mussels and ciabatta
served with a cold Gueuze
A delicious meal
can be so pure and simple
1) Your poetry has a wide range of topics: nature, family events, word play etc.... I assume you find inspiration in a lot of different things. Do you remember a funny or weird or remarkable moment/object that inspired you to one of your poems unexpectedly?
A great deal of my poems happen in the way you describe. I often witness things, or see something on television that provides the impetus to write. One that I can think of immediately is a poem entitled, "You Conned".
I had seen a documentary about the Quaker Oats back in 1955, providing the deed to one square-inch of land in their boxes of cereal. Kids who found the deed sent it in to entitle them to this piece of real estate in the Yukon. This absolutely fascinated me and I immediately did extensive research on the topic and then sat down to write. What's really neat is that over a year later I received an e-mail from the original documentary director to compliment me on the poem. He had come across it on my blog.
2) How did blogging help you in publishing this book? And in writing poetry?
Without blogging, I would never have cultivated poetry-writing to such an extent. I may have still written periodically for myself, but it was the instant audience that kept me writing and the finding of various groups of poets who were doing the same sort of thing. It helped as well in motivating me to publish because readers would remark that I should put together a collection in book form. This gave me more confidence, not only to "keep writing" (as one of my fans often said), but to actually consider self-publishing. Through various blog-connections, I learned about my options and it gave me a way of making the decision of how to go about it.
3) Was there a poem in your book that you first didn't select for publication but which you threw in last minute. Why did you make that decision and why are you happy to have it in the book after all?
I had an unfortunate experience with the first printer that I decided to go with and this made me want to change the way the cover looked and even what was inside the finished product. I had originally taken the poem, "Dovecote" out of the running, but it was the first one that I was grateful to be able to put back in. It is one of my personal favourites because I remember the day and the situation so well.
4) As a poet I imagine you often make free associations to things you see or hear. Please tell me which image crosses your mind with the following words.
Belgium - white crosses
Depeche Mode - fly on the windscreen, stripped, dancing
tomato soup - Andy Warhol, grilled cheese sandwiches
daffodils - Wordsworth, cancer society
flip flop - huarache sandals, big toes
swimming pool slide - terror
Facebook - freedom of speech, diversity
[after which silence returned]