Featured Poet Interview - Scifaikuest, May 2015
How long have you been writing poetry?

I’ve been writing poetry off and on longer than I have not been writing poetry, though I never set out to be a poet. I did not major in English. I took no poetry courses in college. I do not have an MFA. While my siblings lean toward fine art and dance and my wife is a first rate musician, I refuge in the written word. Always have. Between writing essays, writing letters, and writing for myself, dreaming of journalism, research, and history, I have always come back to poetry.


Did you begin writing haiku before you branched out to scifaiku?


Haiku have fascinated me for years. I enjoy the way the zen koan nature of these little insects nibbles at the edges of my consciousness. Though I do not often write haiku, the sparse simplicity of micropoetry lured me into greater exploration of short forms, which occurred simultaneous to my ventures into speculative poetry generally.


After hearing some of my poems, a writer friend suggested submitting to speculative venues. That’s when I discovered the vibrant speculative poetry world. As I explored my own poems, I found that my subjects often run parallel to speculative poetry themes, frequently meeting with a befuddled Euclid at infinity.


How did you learn about scifaiku?


As I stumbled down the wormhole of speculative poetry, I explored where other speculative poets were published, which is how I found Scifaikuest. I have also encountered short form sci-fi poetry in Star*Line.


Where did you learn to write scifaiku?


I’ve read classic haikuiks. What fit Japan in previous eras does not fit twenty-first century Colorado quite so well. Rocket fuel, dinosaurs, hairy blobs emerging from muck, and gruesome death fit better. I buried my head in the arid soil and listened for the stars – voila! the inexplicable child is my variety of scifaiku.


Do you write poetry other than genre poetry? If so, what kind?


I do write poetry other than genre poetry, but I'd be hard pressed to categorize it. I write poetry to attempt understanding my inner life on paper and ponder the inverted meaning of the universe as seen through a foggy funhouse lens. I make love to sound and dance isosceles tangos with meaning, while trying to keep the steps straightforward.


Whose poetry has influenced you the most?


Robert Service was an early influence. In no particular order, Campbell McGrath, Wisława Szymborska, Antonio Machado, Russell Edson, John Keats, and Aram Saroyan. That said, I’m probably just as influenced by Leonard Cohen and Todd Snider.


Who are your favorite poets?


Donald Rumsfeld. e. e. cummings. And the above oddballs.


What/who is your main inspiration?


Despite the cliché, my children and our experiences in our yard, with our various animals, and in nature inspire me. They challenge me to see the world anew and see it differently, and I, in turn, enter that conversation and try to show them the world where I want to live.


cutting my hair

my three and five year old sons

intently change our world


What poetry magazines do you read/contribute to?


I read Poetry Magazine infrequently, pick up New Yorkers when they’re free, and scrounge the stretched net for oddities worth my attention. I am entranced by 6x6. I read and submit regularly to various sci-fi venues, including publication credits in Grievous Angel, Liquid Imagination, Silver Blade, Songs of Eretz, and Star*Line. My work has also appeared in Interfictions. FishFood Literary Magazine, 94 Creations, and Black Heart Magazine, among others.


(My chapbook, "encircled," is available through Prolific Press.)

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