A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with poet Merritt Waldon

Q1: When did you start writing and whom influenced you the most now and currently? 

Merritt: I began writing poetry at 12. I wrote tiny stories and drew since i was 3 or 4.   Back then there were two major influences.  Li Po and Baudelaire. 

Q2: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer? 

Merritt: Since then and now the biggest influence on my idea of writing has always been John Keats .

The pivotal moment I knew I WANTED or was a writer was when I read the entire portable Whitman reader in a hay field next my house when I was 7. I got in trouble because I slept in between bails for two days no one knew where I was

Q3: Who has helped you most with writing and career? 

Merritt: The people that has helped me writing over The years the most Summer Dawn Bill Shields Daniel Yaryan Nancy Patrice Davenport Thomas Lyle Bush Thom Woodruff Tony Campbell Dr. J.C. Bacala ..    This answers the main question.  Of course there are others more recent. As well.

Q4: Where did you grow up and how did that influence you? Have any travels influenced your work? 

Merritt: I grew up in Madison Indiana next to the Ohio river in the country. It influenced me as a writer by turning poetry in to a.more spiritual entity than a utility of expression.   Backpacking all over the western hemisphere has deeply influenced the writing.

Q5: What do you consider your most meaningful work creatively to you? 

Merritt: Most meaningful creative work.  I’ll have to think on that.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax? 

Merritt: Drinking reading hiking hacky sack chess reading  Music listening singing along

Q7: What is a favorite line/ stanza/lyric from your writing? 

Merritt: Going down chiseling my own tombstone Out of these bones.

Q8:What kind of music inspires you the most? What is a song or song that always come back to you as an inspiration? 

Merritt: Blues . rock. Really jam while I write.   Love all music.  One song.  Change by blind melon

Q9: Do you have any recent or upcoming books, music, events, etc that you would like to promote? 

Merritt: I’m planning a poetry event called Poet-loose on October 9th at 4 p.m. in Scottsburg Indiana

Bonus Question: Any funny memory or strange occurrence you’d like to share during your creative journey? 

Merritt: Being a child of agent orange

Merritt bio & links:

I’m 48. Born 1974 Madison. Live in Scottsburg . published books and online and in anthologies. I am living the poetic I am.

Collaboration poem from Merritt Waldon & David L O’Nan

July 2022 Poetry Showcase from Merritt Waldon

Poems by Merritt Waldon: Strange Visitations & more poems for people

https://dumpsterfirepress.com/2022/08/24/voices-from-the-fire-merritt-waldon-8/

https://brooklynrail.org/contributor/Merritt-Waldon

Collaboration poem from Merritt Waldon & David L O’Nan

photo from pixabay

The Imperfect Wild (lifeless stones behind that wall)

Merritt:

Lost in a triangle of  disembodied 
thought
Air resembles butterflies forlorn
Inside out       

Imperfection tightly pulling piano
Wire around our necks 
Our strangled humanity 
Lifeless as stones decorating fields

David:

So maybe I'm not a carpenter
can't walk on water
Can't build a bridge after bridge
just keep reaching up from the water

I can't peel the grease from my slippery shoes
Maybe I can only live without full knowledge
Without full focus
A burning mind with moneys always fading.

Was life ever meant for me or us; the imperfect wild?

Merritt Waldon. Born September 12, 1974 Madison, Indiana just few blocks from the Ohio river. Born and raised by U.S. Air Force veteran of Viet Nam and his best friends sister. Merritt was almost named Stroh’s Waldon; after his dads favorite cheap beer after rotating back to world.  As long as he has been able to hold a writing/drawing utensil he has dreamed of being a published writer.  spending a lot of his late teens & early twenties traveling the united states & writing constantly, eventually returning to Indiana marrying having children divorcing marrying etc divorcing; still writing living . Has had work in Sun Poetic Times, Mojo Risin’, Beyond The Pale, One Hit, RoaDDawgz a magazine for the voice of the homeless ( under the pen name Ru mi), Smalltown Monthly, Crisis Chronicles, Cheap and Eazy Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Twizted Tungz, Fearless, Voices From The Fire, Bedroom Anatomy Lessons, The Rye Whiskey Review, The Black Shamrock, River Dog Magazine #1, Fevers of the Mind, Be About It #18, Americans & Others anthology, A Cooch Behar American poetry Anthology, Strange Gods From The Prairie: A Gasconade Review Anthology, The Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts: OMNIBUS vol 1., and Cajun Mutt Press Features. He has three books of poetry published; Oracles From A Strange Fire co-authored by National Beat Poet Laureate Ron Whitehead published by Cajun Mutt Press, then Pistol City Blues & Madison Street Screams and Smoke Break Poems published by Dead Man’s Press Ink. 47, he lives and writes in Austin, Indiana. https://tinyurl.com/ne6m3j73

