Paul Cunningham Answers Our Questionnaire!

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What is your favorite breakfast food?

Eggs Benedict is one way to my heart.

Tell us a bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.

I’ve been working on Ad Campaign for a number of years. They’re poems that are constructed using real material and real quotations from various American advertisements and television commercials ranging between 1954 and present day. Helixing from poem to poem is a language of consumerism seeking to bombard, invert, recall, and confront issues of technology, gender, sexuality, race, nationhood, and economy via slogans and interpellative taxonomy. One of these poems could begin in 1986 and conclude with a phrase from a popular jingle from 2006. Direct quotations are usually italicized. If something originally appeared in an ad or a commercial rendered in all-caps, I try to mimic/preserve the original appearance. Or whatever the formatting. Then I try to make all the pieces fit together somehow.

What is your creative process?

I’m not sure I have one. I do like to plan things out. I am always thinking large scale. I can’t really just sit down and write anything without having a plan first. Lars von Trier inspired me with the way he plans his films out by storyboarding across the walls of his office. He just writes a sort of timeline of events right across the walls. So I kind of similarly take up a whole room when I work on something. To me, a desk is a limitation. I guess my creative process is that I need a room with no furniture and no people. I can’t be in a public place like a coffee shop. You start to eavesdrop on uninteresting conversations and so your writing becomes uninteresting and next thing you know you’re just writing poems about how shitty the coffee is etc. I like to sit on a floor—in silence—and have everything I need within arm’s reach: notes, books, research articles, etc. I do a lot of research. Actually many artists do research contrary to popular belief. I think a lot of people think artists just sit down and smoke a bowl and everything just comes flowing out of them all magic and easy. I mean, I have nothing against weed, but there’s typically a lot more to it than that. But I also can’t really write stoned or drunk.

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

I would prefer to perish alongside someone I love. And should the universe end in a series of catastrophic explosions, at least there’s the chance that our flaming, exploded parts might mix together mid-air, cinematic-like, in the smoke of some reddening protein haze.

What is your favorite part about being human?

LOL

What do you rule over?

There’s a Radioactive Moat I’m pretty fond of. It’s a chapbook press with a bi-annually published online journal component called Deluge.

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

Toad Press is distributing my translation of Sara Tuss Efrik’s three-part poem The Night’s Belly this fall. The Night’s Belly (or Nattens Mage) first appeared in the 2013 Gurlesque issue of Sweden’s 10TAL lit journal. You should also check out Volume 1 of OOMPH! Press’s recent Contemporary Works in Translation Anthology, which includes the translation of Part III of The Night’s Belly (side-by-side with the original Swedish). It also includes translations of poetry and prose works from the German, Arabic, Hebrew, Croatian, Spanish, French and Portuguese languages. Also, if you’re a fan of Sara’s work, there might still be some copies of her Automanias chapbook remaining—available from Goodmorning Menagerie.

What is your daily motivation?

Knowing each new day could always be my last day.

Anything coming up in the near future?

Possibly my last day. Which will keep me quite productive in the meantime. I’m just here to have a good time.

Who is your alter ego?

Grace Jones

Make sure to read Paul’s work in Issue Three!

Jenna Cartindale Responds to the Questionnaire!

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What is your favorite breakfast food?

I am a New Yorker. I eat a lot of bagels. Not-toasted + cream cheese. Unless I’m suffering from a hangover. Then it’s toasted and slathered with a disgusting amount of butter.

Tell us a bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.

It’s mostly music to get you in the mood. The mood being related to kink & OKCupid, anyway.

What is your creative process?

That thing I read and can’t stop thinking about + some language I wrote down a while back + what you said to me on the subway + feelings.

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

Not on fire.

What is your favorite part about being human?

Roller coasters. I’ve never seen a dog ride the Cyclone.

What do you rule over?

If I have enough whiskey, I can definitely dominate a conversation.

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

Tacos.

What is your daily motivation?

The dismantling of the patriarchy.

Anything coming up in the near future?

