August Smith Responds To The Questionnaire!


What is your favorite breakfast food?

Normally I’d say some type of breakfast sandwich. Bagel, fried egg, cheese, sausage. That kind of situation. But lately—and out of necessity—I’ve been on this prolonged health food kick. Thus, I’ve deeply fallen in love with oatmeal. I sometimes make it with coconut milk and add a bit of honey and some strawberries and walnuts. Unbelievable.

Tell us a bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.

“A Winner is You” is an English sonnet about Japanese-to-English video game mistranslations from the 1980s. The inspiration for it came from a list I found of the “best” video game mistranslations. They really stunned me with their poetic potency. Some of them were beautiful, some hilarious, and some were just plain strange and intriguing.

I knew I wanted to write a poem that was like a tapestry of all these little mistranslations. By loosely basing it on sonnet structure, I afforded it enough scaffolding to keep it from devolving into a mess of found-text and commentary. Plus, I was able to work in that rhetorical twist in the final couplet which I always find satisfying on the reader end. Plus I was able to rhyme “yen” with “ocean” which is cool.

What is your creative process?

In the year 1919, a molasses storage tank at a Boston-based molasses factory exploded, causing a flood of molasses to surge through the streets, coating everything in sticky delicious brown muck. I think of my creative process as that wave of molasses.

Where would you like to be at the end of the universe?

Hanging out with my family in Michigan.

What is your favorite part about being human?

I love those really good days where you get a lot done, interact with amicable strangers, see a friend you haven’t seen for a long time, win a game of Overwatch with your online buddies, drink a couple of delicious beers, read an essay or two, and get down a terrible little poem in your notebook.

What do you rule over?

There’s this sliver of space—a small glen—somewhere between comedians, game designers, pop culture writers, and poets. It’s shaped like a trapazoid. I’ve built a tiny hovel there, where I live like Yoda, serving hearty stews to those who visit. I then regale them with a ribald tale composed in a traditional, rhyming metre.

How can we support you and buy more of your work?

You can go to my website and read my chapbooks, which are all mostly available: You can email me and tell me you like my stuff. You can check out Cool Skull Press and buy one of our books:

What is your daily motivation?

When I’m not doing things, I’m listless and angry and depressed and foul. When I’m busy doing things, I’m happy and creative and smart and friendly. I prefer being the latter.

Anything coming up in the near future?

I’m hosting a poetry reading in Boston on Sept. 29th with Metatron. I’m also working on my debut full-length book. Look for that in the post-apocalypse.

Who is your alter ego?

Dean Venture.

Make sure to check out August’s poem in Issue Three!