other links to click:

July 2022 Poetry Showcase from Merritt Waldon

Poems by Merritt Waldon: Strange Visitations & more poems for people

Poem by Kushal Poddar : The Smile Craft (for Merritt Waldon)

A Quicksilver Trilling by David L O’Nan : Poetry & Writing style lyrics inspired by Dylan

An Ode To Tessa While in New York by David L O’Nan (From Before I Turn Into Gold)

In 1961…In 1961 by David L O’Nan (from Before I Turn Into Gold Anthology)

A Fevers of the Mind Interview/Promo piece with Ron Whitehead, U.S. National Beat Poet Laureate

Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog.

Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan Anthology available today!

Available Now: Before I Turn Into Gold Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology by David L O’Nan & Contributors w/art by Geoffrey Wren

Bare Bones Writings Issue 1 is out on Paperback and Kindle

July 2022 Poetry Showcase from Merritt Waldon

All American boys_meditation on memory_for Jerry Waldon

I watch it waving daily in the Ohio River Valley breeze
Across the street, at the confederate blue grey cinder
Block building, a tire shop

It protrudes out off the building on a rusted pole
Every roll of its cloth in the wind

The red white & blue
Of my childhood days of always being the
Miniature shadow of a veteran

Those days of growing when my mind was a better
Sponge
Soaking up the wisdom & knowledge
Of silence, war, and all American boys
Who traded their Pittsburgh pirate dreams
For an m1 & orders

A life time ago, his and mine too
Always bound by the road, mark twain
& hank sr,  beer & Indiana nights

Bound by blood, by memories long gone
Lonesome blues         lifetimes of mad 
Knowledge DNA mingling with chemicals

Altered through war, readjustment to
Society; & a lingering ghost of youth
Digging out the skulls of mans gods

All American boy days, red white and blue
Covered in napalm & agent orange
Hony tonking,  living fast busting loose
Madison Indiana out to the world

I remember going with him for tournaments
All over Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky
Any time he gave me money & I ate without him to save 
My money I would leave the waitresses a poem
Just a teen & already scribing the road between
the seen & unseen

Its waving to the east, jutting out from the wall
Across west main st, looking out my window
Its' rolling form red white 7 BLUE
 SOUTHERN INDIANA WIND BLOWS THROUGH ME
NOW
AS ROKY ERICKSON SINGS A DIRGE TO SWEET DREAM
& GRAND CHILDREN CONVERSE OVER A TABLET

I HEAR THE VOICE OF AMERICA
THE VOICE OF MY FATHER
ECHOING THROUGH THE YELLOWING
& RED LEAVES


I HEAR THE VOICE OF FREEDOM
AT THE EDGE OF THE OHIO
RUSHING DOWN TOWARDS THE MISSISSIPI


Oct. 13, 2020

The cool October day, sunny, hushed traffic busying by
Mind funk locked trunk cant look through dream junk

Hushed echoes of Ben Johnson, ancient Skalds,
Or Bards; the dreaming oracles of eternity

Grandchildren's brief voices in the kitchen
All adults off guard; they seek the sustenance
Of refrigerated cheese & play

My skin goose pimpled, I recite the constitution
I claim it As my balls to contemplate the age & sing
Madly the temporal odes of the decayed body
Of liberty

Its' ink made from the blood of millions
Its paper recycled broken treaties
All the roads lead where?
I laugh to myself, knowing the only quote
Like that says Rome.