“Near” is tricky, but Dancing Girl Press is going to publish my chapbook, A California, in early 2017.

Who is your alter ego?

At my corp gig, the head of facilities always refers to my direct report at “Robin.”

Make sure to check out Jenna’s poems in Issue Three!

Jenny MacBain-Stephens Answers Our Questions!

 

 

 

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What is your favorite breakfast food?

EGGS. ALWAYS.

Tell us a bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.

My first poem “Anthropomorphic” is an older poem where I was playing around with the idea of marketing and getting into heaven. My poem “Baby” is based on a dream I had where the dream is exactly what happens in the poem. What is your creative process? If I need inspiration I read poets/books that I like and that usually sparks something. Art always inspires me. Or sometimes I just like lying on the floor with a legal pad and I just start writing whatever is in my head. I definitely like writing while lying on the floor but then I have to transcribe everything into the laptop.

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

If you mean at the end of the world, I’d love to be surrounded by friends and family laughing and eating and saying nice things to each other. If you mean I suddenly have access to space travel, I would love to meet a race of Time Lords and have them adopt me.

What is your favorite part about being human?

Our ability to bounce back and say Fuck it.

What do you rule over?

I am AMAZING at stacking big things on top of little things. BECAUSE THAT MAKES SENSE.

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

All of my chapbooks and information on my two forthcoming collections are listed in WRITING at my website here

What is your daily motivation?

I learned that if I am feeling crappy, I can write and feel better.

Anything coming up in the near future?

My first full length book of poetry Your Best Asset is a White Lace Dress, is coming out with Yellow Chair Press very soon. My chapbook Dixit: Every Picture Tells a Story, or The Wrong Items, is forthcoming from White Knuckle Press in 2017 and She Came Out From Under the Bed, (Poems Inspired by the Films of Guillermo del Toro) is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press in 2017 as well.

Who is your alter ego?

I don’t have one because I am an ARIES and we always trapped in the ME.

Be sure to read Jenny’s poems in Issue Three!

Kenneth P. Gurney Gives Us Answers!

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What is your favorite breakfast food?

Homemade hash browns, sautéed spinach with garlic and onion, and two eggs over easy. Shortly there after some 70% dark chocolate. On mornings when I don’t want to cook: almond butter spread on a ripe apple, bite by bite—and the chocolate.

Tell us a bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.

After watching piñon smoke curl into a bird shape and missing the sparrows due to a chill April day and not filling the feeders. This poem happened out of that longing. (I did fill the feeders later that day and the sparrows returned and brought colorful finches with them.)

What is your creative process?

Bicycle a bunch of miles, workout at the gym, to tire the body somewhat so there is not enough energy in me for my mind to get in the way of reaching deeper creative portions of my person. If weather won’t allow copious calorie burning, then writing in the hour before dawn when the world is at its quietest and the earth spirits are easier to accept.

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

Sitting next to Dianne in the back yard, watching and listening to the thrashers do their thing. Tea (iced or hot depending on the season) would grace the table (Dianne takes rich black coffee) and some dark 70% chocolate for me, mint 65% dark for her, on hand, because chocolate makes everything better—even the end of the universe.

What is your favorite part about being human?

Imperfection.

What do you rule over?

I barely rule myself. With my gargantuan imagination ruling myself is a lot of work. Trying to rule over anything more than myself would be too exhausting and bothersome. Well, I guess I rule over my collection of stuffed animal bunny rabbits. They have remained on the shelf where I placed them without fuss or complaint.

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

I feel fortunate in the “support my work” regard. My 7 self published poetry books sold between 200 and 500 copies each, which is more than I dared hope would go out into the world to garner collateral reading and highlighters and margin comments. It seems like good numbers for a non-famous american poet. Since you posted my poem and have a link to my website where readers, if they enjoy my work, can locate other links to purchase my books, that is good. If you read a book of my poetry and enthusiastically wrote of it in your blog, I am sure that would be of great assistance.

What is your daily motivation?

My goal is omniscience. I’m not there yet.

Anything coming up in the near future?

