with David Estringel
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
David: I actually started writing very late in life at 49 years old. I had always wanted to write short stories and poetry since my 20s but never seemed to find the time (or the passion) to do so. I guess you could say I was pretty limited—in terms of life experiences: I hadn’t lived. I had no voice (to speak of). With age, however, came that voice.
I would say my earliest influences would be Homer, Raymond Carver, and Stevie Nicks.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
David: Honestly, my Pandora playlist, which is heavy on Lord Huron and The Great Lake Swimmers.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?
David: I grew up in South Texas in a small town called Brownsville. I hated it there. The place was repressed and extremely conservative (not the best place to be for a gay boy). Needless to say, I developed a lot of angst due to my struggles during my early years. Not everything was bad though. The landscape was pretty savage with all the mesquite trees and cacti, as well as the gray clay soil that cracked under the sun: all against orange, pink, and purple sunsets. I think I can find beauty in almost anything now.
Q4: What do you consider you most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?
David: That is a hard one. I would say “Digging for Lost Temples” would be my choice. It is a piece of narrative prose that serves as a sort of apology and lament for the loss of my “Mexicanness”. The sadness and anger in it are palpable. https://www.drunkmonkeys.us/2017-posts/2020/1/13/essay-digging-for-lost-temples-david-estringel
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
David: I would have to say that moment occurred when the instructor of the first Creative Writing course I ever took (about 25 years ago) scribbled on a poem I submitted (my first one ever), “You, sir, are a poet. Don’t stop!” Her name was Mef Hardin and I still speak her name to this very day.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
David: Listening to music, napping with my five dogs, and reading.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?
David: This August I will be taking part in Tupelo Press’ 30/30, writing one poem a day for 30 days, which I am terribly excited about. I also recently found out that my third chapbook Eating Pears on the Rooftop will be published at Finishing Line Press in the Summer of 2022. Lastly, SOYYO Magazine reached out to me, recently, about promoting my work via the blockchain (NFTs), which is new territory for me. Lots of great things coming this coming year.
Q8: What is one of your favorite lines/stanzas from a poem of yours or others?
O, viejas de negro!
How you line the front pews
at Catholic masses
like pushers sitting on street curbs,
rolling rosary beads—
like pills of black-tar heroin—
between jonesing fingers,
craving elusive fixes of salvation,
visiones de Dios.
(from “Coda-Switch”, originally published at Cajun Mutt Press)
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
David: My muse. Yes, I actually believe that I have one.