A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Scott Cumming

with Scott Cumming:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Scott: My first writings would have been in my teen years with what I called lyrics, but since I’ve never been able to play an instrument it might be more accurate to call them poems with choruses.

I was influenced by the music I listened to through the years starting with Oasis and the Manic Street Preachers before getting more lovelorn and aping the likes of Weezer, Ed Harcourt and Ash.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Scott: Shawn Berman is the other as he has taught me to embrace my light, silly side in my writing through his work and his site, The Daily Drunk. I’ve had a lot of stuff published there throughout this year and I’ve had an immense amount of fun doing it.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Scott: I grew up in the Bridge of Don in Aberdeen, which has the distinction of being the largest suburb in Europe. We lived on the outer edges of it and there was room to explore the surrounding countryside.

Subconsciously it is there in my writing as when I think of places the image will often come from a place I remember from when I was young. The place truly was a collision of rural and urban spaces.

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Scott:

LCD are Sitting Next to Us at the After-Party (dailydrunkmag.com)

This poem is about a great night I had with a friend who has recently passed. I’ve written a few others that will appear in my forthcoming chapbook. 

Poetry has helped me to process my feelings about his death and made me confident enough to reach out to people I hadn’t spoken to in some time and clear the air about things either real or imagined.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Scott: There really isn’t. 

I was never someone who had the confidence before and always thought I wasn’t good enough to write or create. You see all sorts of people with their PhDs and MFAs and I’m just a guy who didn’t realise the value of education until too late.

Now I have the confidence, if not the belief, that I can write whatever I want and even if it only finds an audience of one, it’s the doing it that matters.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Scott: Recently I’ve been playing the Nintendo Switch we got for our seven year old’s birthday a lot to destress.

As well as that I obviously love to read and have been keeping up to date with the latest stuff from B F Jones, James Lilley and Andrew Davie among others.

In the past few months, I’ve taken to filming myself reading poems that have particularly impressed me and posting them on Twitter.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?

Scott: My chapbook, “A Chapbook About Nothing”, will be released on the last day of 2021. It is so called because of its complete lack of theme and the duelling, possibly jarring nature of my crime/dark poems against my light, pop culture fare.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem/writing of yours or others?

Scott:

“I remember when we had nothing, but

allergy medicine spiked into each of our legs
licking the drip of epinephrene blood from your thigh”

This line is from a poem I had published at The Five-Two (The Five-Two: Scott Cumming (poemsoncrime.blogspot.com)), which is among the favourite things I’ve written thus far and perhaps the darkest thing I’ve written.

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Scott: Stephen J. Golds, B F Jones, Max Thrax, James Lilley are probably the main ones. They’ve each taught me something that has become integral to how I continue to write. It can sometimes be a lonely furrow and I’ve been able to rely on them to pull me through at times.

Links:

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Scott Cumming

New Poem by Scott Cumming : Magical Realism vs Middle Earth

2 poems by Scott Cumming : “The Layer Between Us” & “Ear Worn”

Poetry by Scott Cumming : the Daily Battle & To Be Written Upon Waking

Twitter: @tummidge

https://punknoirmagazine.com/2021/04/22/3-poems-by-scott-cumming/

https://punknoirmagazine.com/2021/06/30/something-broken-by-scott-cumming/

https://dailydrunkmag.com/2021/03/30/two-poems-by-scott-cumming/

https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2021/02/21/poetry-by-scott-cumming-the-daily-battle-to-be-written-upon-waking/

New Poem by Scott Cumming : Magical Realism vs Middle Earth

Light, Forest, Away, Path, Trees, Autumn

Magical Realism vs. Middle Age

This beach is more frightening
The waves drag the stones
The collisions adding up
To a furious cacophony
Turn my hearing aid down
Then it gets freakier
The noise quietened
To a bag of bones

Used to love magical realism
Until it all became too real
Younger me
Would hope for the jellyfish cadavers
To rise upon their tentacles
And tell me I’m the one
Before opening the waves
To a Miyazaki city
Full of the unexplainable
And nonsensical

Now I just run away
Because I’m pretty sure one of the suckers moved.

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Scott Cumming

2 poems by Scott Cumming : “The Layer Between Us” & “Ear Worn”

The Layer Between Us

You answer the door
in just a shirt
not long out the bath

Eyes fixed to yours
All I can think of
is the simple layer
Separating our intimacy

My feelings remain the same
not in that way
Frayed, creased
Stretched and stressed
like the shirt you’ve thrown on

Knowing my mind
is the difference
Between shouting and screaming
and revealing my doubts and fears

More chance of me
Looking down
Initiating
than ever explaining.

Ear Worn

Blocked up
Suez Canal style
Underwater hearing
Sound drowned

Hearing aid
Sends submarine transmissions
Hard to distinguish
Noises fighting for attention

Laying beneath the shallows
Feel the glinting of the sun
Upon stinging eyes
Choked up throat
Choosing to drown
When it would be easier
to reach out
and pull myself up

Hard enough
to deal with damaged thoughts
Crap scientist chemistry
Let alone
being blocked like an old sink

Faulty plumbing
Throbbing
Behind the eyes
Until the blood vessels evaporate
And the aura appears
With an armada of pain not far behind.

Bio Below:

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Scott Cumming

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Scott Cumming

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Scott Cumming never considered himself to be a writer until recently, but turns out he has some stuff to say. He has been published at The Daily Drunk, Punk Noir Magazine, Bristol Noir, Fevers of the Mind, Versification, Close to the Bone and Shotgun Honey. Catch up with all his misdemeanors on Twitter @tummidge