Poet Interview #33 – Ryan Hardgrove

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? At what age did you start writing? Have you always written poetry? Who/what first inspired you to start writing? Who are your favorite poets?

I’ll be 30 in August. So, I’ve been writing for 8 years. I used to write when I was young, before girls and booze and drugs. Then I stopped until I was about 22. I was traveling a lot for this new out of college engineer gig. I ended up quitting less than two years in. There were a handful of factors playing into the decision to quit, but mostly because I started reading and writing and talking with a different group of people.

In those lonely hotel rooms, I found Bukowski and Fante and Kerouac, peddling in the streets. They convinced me to quit my job actually. The biggest reason, absolutely. I wish I could write novels like Steinbeck; he is the best. But, instead, my words come out in these page long sentences, slicing here and there for effect.

How do you first start writing a poem? Does it come to you out of the blue, or do you have a set time where you meet with your Muse each day and let the words just … come? Has your idea of what poetry is changed since you began writing poetry?

I try to write as often as possible. I try to dump my experience after being processed as quickly as possible. But, when I write well, it’s fast and hurts and forces me to ride along walls in my tiny house until I make it to the basement where I’ll hammer away for a while. When it happens like that, it’s always good—feels good anyway.

I try not to focus on an idea of anything. But poetry should be (if nothing else), real. It should be tasty too; it should make you wish you wrote it. It should bring you to your feet in the middle of the night. Writing poetry does that more for me. Reading poetry used to do it for me. Now it just makes me write.

Are you on Facebook or Twitter or any other social media? Does that fit into your writing life, and if so, how?

I am on Facebook. I have my writer page there. Mostly because it’s free and I’m lazy. I don’t utilize social media enough. Unfortunately, only being 29, I have an old soul—or so I’ve been told.

Do you have a writing group or community of writers you share your work with? Who are they? What are you reading right now?

My favorite writer around here is John Korn, around here being Pittsburgh. I send him my shit, my dad, my musician friend, a few other real people who domesticate their thoughts to a computer a few hours a day.

I read children’s books to my son at night. The last book I read (quickly and truly) was probably Steinbeck “In Dubious Battle,” great story. There is always a doc character in Steinbeck and he always longs to join the protagonist in their dubious quest but is bound by the law of science and figures why pick a side while we burn down the world.

What words of encouragement can you offer other poets who are trying to get their work noticed?

Take advice from the people in your life you love and respect and trust. Not from me. But don’t write if isn’t real. But you already know that.

The Spin of Society

Two Poems
by Heath Brougher

Oil and Water

I haven’t been found
of a peaceful mind
in so long if ever trulyI’ve been always at odds
with the overall masque
the vanity of modernAmerica with its
Manmade realities
haunting the populacea society of people
who don’t want to
explore their mindssoon enough Thought will be thrown its death
impaled upon the white picket fences of suburbia.

Curriculums

I am always alwaysing my way through life
                        turnstiling through these days
made of illusion and lies

the hamster wheel spinneth eternal
                        …fan rotation and so on…

until I
unlatch from this loop
to see that circular paths are false

for the Truth lives within the Spiral.

to unsnag the grindstone endlessly turning

one must disconnect oneself
in order to stop this massively insane friction.

———-

Heath Brougher attended Temple University. He is the poetry editor of Five 2 One Magazine. He is the author of the chapbook A Curmudgeon Is Born (Yellow Chair Press, 2016). His work has appeared or is due to be published in Diverse Voices Quarterly, Chiron Review, SLAB, Main Street Rag, *82 Review, Of/with, Gold Dust, Third Wednesday, Red Fez, eFiction India, and elsewhere.

Poet Interview #32 – Heath Brougher

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? At what age did you start writing? Have you always written poetry? Who/what first inspired you to start writing? Who are your favorite poets?

I started off on Poe before moving onto Cummings, William Carlos Williams, Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, and Gregory Corso. I didn’t tell anyone I knew personally that I wrote until I began submitting my work for publication at the age of 34 which was only 2 years ago.

How do you first start writing a poem? Does it come to you out of the blue, or do you have a set time where you meet with your Muse each day and let the words just … come? Has your idea of what poetry is changed since you began writing poetry?

An idea will pop into my head and I’ll think I can turn it into something more by expanding on just a few lines later. I always carry a little notebook and a pen around for just such occasions.

Your debut chapbook “A Curmudgeon Is Born” was recently published through Yellow Chair Press. Can you give us some insight into this this collection?

The poems in the book are intended to spiral out and “into the Truth.” The book is about the misled lives we lead, being the outsider in a land of disillusioned maniacs, and the importance of the Truth within the Spiral.

Do you have any other projects in the works at the moment?