I digress towards prosody now;  
The hustling life of Scott county like back-
Ground music

The cool October day, sunny, hushed traffic busying by
Mind funk locked trunk cant look through dream junk

A POEM for A.C.M. 

I dream of a belly dancer in a yellow sun dress, cheeks red
And full of the motion of bodies

Her twirling blond form,  singing some kind of dirge
To invisible crows
Her skin glowing of a  mid western sun
Eyes like orbiting satellites transmitting
the ecstatic hope of mothers & lovers
Everywhere

Voices in the dark, sje spins
Whispering her songs
To a lost star

POEM

Peeled back scars like gorilla tape revealing
The seeping of stars

Rushing water sounds

Polished stones of eternity

Madison-Milton bridge

The once Charlestown bridge
The Louisville bridges---

The sound of the furious water
Like static or white noise from a billion televisions

Glaciated currents of my childhood nightmares
& dreams

The mad coddling of the geo magnetic songs
Of the Ohio river valleys

Ectoplasmic oracles of genetic history

A mirror of madness & culture

The looking glass of mid Americas 
Addiction to visual waves from
A flashing screen 6 feet from them
As they drowse in to pillows 
Of LED light

Muddy waters, willows, spiral notebooks
& decades of revolution
Around the sun

The rushing water sounds

Good beautiful river vibrations of diadem
Perceptions

Eyelids itch with the blood of gods

Adventure time my whole life,  woods
Hugging the Ohio River like a warm lady
Echoing the secrets of memory

The baptismal of mind labyrinths
Traced out in bones & history

POEM #2 (BUTTERFLIES)

Listening to the slowly fading out screams
Of butterflies

The machine gun beats of drums as fast
As artillery spewing forth

The music clings to ribs
To memory the soft parade files
Along

The stirring of something unseen
& powerful

Fingering the senses
I watch the vibrational ripples of air
Twirl like some kind of dervish
From the 13th century
Or like monks drunk on wine
Dancing through streets
As if the mad infinitesimal energy
Of our own divinities
Clasped tight to hand

Dragging our vision through
Town

“you got to meet you a few
Animals at the crossroads”

Their filming the scuffling figures
Scuddling down the sidewalk
At dawn

Following them to the ledge
High above them
In  the brownstone next 
To the liquor store

Their vibrations sing with the sun rise
The last poems of a drunken poet
Crying on the shoulder of his muse
Waiting for the unseen

To pull them from the ledge

The image is not new
The holy renaissance of senses
& star c(h)ords

The music lingers 
Sinew, piss, and rivers
Undiluted spirit of youth clamors

“everything must be this way”
Cyclical waves of never ending
Impermanence

Ever see the lips of an ancient bard
Chapped & surrounded by hair
Weeping 3 stories in to the night
Calling to the dogs or the gods
Looking for the lack of gravity

“Tropic corridor
Tropic treasure
What brought this far to this mild equator”

Looking for something new
Like wine growing from the decomposing
Bodies of Aristophanes
& Jim Morrison

Listening to the slowly fading out screams
Of butterflies

POEM _ Meditation


i was thinking of a uniform

Uniforms.   how skin could be 
A uniform.

Thoughts like an invisibility cloak

Wearing it like being consumed
In napalm

Strange idols burning with blue flame

Lounge chair made of razor wire &
Mortar shells

History's caustic finger nail  scratch
Across the bardic swirl

This quarantined year lazily slouching by
Looking for the absolution of freedom

All the cyclical lips & their gutter odes
Pouring from great speaker 

With a milky way subwoofer
Permeating the rhythmic turbulences
Through the living

Organic microphones 

The laughter of clowns & muses
Til their hips cant gyrate any further
Or their livers stand the test
Of the ambrosial significance
Of love

The slow embers of flesh in the throws
Of passion & mortality
The melting of beings in to singular
Forms 

The tongues of unity flashing
Beyond becoming 

Uniformed bodies of oneness

Uniforms of the living
Appearance
Like individual flags or
Syllables 
Or bio waves of invisible
Waves that form whispering
Bodies like static through 
Consciousness

In to images we seek our selves
Unrelatable to stars til we
Take off the uniforms of our lives
& 
Float on


portrait by Ryan Heacock

Merritt Waldon. Born September 12, 1974 Madison, Indiana just few blocks from the Ohio river.