I am hoping for (planning is useless for this) a serendipitous meet up with a stranger at my favorite cafe that unintentionally leads to a conversation that runs deep into personal philosophies and leaves a sense of a true connection, even though we both know they will return home out of state and we will never communicate again. Since I live in Albuquerque, NM and Balloon Fiesta is about to start, there is a chance of this happening. Maybe a European person with a travel inducing accent on their English.

Who is your alter ego?

You mean I have to choose one. Ok. One. The reincarnated spirit of Colonel Rush Hawkins of the 9th New York Zouaves.

Make sure to read Kenneth’s poem in Issue Three!

Mitra Jouhari Responds To The Questionnaire!

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What is your favorite breakfast food?

BIG PANCAKE! With orange juice, coffee, water, and strawberries. And bacon. Mmm!

Tell us a bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.

Two lil poems I wrote! I guess they’re love poems. L-O-L.

What is your creative process?

I like to just crank things out as soon as I feel them and then revisit them later. I edit as I go and then can’t stand to look at it for a while.

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

Very dead.

What is your favorite part about being human?

All the things I get to feel and see and do. And the people I get to love and be loved by.

What do you rule over?

My apartment. Just the physical space, not the people in it.

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

Visit my website. Read what I write, watch what I do.

What is your daily motivation?

I am always motivated by people around me/in my life. I’m not always creatively inspired, but I am at least motivated most of the time to do SOMETHING.

Anything coming up in the near future?

I am performing at Carnegie Hall tonight. HA!

Who is your alter ego?

Hm… probably the trash people I play onstage.

Be sure to check out Mitra’s work in Issue Three!

Bridget Eileen Answers Our Questionnaire!

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What is your beverage of choice?

Cliche schmichme, the truth of the matter is: red wine.

Tell us a little bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.

606 Ellis St Apt D is a real place that my Gramma Eileen used to live in, in Little Saigon, San Francisco. I only visited once. It was a open-space studio basement apartment in a little bungalow house surrounded by the growing skyscrapers of the neighborhood. I set the “Speaker of the Poem,” as we call it, in that apartment. He is cornered off in the front section in a sleeper sofa and a 3 panel privacy screen. He is living with his uncle after taking off from his hometown in the suburbs of Boston, eschewing all the post-graduation expectations he had and instead runs away to be a rock star in California. He’s also doing the typical rock star wannabe thing by getting into drugs, too. In the corner of the basement he’s thinking about San Francisco and Boston, reading Allen Ginsberg (the black and white pocket editions) and maybe seeing himself from a distance as the cliche he seems to be becoming. The structure of the poem was modeled after Rimbaud’s “Childhood” section V, as translated by Wallace Fowlie. By structure, I mean, part-of-speech by part-of-speech, I took what was written in the prose poem and inserted new words. For example, “I am sad” would be “They were tall.” The structure of “[pronoun] [verb] [adjective]” is the same, all the words are changed. It jumbles up your usual way of doing things and generates things you didn’t even realize were lurking in you. The trick is to go back and revise as you will, without worrying about keeping the structure, since that wasn’t the “point” so much as the “means.” I cannot tell you how much fun it is to do this as an exercise in writing.

What is your typical writing process?

I am all over the place. I think because I’m a rare, super extroverted poet, I knew I wouldn’t be the type to desire a quiet corner of my bedroom. I knew I’d have to operate in all kinds of circumstances, public and private. So, actual writing happens anywhere, lunch time at the office, before bed, upon waking, while walking around, whatever. I always have way too many notebooks going at once as a result. I almost always hand write my poems first. I need that kinetic action of doing so. Sometimes I’ll just go straight to typing, but that’s usually only if I’m doing some sort of poem-a-day thing. My handwriting is kind of part of the art of making the poem because my writing is “artsy” and part of the experience of the poem when I look back on them as a reader. This method of creating is really disorganized. Sometimes I’ll get in a groove though and look through notebooks, flag the pages that have poems, and type them up. Then I print and play with editing and putting them in either working manuscripts or new ones.

If you had a talk show, what would the name be?