I have at least 7 other projects I’m working on right now. I’ve just recently decided to pick one, stick to it, and get it completed. Right now the only fully edited chapbook I have is titled “Your Noisy Eyes” which finished in 3rd place in The Bitchin’ Kitsch’s Annual Chapbook Competition. I foresee myself taking some time off of submitting to journals in order to fully edit a few of these books and begin submitting them. The other week I counted how many books I had ready to begin typing up and editing throughout all of the notebooks I’ve filled during my life and there were at least, 37 of them (not notebooks, but books within notebooks ready to be typed up) so I’ve got a lot of typing and editing to do.

Are you on Facebook or Twitter or any other social media? Does that fit into your writing life, and if so, how?

I am on Facebook but horribly inept concerning all things computer. I use Facebook to promote my writing. Other than that, I can’t stand all this social media stuff.

Do you have a writing group or community of writers you share your work with? Who are they? What are you reading right now?

I just finished Sarah Frances Moran’s new book “Evergreen” (due out July 1st from Weasel Press) yesterday which was amazing. This was having after read Dustin Pickering’s new chapbook “Salt and Sorrow” which is about as deep of a book as you can possibly find. I’m also reading Clifford Brooks “The Draw of Broken Eyes and Whirling Metaphysics.” On top of that I just received Alan Britt’s “Infinite Days” which I cannot wait to fully dive into.

What words of encouragement can you offer other poets who are trying to get their work noticed?

Just be True to yourself and the world as you see it. If you write the Truth and don’t worry about what other people think of it, you can accomplish great things if you just keep working hard enough. If you are into submitting to journals, just let the rejection letters roll right off your back and keep at it. If you have something special, eventually someone will wise up to it.

The Heart’s Dark Rapture

Shadow Soul
by Ken Allan Dronsfield

Yes, I shall freely admit, I love you,
as those dark creatures that stalk
the night are begging to be loved;
concealed in icy graying shadows
or a blackened cold haunted heart.
Albeit the Sun now just a blurred,
or starving evanescent memory.
Our faith is born after twilight;
whilst creeping among wispy
thoughts of anguished despair.
Raise hands high to hide even a
star shine as dark now be praised.
Walk the hushed paths and keep
faithless desires locked deep within.
I shall always be but a whisper away,
once the candles are extinguished.
For I’ll secretly ride upon the steamy
ribbons of impassioned desires within
your essence. Pursuing the rapture
while I chain the evil inner demons;
Shadow Souls waltz to a fiery flair.

—–

Ken Allan Dronsfield is a Published Poet and Author originally from New Hampshire, now residing in Oklahoma. His published work can be found in Journals, Blogs and Magazines throughout the Web.

Poet Interview #31 – Ken Allan Dronsfield

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I was born in the 50’s and was brought up in the small New Hampshire town of Hampton, along the Atlantic Ocean. After spending years in the military, I drove long haul trucks for many years. Writing has always been a part of my life.

At what age did you start writing?

I started writing at the age of 12 or 13. I had gotten a guitar and while learning to play, decided to write my own songs. Have you always written poetry? No, starting with song lyrics, I also enjoyed writing short stories which then slowly developed into an absolute life long obsession with poetry.

Who/what first inspired you to start writing?

Music, 100%.

Who are your favorite poets?

Edgar Allan Poe, Leonard Cohen, Charles Bukowski, Sylvia Plath.

How do you first start writing a poem? Does it come to you out of the blue, or do you have a set time where you meet with your Muse each day and let the words just … come? Has your idea of what poetry is changed since you began writing poetry?

I have often said, my muse knows no clock, nor any subjective inspiration. There are times when I simply cannot stop writing, and then others when I despise even writing my name. It comes when it comes, it might be a picture, an article, a TV show, or a simple conversation with someone….and suddenly, it’s time to write. I do not WRITE with pen or paper….I use my computers, PC or laptop to write everything….I use a small recorder which goes with me everywhere to record thoughts, phases, ideas, etc…

Are you on Facebook or Twitter or any other social media? Does that fit into your writing life, and if so, how?

Yes, I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. I use them to promote poems, celebrate publishing successes, keeping in touch with my friends, and to store many poems in a Facebook page. I do this in case my hard drive crashes, I can always get to my work through Facebook.

Do you have a writing group or community of writers you share your work with? Who are they? What are you reading right now?

Yes, I’m a member of several Poetry and Writing Groups, the main one is “Contemporary Poets, Works, Projects, News, Links & Sites” of which I was Co-Editor of the new poetry Anthology, “Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze” available at Amazon.com. The book contains works from 53 new and established poets all from the Group. I’m currently reading “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen. I started reading it years ago, but never finished.

What words of encouragement can you offer other poets who are trying to get their work noticed?

I think the best encouragement I can give is….write for yourself before anyone or anything else. YOU are your own worst critic and your best cheerleader. Join reputable Facebook Poetry Groups that you feel you can trust posting the labor of your love. Go to the journal, magazine, blog you wish to submit to and take some time there reading their guidelines and past issues of what they have been publishing.