with Wayne Mason:
Wayne Mason is a writer and sound artist from central Florida USA. He is the author of six chapbooks of poetry, including the most recent Automation, Man! (Bold Machines) from Sweat Drenched Press. He is also the author of the online chapbook I Ching Jukebox (2013, OpCode Press) as well as Subliminal Syntax (2019, Analog Submission Press) a cut-up chapbook of syntactical deconstruction.
His poetry and prose have been published widely in the small press both in print and online. His work has also been included in several anthologies, including Cut Up! An Anthology Inspired By The Cut-Up Method Of William S Burroughs And Brion Gysin (2014 Oneiros Books).
He has also been active in the experimental music scene for over twenty years. He records noise, experimental, and ambient sounds both solo, and as one half of the electronic project Blk/Mas.
Twitter: @brokenzen333 Facebook: waynemason333
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
I started writing as a child, for as long as I can remember really. My parents weren’t creative minded, but my father was a voracious reader which in turn made me into a one as well from a very young age and in time this turned into writing. Like most children I lived in my imagination, except I preferred to commit my imaginings to paper in the form of little stories and sketches. I can’t say that I wrote anything exceptional at a young age, but nothing brought me greater satisfaction. I was an awkward, painfully shy kid, but writing came easy.
I would later find myself being drawn towards poetry, though nothing immediately connected. As a teenager I became interested in music and started playing in bands, I found myself writing lyrics mostly. When I was fifteen or sixteen I discovered the Beats and nothing was the same since. Up to that point I was just a punk rock kid, but with the Beats I discovered something just as exciting and just as dangerous, and suddenly poetry connected like nothing ever had before. The spirit of Kerouac grabbed me first initially, but it was the prose and the prose techniques of Burroughs that would eventually have the biggest impact on me.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
Undoubtedly, the shadows of both William S Burroughs and Brion Gysin loom large, not only with their own exceptional work, but with the use of the cut-up technique, and other text manipulation. The discovery of Derrida and the theory of deconstruction was an important point. Being a working class poet, the voice of Levine has gotten me through many hard factory night shifts. I credit the haiku greats such as Basho and Issa with teaching me an economy of words and letting my poems breath. Artaud is an artist I somehow discovered later in life but have been fascinated with recently.
A lot of my influences are not even literary at all, David Lynch is a great influence, and too many sound artists from Miles Davis to Merzbow all influence me in some way or the other. Words and sound art are intertwined for me.
Q3: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Wayne: There is no particular moment I can pin point, it’s just always been that way for as long as I can remember. My whole life nothing has excited me as much as words or sound, and everything else paled in comparison…. much to my detriment, I always knew that there was no money in what I was doing but yet pursuing words/sound always seemed so much more important than pursuing a career. I suppose the first time I ever had my work published it was solidified for sure. It was the early 2000’s by the great Alpha Beat Press. It was a photocopied little broadside called “Coke Fishing In Alpha Beat Soup” and I was on top of the world.
Q4: Who has helped you most with writing?
Wayne: My wife has always been my biggest supporter. She may not always like my writing, particularly the more experimental stuff, but she recognizes the importance of it to me. So she’s not afraid to push me to write when apathy kicks in or factory blues have me down. In fact, without her I might never have been published at all. I used to write just to write and was too nervous (or apathetic) to actually send my work out and risk rejection. This was before everything was online, so early in our marriage one of the first things she bought me was one of those old thick Writers Market books, a book of stamps and some envelopes and told me to get to work.
Q5: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing & did any travels away from home influence your work?
Wayne: I grew up in central Florida but I wouldn’t say that place is terribly important in my work at all, maybe the places within a place… the factories, warehouses, etc.… But I’ve lived a few different places in my life and I feel place had little influence. Particularly now, as the older I get the more my work becomes insular, more about inner spaces rather than outer.
Q6: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?
Wayne: My earlier published work was much more straight writing, as opposed to the later stuff which got way more experimental, which is much more my preference. I’ve always been honest in my writing and haven’t been shy about putting my emotions out there, whether straight forward or cloaked in metaphor, so it’s all meaningful to me. I’m very proud of my most recent chapbook Automation, Man! (Bold Machines), and feel it’s likely my best poetry chapbook,but perhaps my personal favorite would be a chapbook of text called Subliminal Syntax that got put out a few years back by Analog Submission Press. Unfortunately, it was a limited run of 25 copies and is no longer available. However, I am currently expanding upon it into a larger volume as there is much more to be said there.
Q7: Favorite activities to relax?
Wayne: I enjoy spending time with the family and spoiling the dogs. I love listening to music, working out, and running when it’s not 100 degrees outside. I like to meditate but don’t get to near often enough. Mostly when I’m not at work, I’m just enjoying not being at work.
Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?
This may be the hardest question of all! And it’s more than likely to change from day to day.
Where there are humans
you’ll find flies
One haiku by Issa comes to mind though:
That’s a perfect piece of writing right there, and maybe the truest poem ever written.
Q9: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?
My most recent chapbook Automation, Man! (Bold Machines) is still available directly from the publisher Sweat Drenched Press or from Amazon if you prefer.
My most recent digital album of experimental sound Of Rituals And Shadows, as well as several other albums from my catalog are available to download from The Awareness Factory.