FNF: Dan's lit4:00 PM
Tribute to CoPa
*Meet Dan of Confessions of a self-nicknamed asshole.
Welcome to Friday Night Features on She is Sara! Tonight I have a close friend of mine, and also a fellow blogger, whom has been kind enough to share with everyone two pieces of his work, a poem "because" and a short-short "Ode to Copa" (above) and has also let me conduct an interview with him. Are you excited? I am thrilled to be able to actually pick apart the mind of a fellow writer. Enjoy!
1) When did you begin writing? I first started writing in high school. It wasn’t a major poem or anything, but it gave me an outlet for my frustration at the time. Now when I write it’s a way to vent pent up emotions generally on either side of the spectrum. I don’t want to say I don’t write when I’m feeling perfectly normal, but I normally only write when I’m extremely upset or happy and my writing definitely shows that. I write a lot of happy lovey dovey stuff, or some strange suicidal type stuff.
2) Being as that I have read more of your poems that are posted here, I can fairly say that I enjoy them a lot and think that they are very well written and descriptive. What inspired you to begin writing poems? Oddly enough the first poem I ever wrote was back in high school during a period in my life that was difficult. I was angry with religion and I wrote a poem in an attempt to help me rid myself of some of my frustration with God. After I finished writing it, I found somewhat of a fascinating feeling with both myself and the connection with the words themselves. In most cases, my inspiration comes from how I’m feeling. Most of my writing either comes from personal experience or is just strongly attached to the emotion that I’m feeling that day.
3) You have also played around with different styles of poems. What makes you chose the style when you write them? Also, do you have a preference to a certain style? I don’t really choose a style. Generally all my poems are inspired in a spur of the moment. I’ll hear one line in my head and try to build on it. Sometimes that takes me down the road of a rhyme. Other it takes me down somewhat of a story-like development. Abstract poems are probably my favorite because they tend to capture my idea of humanity best, spurts of this and that all jammed together with no real sense of direction but yet a certain level of cohesion. Your poem about your little brother is exactly the kind of abstractness I’m referring to. That’s a great poem that is full of humanity with plenty of abstract feelings.
4) Are there any poets that influence your poetry or that you are influenced by? I sadly enough don’t read a lot of poetry, or at least as much as I would like. I remember the first time I read a poem and decided that I would like to include poetry at least as a hobby. “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg is still one of my all-time favorite pieces of writing. In terms of writers who have had the most influence over me include Jack Kerouac, Pablo Neruda who writes the best love sonnets ever, most notably Sonnet XVII. DH Lawrence is also another poet whose style I really like.
5) Besides poems you have written short-stories and what is commonly called “short-shorts” like the Tribute to Comerica Park posted here. What inspires you to write these? In reference to Tribute to CoPa, I wrote that due to my undying love for the Detroit Tigers and the rides downtown to go to games. You get so used to the drive and you don’t really think about it as you’re driving down, but you start to react to things from the drive and connect that feeling to being downtown at games. I still think of the Tigers and going to games every time I am driving down I-75 south regardless of how far I’m going or where I’m going. The same thing happens to me going down Woodward past 7 mile. These things are totally inspired by life and are just a slice of life as I see it.
6) Which would you say is more challenging and more enjoyable for you to write, the poems or the shorts and short stories? I feel more accomplished when I write a poem I like, because getting a whole poem I’m happy with does not come easy. But I prefer to write the shorts and short stories because it’s usually completely based on my love of something, like the Tigers in terms of my CoPa tribute. But most of my short stories are based on either something that happened to me or something that is based on how I see the world around me. So in terms of what’s more enjoyable, the short stories I write are most enjoyable because it’s like giving myself a chance to see my life from an outside perspective, which makes it easier to form the plot.
7) What do you hope to get from your writing? Do you have any plans on publication in the future? Or is your writing for personal enjoyment? As of right now I pretty much only write for personal enjoyment. I would love to someday get published even it’s only one piece for the rest of my life, I would feel very accomplished to know that something of mine is forever going to be considered part of literature. I don’t have any plans to go out and try to get myself published, but I’m my hardest critic, so I’m not really sure anything of mine is worth being published right now, maybe one day though.
8) If you could choose for anyone in the world to read a piece of you work, whom would you chose to read it and what piece would you chose? Well the first time I ever fell in love with a book was when I got to read Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road.” It’s still one of my favorite books and Sal Paradise is one of the greatest literary characters ever written. A lot of my short story style comes from Kerouac’s style of taking his own experience and sculpting it into a story for all to read. I would love to work on something in that same style and have him critique me on it. That would be a dream come true.
9) Is there any other type of writing that you would like to attempt and have not at this point? I’ve always wanted to write a book. A decent length novel is still on my life-time goal list. I would love to write a book that helps people get through tough times. When I was younger I always thought about writing a book that could help kids in the 7th grade through like 12th grade make it through all those times when school social pressures can make it tough for a kid. Something along the lines of a story that shows the different clicks of school society the impact they make on other people, and how that impact is rarely for the good. If I were ever able to make an impact on society, that would be how I would want to do it.
10) Finally, when you write any of the pieces of your work, are they intended for a specific audience, any audience? And are your decisions based on the outcome or as you are creating your piece? In terms of audience, I don’t even think about that. Most of the time when I write I only expect me to see what I’m writing. Writing is already pretty hard in terms of finding inspiration and keeping it long enough to think what you wrote was worth anything, so trying to think about who’s going to be reading my stuff and how they might interpret it is not even a factor. If I ever start writing on a more consistent basis I would probably consider an audience as a factor, but as of right now my stuff doesn’t see enough of an audience for me to consider it when writing.
I love you, and you'll never know,
not because I am afraid or,
because I think you'll say no.
because we're friends, I can never tell you.
I can't tell you my day starts when I see you,
You can't know that your smile reminds me,
of beautiful burnt orange sunsets,
I won't let you know your laugh reminds me
of childhood happiness that has been long forgotten,
because we are friends, I will be filled with regret,
regret filling me with endless what-ifs for the rest of my life,
I will never tell you my most important secret,
because we're friends,
sometimes I hate being friends,
because it means we're not more.
For more of Dan's literature, and also some film, book reviews and other musings, you can check them out here. Have a great weekend and a special thank you to Dan for sharing his work and giving me an interview!