with David L O’Nan (interviewing himself?)
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
David: I believe I began writing after having my older brother read his poetry to me. I would constantly read his stuff. He was always obsessed with song lyrics (Prince, U2, The Cure, The Smiths, The Beatles, etc) I really got into the Beatles around 12 years old, and began to write bad love songs & songs against war that were pretty cheesy. I’ve always had a storytelling imagination. I began reading Anne Sexton as a teenager and always have been a big song lyric absorber. With A.D.D. I wasn’t always the most patient with reading.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today? Well once I started writing & reading aloud more at coffeehouses, I began learning & reading more poetry & writers. Burroughs, Kerouac, Sylvia Plath, Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt, Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, my favorite Leonard Cohen, Ilya Kaminsky, so many contemporaries I interact with in the Poetry & Writing Community.
Q3: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
David: I still want to be a writer/poet. I am still learning at 41 years old the ins and outs. I guess I had that inkling around 12, then again at 20 writing angsty stuff (mad about women letting me down) and then 24/25 when I began frequenting a coffeehouse in Evansville. I began writing a scrapped up novel “The Bible Belt Bachelor” in the same vain as “On the Road” I had a break in writing through most of my 30s and then when my dad got sick with ALS I began writing more & more. Self published some stuff & began Fevers of the Mind.
Q4: Who has helped you most with writing?
David: My brother, my wife, the Penny Lane Coffeehouse, Reading aloud for several years (not so much anymore), Jean Kizer, Jerry Masterson, Heidi Krause, Twitter vss 365 getting me motivated again, Poetry Community, Leonard Cohen
Q5: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing & did any travels away from home influence your work?
David: I grew up in a small town in Kentucky called Sebree.
So, I do have many poems based on small town living in a Southern/Midwestern town. I carry over some personality (ies) from the town and interact them into new characters and situations at times. I have lived in Evansville, Indiana most of my adult life & now in Henderson, KY and I still write the same way. Perspectives from where i’m writing from doesn’t necessarily come from where i’m living. I have visited & lived for a short time in New Orleans, so much of my big city themed poetry comes from time living there, or visiting Nashville, Louisville, Lexington, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Bloomington and other Midwestern cities/towns.
Q6: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far to you?
David: This will be a slightly weird answer. I helped contribute poems to an anthology about ALS “Voices for the Cure” ran by Paul Rowe and the late Eric Valor. I am unsure if it ever came out, but the poems I placed in there are about my father and his battle with ALS. Some of these poems have seen the light of day in my self published work or also on this site. 2 poems by David L O’Nan about my father’s battle with ALS in 2016
I’m also proud of my poems that I’ve since revised for the upcoming Leonard Cohen anthology which the first versions of the poems were in the first Leonard Cohen Anthology “Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen) All of the poems (revised) from Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen by David L O’Nan
I’m also proud of my most recent poems that have been published online. “By the Almond Tree” in Anti-Heroin Chic Mag Check out my poem “By the Almond Tree” currently in the new issue of Anti-Heroin Chic (heroinchic.weebly.com)
My beat poem “Clearly” I wrote in 2005ish after reading Ginsberg for a couple of minutes Poem by David L O’Nan : “Clearly!” (2005) (Poetry, writings)
And my story poem “I Honoured You in Pennyrile Forest” a Best of the Net Nominee last year from Icefloe Press
I’m very proud of the community I’ve helped shape together with many writers for this site with active contributors, interviews, the Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest Issues/Anthologies.
Q7: Favorite activities to relax?
David: General Anxiety/ADD/OCD/parenthood…relax? I try to read some, I watch wrestling, basketball, listen to music like crazy, taking walks with my wife, play in the park with my kids. Youtube wormholes, research/history.
Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?
David: From Leonard Cohen’s “Stories From the Street”
We are so small between the stars
So large against the sky
And lost among the subway crowds
I try to catch your eye
Q9: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?
David: Why Sure! Thanks for asking…ummm Fevers of the Mind Anthology Issue 5: Overcome will be coming out soon (currently editing) I have 6 self-published books that i’m revising (added pics to the poems, changing them up some, some revised poems) “The Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers” “Our Fears in Tunnels” “Taking Pictures in the Dark” “New Disease Streets” “The Cartoon Diaries” “Lost Reflections” still on Amazon currently…will be replaced by new versions when announced. Stay tuned. Raw forms of these books are still out there for now. There are several past issues of Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest: Issue 1 (June 2019) under Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Digest, Fevers of the Mind Issue 2 In Memoriam, Fevers of the Mind Issue 3: The Darkness & the Light, Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020, the aforementioned Leonard Cohen inspired Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen with artwork from Geoffrey Wren Wonderful Artwork from Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen by artist/writer Geoffrey Wren
The 2nd Leonard Cohen Anthology will be worked on in the next month “Before I Turn Into Gold” and also Fevers of the Mind Anthologies will be coming out at least every other month as far as I can keep it going.
Personally, I have more poems/stories coming out soon with Icefloe Press. A project on facebook “Curved Air” edited by Theresa Haffner. Possibly something with the Midwest Writers Guild. I’ve recently had work in Anti-Heroin Chic, Punk Noir Magazine. In the past I’ve had stuff in 3 Moon, Nymphs Publishing, Royal Rose Magazine, Elephants Never, Headline Poetry & Press, Dark Marrow, Voices for the Cure ALS Anthology, Spillwords, Ghost City Press, a feature in Cajun Mutt Press, I’ve had some stuff of mine read by Damien Donnelly on his podcast “Eat the Storms” https://eatthestorms.com/ and will have more read by Damien in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned!
I don’t send too much out due to RSD and I put tons of time in editing, writing, my brain scrambling in and out of exhaustion. Follow us on twitter @feversof @davidLONan1 Facebook Author Page is DavidLONan1 (I don’t use it much) I don’t have Instagram…sorry.
Here are some links:
There are a million I think on this site… just search my name if interested in my poems.
https://www.blackboughpoetry.com/freedom-rapture-edition (a review by me about this within)
“Before the Bridges Fell” by me David L O’Nan Poetry book is out today on Cajun Mutt Press
Available Now: Before I Turn Into Gold Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology by David L O’Nan & Contributors w/art by Geoffrey Wren
Bending Rivers: The Poetry & Stories of David L O’Nan out now!
Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog.