A Ten Question Interview With The Artist… Katie White

Why do you write?

I can’t not write; I just always have. I also get a huge burst of joy when a sentence becomes perfect—it’s like a drug.

What books do you read?

Currently my reading has veered out of my norm. I was hugely affected by the death of Scott Weiland, which is strange because I never cared much for Stone Temple Pilots. And everyone knew he was a junkie—how long could he have lasted? It just seems that creative people of my generation (Gen X) don’t last long, and I’m now morbidly obsessed with that. I read his second ex-wife’s (Mary Forsberg) memoir a few years back. I just read Scott’s. Then I began reading other musicians of the same era. I just finished Kim Gordon’s (from Sonic Youth), Duff McKagen’s and Slash’s because they were in Velvet Revolver with Weiland and I wanted a fuller picture of those days together, and Chrissy Hynde’s (from the Pretenders). Sitting on my night table are a few others of my same era that I haven’t gotten to yet. Michele Tea, for example—brilliant Gen X writer.

What inspires you?

Life and other writers. The addiction of making a perfect sentence.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer and when?

I always knew. I finally accepted it in earnest around 18 or 19.

How do you deal with rejection?

Horribly. Like a child.

Who are some writers you admire?

Oh, well have a seat. I admire a ton of writers! Catherine Texier is up there for me. Her prose is poetry and never self-aggrandizing, which I greatly admire. Audre Lorde, S.E. Hinton (stay gold, Ponyboy… Actually, if I ever get knuckle tattoos, they’ll say “Stay Gold”), Tom Robbins’ whimsy, Charles Bukowski for lack of pretense and general drunken jackassery, both Anais Nin and Henry Miller (because: sexy), Nabokov, Paulo Coelho, Ivan Coyote, Ali Liebegott who writes epic poems and poetry disguised as prose, Allen Ginsberg, but not Kerouac (how many folks did I just anger?), Sylvia Plath’s Ariel (I have so many of her words tattooed on me), Dorothy Parker for her dry, dry, dry wit, bell hooks, Alice Walker (her poetry in Horses Make a Landscape More Beautiful really helped push me to accept I was a writer. I was 18 or 19, as I mentioned previously, a metal sculpture major at the time and my professor said he needed more art in my sculptures because all he saw were words. He was right. And they were all from Horses Make a Landscape More Beautiful.), the fire of Penny Arcade, the stubbornness of Germaine Greer, the poetry of Amiri Baraka, everything about Sonia Sanchez—her feistiness and surprising turns of a phrase, Emily XYZ, and Pablo Neruda. Just to name a few.

Is writing the only artistic medium you do?

Does slow dancing to juke boxes count? I’ve recently started taking origami classes with my mom (I’m a wild one.). I also play with essential oils and make my own serums, face washes, and body washes.

What would be some advice you would give to your younger self?

Lay off the Manic Panic hair dye; that shade of yellow makes you look like a marshmallow Peep.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just write. Edit like a maniac. Workshop. Rewrite. Edit again. Read everything you can get your hands on; get a library card. Get involved in your local writing community—those folks will understand your neurosis’ and support you. Live big, love big, and write succinctly.

What is your writing process?

I’m pretty bad at those because I resent routines that inevitably start to feel like obligations. Since I’ve started putting together a chapbook based off my bonkers dreams, I write my dreams down when I wake, before I get out of bed, before I start to forget them. I rework them later to attempt to make them art.

Katie White - Copy

Kate White currently does freelance writing for a variety of small businesses, ghostwrites for a Pittsburgh-based publishing house, is one of six playwrights for the Beautiful Cadaver Project—from which the play, northeastsouthwest, will be produced and performed at Fringe Festival-Pittsburgh in April 2016, all while working on a small chapbook of poetry-prose based upon her nightly lucid dreams. She holds a double Master’s in Creative Writing and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Memphis. Kate’s been a freelance writer for 15 years, taught nonfiction writing to Bible Belt undergrads, and also rehabbed fighting dogs. Recently, she moved from Memphis back to her hometown of Pittsburgh and shares her life with two catnip-dependent cats and a three-legged wonderdog. Kate has poetry and/or literary nonfiction published or soon to be published in: ninepatch: A Creative Journal of Women’s and Gender Studies; Life As An (Insert Title Here); As It Ought to Be, Saturday Poetry Series Presents; Stone Highway Review; Blue Collar Review; Photosynthesis Magazine; and Phoebe Lit Journal.