Born and raised by U.S. Air Force veteran of Viet Nam and his best friends sister. Merritt was almost named Stroh’s Waldon; after his dads favorite cheap beer after rotating back to world.  As long as he has been able to hold a writing/drawing utensil he has dreamed of being a published writer.  spending a lot of his late teens & early twenties traveling the united states & writing constantly, eventually returning to Indiana marrying having children divorcing marrying etc divorcing; still writing living . Has had work in Sun Poetic Times, Mojo Risin’, Beyond The Pale, One Hit, RoaDDawgz a magazine for the voice of the homeless ( under the pen name Ru mi), Smalltown Monthly, Crisis Chronicles, Cheap and Eazy Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Twizted Tungz, Fearless, Voices From The Fire, Bedroom Anatomy Lessons, The Rye Whiskey Review, The Black Shamrock, River Dog Magazine #1, Fevers of the Mind, Be About It #18, Americans & Others anthology, A Cooch Behar American poetry Anthology, Strange Gods From The Prairie: A Gasconade Review Anthology, The Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts: OMNIBUS vol 1., and Cajun Mutt Press Features. He has three books of poetry published; Oracles From A Strange Fire co-authored by National Beat Poet Laureate Ron Whitehead published by Cajun Mutt Press, then Pistol City Blues & Madison Street Screams and Smoke Break Poems published by Dead Man's Press Ink. 47, he lives and writes in Austin, Indiana.

https://tinyurl.com/ne6m3j73

Poems by Merritt Waldon: Strange Visitations & more poems for people

Strange Visitations in Pistol City on the birthday of Poe _ for Edgar A. Poe & Ron Whitehead  
(after reading some Poe all night before// & waking to read Ron Whitehead's Learning to talk with crows) _

Quite early this morn
a rapping came
Rapping at my door

 Ignoring it at first, while sipping
Coffee, smoking & remembering 
Dreams

Remembering long ago conversations 
On poetry, philosophy & history, 
Remembering Learning to talk w crows 
By Ron Whitehead &
Tom Waits ‘ Bone Machine echoes
Stars begin to fade from sight

Neck feeling the weight of worlds
Gravity like a mysterious dust
Dead skin collected from long 
Lost stars

An hour later as if by schedule
A rapping early on my door
Longing & soft   yet firm
A sweet midnight breath 
In the madness of musing
I answered the strange moment

There, before me was a raven as big 
As an eagle, a hellhound, whos leash 
Was held by the perfect image of edgar 
Allan poe

A panic chill like some one walked over my
“grave’’
Spontaneously mind recalls a time once telling 
A 7th grade teacher; that like Poe
My pen would be the death of me
During a talk in which he introduced me
To Goethe & Faust

The teacher laughed, I had stayed after class
Cause he loved my essay on Nietzsche for his
English class 

Yet in the present, I wasn’t laughing 
Smiling YES; alas laughing
I was not

Faced with such a visitor on His birthday
Of all days
I let them in & sit back down on my brown 
Barstool bought from the Goodwill

As if by telepathy , He also recalls the conversation
With my teacher
& adds that perhaps it be true

That some day all voices will gather 
Traveling  Lithe 
Singing our ballads, odes & dirges
To the living creative fire
We are

The hellhound snuggles at His feet
& the raven chills next to Him perched 
atop the television like something out of
A Bosch

After an hour or two of dialogue, & poetry
Where we agreed that the only real true 
Freedom is found with in the creative imagination
& that most people never take the blinders
Off long enough to see any thing save their own 
Lives;   many other subjects were spoken 

As daylight began to crawl in to the world
He bidding me fare well handing me a tug 
Out of a transparent flask that appeared to be
Absinthe

I began to realize
That I have always been searching for Edgar Poe & his Raven
& the pen that wrote greatest united states literature

I light a cigarette, look at my dog; Sir Charlie Webfoot;
Now asleep under the bed

Still remembering the tapping, rapping , rapping
At my door    this morn   quite early
While the moon drifts  with its fullness
Over southern Indiana