Talking Today. Just kidding, that’s an inside joke with my friends from growing up, many of whom I still talk to today. We had a fake talk show that we’d “tape” called “Talking Today.” We would gossip about other 8th grade girls we didn’t like (mostly because they were mean to us and we were smart nerds) and play pop songs we recorded off the radio. Ha.

For real, Vintage Bridge which is also the name of the style blog I run.

Do you have any home remedies for loneliness?

Television. I love love love mysteries. I’m such a granny that way.

What have you conquered recently?

My doubt that I could still do flips off of a diving board, even though I’m a woman who’s two years away from age 40. I did, like, 6 of them off this diving board on a dock on a lake up in New Hampshire, at the behest of all my friends’ lovey dovey little kids. “DO it! DO it!” So I did!

Where can we buy more of your work (if applicable)?

Let the Bucket Down Issue 3 eidted by Joseph Torra is for sale on Amazon. I have a bunch of poems in that. Joe is the best and that issue has some realllly good poets in it: Jim Behrle, Jess Mynes, Suzanne Mercury, Ruth Lepson, Joel Sloman, Audrey Mardavich, Amanda Cook, plus Fanny Howe, Bill Corbett and an amazing interview with Gerrit Lansing. I feel so happy that I’m in the same book as all those great writers.

What motivates you?

Hm. Depends on what the thing is. For writing in general, it’s just what I have always done. I have kept a journal since 5th grade (and I still have them all!) What motivates me to write my style blog is because I know there’s a need out for body positive, sex positive models out there, who are “typical” size human females. I wear a size 14 dress. We’re not often represented in fashion media. “Plus size” is usually on the larger size, like size 18 or bigger. Mass media usually has women size 6 or smaller. I run the blog for that sweet spot of size 8 to 16 women who are looking for inspiration for outfits, especially with a vintage, sexy, feminine flair and on a budget. What motivates me to do poetry is that I’m a poet. A tautological answer and cheeky at that, but it is what it is.

Any upcoming projects?

The manuscript that 606 Ellis St comes from has had a bunch of other poems published, too. I have been working on it for ten years and it’s almost done. I’m going to work really hard to get that baby seen by the world, already, dagnamit.

If Earth is a mother, and Time is a father, then what is Art?

The cool aunt who enriches your life by making you think about the metaphorical. Excellent question, by the way!

Make sure to check out Bridget’s poem in Issue Two!

C.M. Keehl Gives Us Answers!

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What is your beverage of choice?

All day IPA all the time but also don’t bother me until I slam enough coffee to power a rocket. If I’m anything else: bourbon.

Tell us a little bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.

Construct is all contextual. Reality Beach is dope. Honored to showcase on what makes for habitual, on becoming animal, on what makes me spin.

What is your typical writing process?

Find what you’re afraid, hold in your hand, then let it destroy you to prove maybe you’re stronger. Rinse repeat, do it in every different light.

If you had a talk show, what would the name be?

The needy abyss. Say it five times fast.

Do you have any home remedies for loneliness?

My dog Carver & losing time hiking in hills.

What have you conquered recently?

I recently learned how to whistle from an acorn top, hold my breath past 40 seconds & sew up skin a way best for not being seen.
I also just finished a microchap UNTIL THE FOXES for Ghost City Press.

Where can we buy more of your work (if applicable)?

https://gum.co/untilthefoxes

What motivates you?

The need to do cool shit (this is clearly subjective).
The blood in my veins that I can’t change that wants to be best alien competition.
Also being incredibly good at nothing makes me want to show my dog I can do something at all. If I can’t pay my loans I might as well have something pretty to look at.

Any upcoming projects?

Oh yes. It involves a little bit of theory, a little bit of science & a whole bunch of poetry.
Hopefully it will be TBA soon. I think it’s dope & I hope you will too.

If Earth is a mother, and Time is a father, then what is Art?

The cosmos we found ourselves locked in/ the only hope for getting out.

Be sure to check out Keehl’s poems in Issue Two!

Barrett Warner Answers The Questionnaire!