 

 

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Hairless Me Breathless by Karen Little

I come here to find the ocean, a frog trapped in a footprint,
a dried out riverbed painted with a child’s colour box. I swim
in my mind to feel how silence sounds, exploring the hidden
mountains, the grass bib around remote specks. I know the brain
of the place only when I sleep; the scent, the misting over eyes,
fogged vision. That’s one way of getting there.

In the space of white fur, black eyes hairless me breathless,
instead of baking toes, rain-drenched, sweet under water.

She writes, ‘It’s different when you’re in love,’ in ink too pale
for such a bold statement. I select from an ever-diminishing heap
of platitudes, write of serial disasters, feelings torn, hurt and despair
over cyclic hurts, embellish anger, mythologise slight offences
to major disasters. Drink away her money and bleat my poetry.
In our self-created universes we are all winners writing history
of our own devising.

I appreciate the unwrapped, naked with purpose. I am not a fixed set
of co-ordinates, you don’t know my position and what I consist of.
I am not yours to map and fold away. During those times when I am not
on a single person’s mind, when only the ticking rise of bubbles in the glass
intrudes on my silence, my silence doesn’t mean you’ve silenced me.

Self-harm doesn’t always involve razor-blades; try pushing everyone
away until you’re alone, surrounded by your own anger, hate or indifference;
it’s very addictive to never defend yourself, to accumulate no allies.
The skin of the world, that tiny tear it didn’t notice, a scratch that to me
feels like a gaping wound, tries to let life in. I stitch it closed. When I have
succeeded I can finally sleep, a slug in the lettuce-rot of my life.

Karen Little

Karen Little trained as a dancer at London Contemporary Dance School, and as a Sculptor at Camberwell School of Art, London. She has performed and exhibited internationally.. She regularly reads her poetry at events and has recently been published in over thirty magazines and anthologies, including Petals in the Pan anthology, Deep Water Literary Journal and Southern Pacific Review.

Never Again, Sir by Paul Tristram

Your use of the word FUCK continually
shows your lack of intellect.
Your insistence in dragging the reader
into the horrible depths of drug addiction
reveals only too clearly
a. You glorify vocally, stubbornly and blindly
from the childish pit you have fallen into.
b. You desperately want to return to the
afore mentioned childish pit.
c. You mistakenly think that you have arrived
at the place where poets finally arrive
coughing up gold, diamonds and other such
precious ornaments.
But it is obvious to everyone but yourself
that you have not.
Alcoholism is a disgusting pre-occupation
you share with millions,
we could all travel down this road.
In college I myself drank about 6 pints
of stout a month,
you are not clever or special.
As for sex, well where shall I start?
your daydreams run riot Mr Tristram.
The act of love making you soil
with your talk of prostitutes, bi-sexual au pairs
and Prozac steadied (Whatever this means?)
council estate sluts.
These topics put to ruin and decay the imagery
and thoughtfulness that make up a poem
of the standard that anyone with common sense
would want to read and take seriously.
Please never darken my letterbox
with this vulgar tripe again.
Good Day, Sir.
I M Wright.

paul bodmin jail

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight; this too may pass, yet. Buy his books ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ (Lit Fest Press) http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1943170096 ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326241036 And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326415204 You can also read his poems and stories here! http://paultristram.blogspot.co.uk/

The Fly by Howie Good

I had never had anything like this before. One morning I just woke up with a chronic buzzing in my head, as if a fly were trapped between my ears. I reacted with minimal hysteria until I developed visual disturbances as well, in the form of stray shadows. “What do you think it is?” I asked pretty much everyone, even the girl with flaxen hair. She said she still had back-to-school shopping to do. And so I called the doctor’s office, something I maybe should have done earlier. An automated answering system politely put me on hold. By now my symptoms included suicidal thoughts and a classic bull’s eye rash. At least I got to listen through the buzzing to two of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (“Spring” and “Summer”) before I was disconnected. I haven’t bothered to call back. I haven’t decided whether I soon will. The fly has begun to tell me things about myself that I don’t necessarily want anyone else to hear.

