A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Poetess Spriha Kant

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

I started writing at a very tender age. Writing poetries is in my genes.

I was highly influenced by “A Retrieved Reformation” by O. Henry, and “The Necklace” by Guy De Maupassant for the very first time.

Many beautiful poetic gems are influencing me currently, including, Helen Laycock, Jeff Flesch, PS Conway, Gabriela Marie Milton, Chris Papps, Charlie Bott, Ann Bagnall, Darryl Lovie, KP DeLaney, Sharon Toman, David L O’Nan, HilLesha O’Nan, Lily Maureen O’Nan, Strider Marcus Jones, Jamie Kovalsky, Tricia Sankey, Swarn Gill, Daniel Cummings,Bethany Samaddar, Virginia Mateias, Punam Saxena, Kushal Poddar, Stuart Matthews, Dawn Serbert, and the list still has many more left to name….

The way the beautiful poetess Camellia recites poetries as a nightingale influences me a lot. 
The frankness of J.D. Greyson that flows in her soft voice is too influential for me.

Online literary journals, blogs, and websites also influence me a lot, 
currently, Move Me Poetry, Spillwords, Fevers of Mind, Poetry, &Art, 
Lothlorien Poetry Journal, and Eunoia Review are on the list.

I love the way Move Me Poetry brings out many exciting things with it regularly, especially its “Teach Me Tuesday”, “Move Me Poetry Battles”and “Daily Drop”. It is a convivial community of poetic gems that influences me a lot.

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

Spriha: There’s no such pivotal moment as I have always seen myself in four different forms since the very beginning – an author, a musician, a painter, and an underwater diver, or if none of them then I wish to be born as a mermaid. I desire to be born as a mermaid. Whenever I become upset and/or stressed, then my heart
 writhes badly to live as a mermaid

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

Spriha: I have inherited writing from my parents so obviously, there have been full-fledged support and guidance from my parents. My younger sister has always been supportive of me in each aspect.
However, the main twist occurred in my life when Mr. Prabhu Joshi appeared in my life. He had a master’s degree in English literature and had a special study on the Structural Grammar of English Poetry. He always used to insist me and my parents to never stop reading and writing poetries. He always used to praise me for my work. He used to give me suggestions whenever I used to share my poems with him and many extra pieces of advice too. He also used to tell me to start reviewing books with my free mind. After his untimely demise, Stuart Matthews gave me space in his book “Sing, Do the birds of Spring”. Then, the founder and editor of the Fevers of the Mind, Poetry, and Art featured me in his two consecutive books 
at a global level. The prestigious author Helen Laycock gives me suggestions with logic on my poetries posted on my Twitter handle. So, I think that these three authors have helped me in evolving as an author because one can not become confident enough till one is not published and the person starts evolving as an author at a serious level when he/she starts publishing, in my opinion.

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

Spriha: I grew up in Indore, India. Indore has no role in influencing me in any aspect as it is known for its foodie nature, Malvi language which is the local language of Indore, carefree nature, and many other traits from all which I have remained untouched and unaffected. 

Yes, my two travels have influenced my work. My first online published poetry “The Seashell”, published in Imaginary Land Stories on August 8th, 2020 by Sunmeet Singh, is influenced by Cross Bill Beach Resort in Havelock, Andaman Island, and by the Havana Beach in Kerala. While spending a few days with my family in Cross Bill Beach Resort, a romantic story whirled in my head which was 
influenced by the beach, the sand, the seashells, the foreign couples and lovers basking in the sun nearby the beach, and many other things over there. The metaphor “pearl” that I used in my poetry “The Seashell” came to my mind from one of my funny incidents at Havana Beach. I was chilling with my family there in my pearl beaded top and leggings. While dipping into the waves of the beach, one 
of the pearls from my top fell into the beach, and then when I took the second dip, I got that pearl. On getting that pearl, I suddenly went mad and kept on shouting in the excitement that I discovered a pearl from the waves of the beach, despite being insisted by everyone that the pearl was from my top that fell into the waves of the beach till my mother shouted at me in anger. One of my quotes, “A person with physical beauty lacking insight is like a seashell without a pearl” is influenced by this incident. 

Q5: What do you consider the most meaningful work you've done creatively so far?

Spriha: I have not become satisfied with my work in any aspect yet. I feel the need to learn and explore more about poetries. I still feel the need to delve deeper into poetries.

Q6: What are your favorite activities to relax?

Spriha: Cycling, Calligraphy, doodling, reading and writing poetries, and reviewing poetries.

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

Spriha: The lines/stanzas/lyrics from my writings that are my favourites are:
1) The last line from my poetry “The Seashell” --- “Swim with me till those streamlines where there’s no trace of the sea shore and I will submerge and breathe in them with you as a mermaid till eternity.”
2) A few words from an untitled micro piece that I wrote in Move Me Poetry Battle on Twitter ---“Kaleidoscopic dreams float like amorphous clouds”
3)My quote “A person with physical beauty lacking insight is like a seashell without pearl.”
4) The words from an untitled piece that I wrote in Move Me Poetry Battle on Twitter:
             “No, she is not stubborn. 
              Rather, she is 
              as vulnerable as 
              a fire in the water 
              who can’t 
              dare to rebel 
              her heart’s voice."
5) The words from my poetry, “The Black Hole”, published in the anthology book, 
“Bare Bones Writings: Issue 1”, “Hair like a hanging vine naturally burnished in ebony wood texture” and the last few words of the poetry “she is in the black hole where poverty rules”

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

Spriha: My bond with music is with my soul. 