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What is your beverage of choice?

No more sugar I guess, although sometimes late at night I reach my hand into a jar of spearmint leaves and eat one and although I soon wish I hadn’t eaten it because regret is like Spanish fly for me. I’m also thankful that someone thought to put the jar inside the cabinet where I also keep croutons and roasted sunflower kernels and marijuana.

The stuff I drink is tonic tea vodka coffee honey carrot juice.

I blend as little as possible because the sound of a blender / juicer drops me.

Tell us a little bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.

“All the Latest Talk in Paradise Concerns Butterflies” is more conversation than poem and I wanted a place for my feelings about different-nesses and art to come up together. I’m someone who is naturally shy and often a little stutter-ie around strangers but fairly comfortable in natural wildish environs and intimacy is frightening so I thought if I could talk to butterflies the way others seemed to have no problem talking to each other…And all that, but space too.

What is your typical writing process?

I write poems in my mouth out loud while working outside or hiking and then I write them down after I have the chords worked out.

If you had a talk show, what would the name be?

“Two poets and a Kayak” and we would just paddle around and say “wow” a lot.

Do you have any home remedies for loneliness?

“Go Fuck Yourself” is a recipe that comes from my grandmother. There’s some salted vinegar, and green tomatoes she’d run through a grader press. She would add it to spun ham or tuna and fry it, but I tell you, it can be just as delicious without the oil.

What have you conquered recently?

My fear of smelling like what I do for a living

Where can we buy more of your work (if applicable)?

Publishing Genius Press, Somondoco Press, Amazon

What motivates you?

I have a pretty good stretch from 9:30 to about 10:30 in the morning, then it’s mostly inertia. I just wish everything on the planet and every place and every person would just be situated and OK.

Any upcoming projects?

I’m thinking about place poems. Not so much places you’d get to by a train but definitely with some witness involved. Also a novel called Red Monday.

If Earth is a mother, and Time is a father, then what is Art?

The 16 millimeter film where you can see Time saying “Don’t be such a jackass” and Earth is gesticulating wildly, trying to get me to move around or dance since after all it is a motion picture and not a photo.

Make sure to check out Barrett’s work in Issue Two!

Bud Smith Gives Us Answers!

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What is your beverage of choice?

I’m fine with tap water, I’ll even drink out of a garden hose, I really don’t mind.

Tell us a little bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.

“An Orange Cat Doesn’t Live Here” is a poem about the street in NJ I go and visit sometimes in the summer. Close to the beach, actually. It’s a residential neighborhood with a drainage pond and all these houses that were built in the 60s that are all basically the same house, just a different color. There’s stray animals that just wander around because there’s not too many cars. Sometimes if you sit in the backyard and close your eyes it feels like the world blew up last summer and the birds are brand new and just coming back. The dogs that are barking in the distance are happy to be alive and stuff.

What is your typical writing process?

Usually just on my phone in the notes app. Type with my thumbs. But later edit on a computer. I usually write sober and edit sober, and submit plastered. Other times I write things in a notebook but I’m really horrible at typing that stuff back up, but just recently have gotten into reading the handwritten stuff into my dictation speech to text function for the cellphone. There’s a lot of mistakes that way, but there’s a lot of mistakes in every aspect of life.

If you had a talk show, what would the name be?

I had one for a little bit. I called it The Unknown Show. It was a streaming internet podcast that I recorded live and then later people could listen to an archived link. I called the talk show The Unknown Show because I had no idea what I was going to ask the gusts and usually didn’t know anything about their work. That was nice, I didn’t have to pretend to be ignorant, I was legit ignorant.

Do you have any home remedies for loneliness?

Make people laugh, even if you have to open a window and bother someone on the street. Let people make you laugh. Pick up the telephone and call people instead of texting them. If they don’t usually talk on the phone you just text them and say, “I broke both my thumbs, can I please call you? I want to tell you how I broke my thumbs.”

What have you conquered recently?