Howie Good

Howie Good is the recipient of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry for his collection “Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements”.

Descent by Don Kingfisher Campbell

Thirty seven years
Thirty one catholic
Twenty six masturbating
Twenty four going to Poo Bah’s Records
Twentieth anniversary lost virginity
Nineteen paying taxes
Eighteen as a father
Seventeen chapbooks
Sixteen years since Gaylin’s death
Fifteen caught joyriding by Deputy Sheriff John (my dad)
Fourteen years substitute teaching
Thirteeth summer of Upward Bound coming
Twelve years ago father died
Eleven sexual partners
Ten years college
Nine years public school
Eight residences
Seven cities
Six years cohabitating
Voted for five losing presidential candidates
Four eyes
Three marriages
Two children
One penis

Don Kingfisher Campbell, MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los
Angeles, publisher of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, organizer of
the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival, and host of the Saturday Afternoon
Poetry reading series in Pasadena, California. For publication credits,
please go to: http://dkc1031.blogspot.com

Removable Feast by William Merricle

At the imaginary banquet
the ex-lovers are represented by
a bucketful of dove feathers,
the cosmic order portrayed in Lucky Charms,
unreasonable expectations, syntactical gaffes,
infelicities of style, pH imbalances,
Official Notice of Change in Terms,
cobwebs as expressions of divine justice,
the absence of feck, silly putty molecules, ennui,
Visine, Elmer’s Glue-All, broken trusts,
the words you waited all summer to hear,
the Dead Sea Scrolls prophesying
the romantic things we used to do,
boredom in the outlying areas,
a gross of Bufferin, a trickle of forgetfulness,
a freedom-fry-adorned wardrobe with
inescapable eucharistic overtones,
the Buddha’s rendition of Eve of Destruction,
the eight spaceships of the heart,
plain white pumps left on the blasted heath,
faiths lost and found,
infinite fragility payment due, turtles below,
all that is solid melts into air,
angels hired to transport the blue,
Keats’s nightingale, americium 241,
Eden-sweat and pomosexual surgery.

By dessert all
non-essential personnel have been evacuated.
The seller of the mist goes bankrupt.
The light is a trick of regret.
It represents the first glimmer of comprehension
that our department is to be obsolesced.
Our hands are tied by I’m glad we’re through.
Both sides want to claim credit for the lie.
Please retain with your other important records.
Irony’s put on administrative leave.
All my alter-ego knuckleheads
have been ordered out of the building.
Starvation ensues.

The passage of time’s
a shitty guest of honor.

William Merricle

William Merricle is the author of several chapbooks, including Chaos Theory (Nightballet Press, 2013), and the upcoming Fractured Fairy Tales (Crisis Chronicles Press). His work has appeared in many publications, including Pudding Magazine, Portland Review, and Slipstream. He assumes there is someone praying for him.

 

Happy Birthday To Us!!!

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Well Folks! Today is Your One Phone Call’s first 12 month Anniversary.
We would like to thank all of those who’s mugshots have appeared within
these razor wired walls. Everyone who has spent 24 hours in our Drunk Tank.
Whether you were picked up and locked up for poetry or flash fiction.
Here’s to the next year of subversive literature and poetic street rock n roll.
We’ll be at the bar, Motherfuckers!… cheers & beers, Dai Shotter & the Welsh Firm.

Outside the Nanjing Massacre Memorial by John Brantingham

For a moment,
the young man forgets
that he’s supposed to mourn here,
and he kisses
his girlfriend or new wife
on the bony top part of her ear
and smiles
even through his eyes
and the crook of his neck.

When he remembers
the 300,000 who died here,
he turns his eyes down respectfully
as if the dead
would persecute him for joy,
as if they would not want him
to breathe life back
into this ancient world.

