Spaces to be a hub for emerging authors. Something that people grow out of. A place where people can place their work when they’re still finding their way.

Maybe I’ll have a good idea one morning and a true dream will appear. For now I just want to help. To be a support for a scene of authors who I love and respect.