Picked up a little baby and carried her around, put her back down when she got tired of my bullshit. Went swimming in the pool at the old age retirement community and when the security guard came over and asked if I was there with a resident I said, “My father in law is on the toilet …” and I pointed at the men’s room and he waited there for a little bit but finally got bored and left me and my wife alone in the old age retirement community hot tub.

Where can we buy more of your work (if applicable)?

Paperbacks of my two novels F250 and Tollbooth; collections of stories, Calm Face and Or Something Like That; and a collection of poetry called Everything Neon are all here.
But if you are broke, I’ll send you a PDF of anything or a Kindle copy of anything … I’ll also swap with you because I’d like to read your book. Just message me on Facebook or Twitter @bud_smith
My website is here. If you want to read my stories for free that aren’t out in any books yet, there’s a lot of them here.

What motivates you?

I want to make chunks of art where I’m not sure where I’m trying to get to and the reader isn’t sure where I’m trying to go.

Any upcoming projects?

1. A book of flash fiction about day drinking in the city with my wife, illustrated by my wife, thing is called Dustbunny City. Should be out around Thanksgiving? from Disorder Press.
2. A full length collection of poems, similar to “An Orange Cat Doesn’t Live Here” coming out from Cheeseburger Nebula. That’s called High July. Should be out Feb. 2017.
3. A book of short stories from Funhouse in London, maybe end of year 2016 … no title yet, but sometimes I call it Tiger Blood … we’ll see.
Other than that, sending around other novels and short story collections to presses that I admire and just trying to keep the ball rolling along, even though the ball is a triangle sometimes.

If Earth is a mother, and Time is a father, then what is Art?

Art is an ocean on a real hot day and you can jump in it and swim out happy if you aren’t afraid of drawing or being eaten because you taste good; Art is the ocean on the coldest day of your life and its frozen solid, so you can walk out on the frozen surface as far out as you like if you dress warm and don’t mind the danger of suddenly disappearing through a supposed solid surface.

Make sure to read Bud Smith’s work in Issue Two!

Alex Vigue Responds To The Questionnaire!

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What is your beverage of choice?

Water flavored with those little squirty water enhancers cause I try to avoid soda but I have a serious sweet tooth. If the high fructose in soda didn’t make me anxious I would probably drink the heavenly nectar of cream soda all day every day.

Tell us a little bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.

“When I’m a haunted house” was originally part of a group of poems I was writing using found pieces of my own social media posts. This one in particular was the first of that group that I diverged from the formula of only using found text. The dread of being jobless, single, and depressed at the time erupted out of me in the last stanza of the poem.

What is your typical writing process?

A battle of getting myself off the internet and just sit down and actually do the work of writing. Sometimes I come up with poems while driving at night too. For some reason that’s my most productive space.

If you had a talk show, what would the name be?

“Without Rhyme or Riesling” because it’s my favorite title for anything I’ve ever come up with and it works for virtually any media.

Do you have any home remedies for loneliness?

Music even though it sometimes enhances the feeling of loneliness. Sometimes it’s good to sit in an emotion for a while. To actually avoid loneliness I keep myself busy with work or by interacting with friends.

What have you conquered recently?

One time. I woke up in the middle of the night in my bedroom. The only light was my green desk lamp. There were no sounds and the room was sealed up. I thought for a while that I had died and my brain had produced this little reality of my bedroom to shelter itself from total destruction. The though both comforts and haunts me.

Where can we buy more of your work (if applicable)?

I don’t have any of my own collections out yet but there are some great journals that I was published in that could use your support. Hermeneutic Chaos, Phantom Drift, Witch Craft Mag, Leopard Skin & Limes, Yellow Chair Review, and Crab Fat Magazine.

What motivates you?

Sharing my work in a vain but futile attempt at immortality.

Any upcoming projects?

I have probably four chapbooks that I have ready to be published. I just don’t have anyone that wants to publish them haha.

If Earth is a mother, and Time is a father, then what is Art?

The ant. Squished between pincer fingers. Stopped before leading its colony back to the numerous crumbs on the floor.

Be sure to read Alex’s work in Issue Two!