John Brantingham

John Brantingham is the writer-in-residence at the dA Center for the Arts and a professor of English at Mt. San Antonio College. His most recent poetry collection is Dual Impressions: Poetic Conversations about Art.

Kiddie Porn and Karen Carpenter by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

My little brother is a father now.

Two girls, one his own.

Those kiddie porn charges
seem to have gone
away.

Daddy got a good lawyer.
Spared no expense.

No more exposing yourself to minors
or luring what you think is a ten year old girl
when it is really the cops.

But he is a good father now.
We don’t talk about any of that.
Or how my 106 lbs sister
is doing her best Karen
Carpenter.

Shovelling lettuce
without dressing
from one side of the plate
to the other.

While her gin-soaked mother
sits in smoky Scarborough bingo halls
rubbing tiny trolls with purple hair
for luck.

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Ryan Quinn Flanagan presently resides in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with an acute case of cabin fever after another long Canadian winter. He dreams of warm places and warmer women.

A Ten Question Interview With The Artist… Gareth Writer-Davies

Why do you write?

I haven’t got too much else going on. And I think there is a sad need for approbation in there somewhere. I do like the way poetry works chemically on me.And I feel a profound satisfaction when the key word in the last line, locks the poem down.

What books do you read?

Mainly biography; poets and mountaineers. Also easy reading modern history. The novel appeals less now. Not too much poetry.

What inspires you?

I’m a bit of a prompt junkie, so I would say given the challenge I’m open to inspiration from anywhere.
Recent inspirations have come from relationships, my Welsh background, folk myths, the workings of the body. I get obsessed and then will write many poems on one subject.
The object you’re writing about, is not as important as the object of your writing.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer and when?

I had a vague notion that writing would suit me, but never had the confidence to do anything about it. I came from a non-bookish household with little in the way of educative achievement, so thought it wasn’t for the likes of me.
So, I didn’t read or write poetry for some thirty years, until a girlfriend encouraged me. My short collection BODIES is dedicated to her.

How do you deal with rejection?

Easily if a lone occurrence amongst acceptances (I’m pretty good at sending the right poem to the right mag); less so if I’m on a bad run….

Who are some writers you admire?

I admire anyone who can put a roof over their head and food on the table through their art, but I take it we’re talking about their work here, rather than their lives.
RS Thomas, Gavin Ewart (I have to keep my distance or I become a tribute act….), Elizabeth Bishop, John Betjeman. Poets who are not dead, Vicki Feaver, John Gohorry, Bethany W Pope.

Is writing the only artistic medium you do?

I garden and landscape professionally and I probably under-estimate the artistry in that.
I used to play a multitude of musical instruments, now it’s just the bongos or a table top. As a boy, I sang like a bird at the Royal Albert Hall.
I am artful….

What would be some advice you would give to your younger self?

Cheer up.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

A blank page won’t fill itself, so get some miles in your legs.
Looking at the word count of my poetry folder, I’ve written 86, 917 words in the six years since I started writing.
I think this exercise leads to neurological change.
If I need a metaphor, it’s there, if the poem needs a certain rhythm, it’s already got it.
I’m told I have my own recognisable style; that developed from writing, writing, writing.

What is your writing process?

I write everyday (if I can, first thing in the morning).
I use a Tablet, to give me structure, plus my handwriting is bloody awful.
Ira Lightman was kind enough to give me some guidance, as to purpose within a poem and about releasing the self to write with abandon. This has made a big difference, but you’ll have to ask him, not me….

 

Gareth Writer-Davies - Copy

Gareth Writer-Davies was Commended in the Prole Laureate Competition in 2015, Specially Commended in the Welsh Poetry Competition and Highly Commended in the Sherborne Open Poetry Competition. Shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and the Erbacce Prize in 2014, Highly Commended, Geoff Stevens Memorial Prize in 2013 and 2012. His pamphlet “Bodies”, was published in 2015 through Indigo Dreams. http://www.indigodreamsbookshop.com/gareth-writer-davies/4587920255