Rainy 3 a.m. (a spontaneous moan)

Rainy 3a.m. (a spontaneous moan)
Rain drops falling to pavement
Reflected from streetlights
The light shimmers beneath the dark
Sitting, electrified by hands of
Lightning descending from clouds 
Another night of work done
Mind twisted and mangled like sails
In the storm, this body a boat
Churning in the invisible mood water
Of a sleepy Friday 3 a.m.
Southern Indiana breathes a wet
Sigh as the sky feeds the earth
Mind washed and yet still cluttered
I await the ride home to sit reading
Keats, Collins, and Ramey
Maybe even pen some new universe
That has never existed
Bleeding out in to the soggy parking lot
My thoughts flow 
I collect them in to a cauldron to boil
Searching out the pure gold of
Human experience

_______________________

A spontaneous moan__//(just ask Corso)
Without hands strangling reality to fit the way the hands seem to think
it should all fit perfect and precise
the world will not fall apart...
it's a difference between rowing and capsizing...
without hands dragging time through the gutter, it really only
exists in transit as we move
frivolously against ourselves
breaking the tide; here I go again praying to
a god the people made neon
it reads
pain.
without these hands rifling through this soul
i don't think i'd ever get up
no coffee, just pillow
getting head and that's where it all went
down
without hands life is already chaos
it's already a mess
just ask
Gregory Corso.

It stays poop_ (for Rhiannon/Reid)

Trip trap, lost in the forest of relivin'-  can not get past the battle wounds-
Can not get beyond the puss covered laceration down next to the soul.
There are often unremarkable images thrown up and out, that the  pen dries
Up for the moment and there can be no recording.
Voice. Microphone. Tape. Like a conquering worm slithering
In and out             devouring the consciousness, devouring all performed
Moans          leaving only garbled mess of tongue between the ceiling & sky-
Levitational madness grips
the barbaric poet as he falls deeper in to the sky
 
        Away from home
    Away from reality
He was only an experiment
only a nightmare brought through worm shit-
But it stays poop- "it stays poop", you know just like it stays eternal
                             wings of change
                 brings strange transformations- Never does it remain one but many
Many   many-               Deja vu is  i swear-  it is proof of transmigration-
Proof of reincarnation-   Proof of unfinished business chaining a thing to
Its imperfection
 
OMmmmmmmmmmm

Field report from a mountain (dec.62001 - written upon finding out Gregory Corso had died)

Field report from a mountain
 For Gregory.....
 
 I am climbing the roads to Avalon, and the mist
 envelopes me, there are ghosts draining my veins of
 joy
 There are angels rifling my skullcap for thought
 I am tattooed on the devils left hand, riding Cerberus
 into dreams, feeding on the blood of stars,
 
 can somebody tell me where the fuck I am.
 this narrow hole , this pit where i am collecting dust.
 come if you be my friends, talk to me, show me it
 doesn't have to be one big shotgun blast
 
 Now here this, you can not have my bones, those are
 Calliope's, those are the bruised lovers in the cave,
 and here, awe if I survive, is where the word will
 last
 
 so tell me do any of you see the arrow-headed moths
 flapping there wings in the sky, wanton and hungry
 for my white flag
 
 Fuck it. come! here are the veins of sleep,
 come friends feed on these hollow horizons,
 
 I give it you, this dark tide,
 where my silence becomes demons
 where the pain resides
 
 there's no salve for this wound, no patch to hide
 
 thank you lovers for holding me at least for a second
 
 there is no safety Gregory Corso, none; no muse to save
 us from this melting pot dungeon
 
 and where do we take the hymns of Osiris,or the  harp
of the muses?
 
 lol. I am rolling now, and the allies grow gnarled
 tooth walls dreaming of my gluttonous taste
 
 No more Gregory, no more do they weep or praise the
 Frankenstein poet of the blind seraph,
 
 and this is funny
 
 old hollow men sitting on a shanty porch just out of
 reach
 
  out of reach, the hand of gods 


Wolfpack Contributor: Merritt Waldon

Some poems from Merritt Waldon

Poem by Kushal Poddar  : The Smile Craft (for Merritt Waldon)