A few songs that always come back to me as inspiration are:
1) “Fire Ever Living” and an album “Antithesis” composed by Alexandros Hahalis
2) “Raazi” composed by Shankar Ehsaan Loy and sung by Arijit Singh
3) A few songs composed by Amaal Mallik including “Besabriyaan”, sung by Armaan Malik, “Jeetne Ke Liye”, sung by Krishnakumar Kunnath, “Parwah Nahi”, sung by “Siddharth Basrur”, and “Zindagi Aa Raha Hoon Mein”, sung by Atif Aslam. His Bollywood album “Saina” inspires me the most and is closest to my heart.

Q9: Do you have any recent or upcoming projects that you'd like to promote?

Spriha: Two of my pieces have recently been selected for the upcoming anthology of Move Me Poetry and it is slated to release on October 2023. I am happy to know this.

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

Spriha: No, just hoping that a funny incident in my writing journey adds to my memory in the future. 

Spriha Kant is born in Indore, India, and resides there with her family. She developed an interest in reading and writing poetries at a very tender age. Her poetry "The Seashell" was first published online in the "Imaginary Land Stories" on August 8, 2020, by Sunmeet Singh. She has been a part of Stuart Matthew’s 
anthology “Sing, Do the birds of Spring” in the fourth series of books from #InstantEternal poetry prompts. She has been featured in the Bob Dylan-inspired anthology “Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan” by the founder and editor of the website Fevers of the Mind 
“David L O’Nan”. Her poetries have been published 
in the anthology “Bare Bones Writing Issue 1: Fevers of the Mind”

 2 poems by Spriha Kant from Hard Rain Poetry Forever Dylan Anthology 

Poetry and stories inspired by the Red Tractor picture 

Poetry based on photography “The Lone Road to Moloka’I” from Maggs Vibo 

Bare Bones Writings Issue 1 is out on Paperback and Kindle 

Poetry based on photography Challenge from Ankh Spice pt. 1

Poetry Showcase from Barney Ashton- Bullock

Arraigned Excelsis in Suburban Winter

The boundary of infinity, its horror void contained in an anthrax picture frame,
This archetypal death in life, this concrete in motion, this conjoined voyeur,
This tundric countenance,
This obfuscation of reclusive handsome,
This recent aversion from habitual preen, pick and comb in the hallway mirror,
This slipshod, wall-grip, trudge-drudgery,
This thaw to laugh at his fails, fall and falter;
Don’t destroy yourself in a little bit of snow.

The pocket crumb memoirs of long chomped snacks afloat in streaks of mustard mastic,
The micro-discordant, cyclonic schluppety of coked nose,
The hunger it staves,
The breaking of background nations and foreground hearts, 
The amplified ice-crack-alike of the shoring apart 
Of the two sides of a pre-sliced frozen muffin.
Home is a hope for the future and a surety lodged in the past:
I’ve been thinking of you all my life 
But, you’re not what I’ve been waiting for;
Don’t destroy yourself in a little bit of snow.

By This Or That Street Or Bench Or Gate

by this or that street or bench or gate,
privet channels wrought by the stomp and trample 
of kidlets en route to dens within dens within the density 
of municipal park boundary delineating thickets;

by this or that street or bench or gate,
eschewing the ‘No Ball Games’ cul-de-sacrilege, 
the ‘No Cycling’ signs hammered aloft 
by the ‘Bureau of Cut-Throughs’, 
the riven floes of summer Sunday mirth overspill, 
on overspill Estates… 

just as that brazen, criss-crossin’ o’tit-bits and the rat-a-tat of jaw-jaw 
are now recalled as the molten motion of a golden age,
so are the freeze-frame, discoloured, Disc-Camera photographs, 
35 years on, reclaimed from dusty bottom drawers 
for the mantle of a ‘Northern Heritage’ exposé

in which we were the crust and core; 
cut adrift, thencefrom, the coltish, kiddy-clan, brick-built bucolics 
by the severity of severally meted teen-gang fist’n’flicks 
from which I still, in mid-life, twitch from the witness thereof,
by this or that street or bench or gate…

incoterms     (poem also in Bare Bones Writing Issue 1)

There are no incoterms for smuggled, cut narcotics;

You’ll pay in bouquets of necroses 
And spindle-pinscher, tweezer-tease 
Of scabs where syringe pricks hath pitched and roamed 
To foam the cauls of laced, iced, blood on fire.

Each draw a dull microcosm of ‘endgame’
That disequips motion from churning stases of belligerence;
Have you noticed no encore called for you,
Or your presence, or your bore-jaw; ne’er no more. 

And, if your teacher smacked you in the mouth 
For a verbal rout with the pastor in ’84
As he cupped your puber balls 
Calling you out for indecent exposure. 

Some o’erseer suit’ll write your ma ‘n’ pa
And say you’ve been wanking in class
And then the beatings will alternate
Betwixt centripetal and centrifugal force majeure!

And the wavering flesh turns sclerotic 
And the trackmarks anthracitic 
And the mind to a doughty blancmange
The flavour of which is undiscerned:

And the ‘base-mix’ powder tamped 
And the groundswell gullies of comedown earned
And the hackling hawkings of crows unknown
Slow in their circlings, swoop in predate to confirm

There are no incoterms at all.

Bio: Barney Ashton-Bullock is the poet in the hybrid poetry/pop projects Andy Bell is Torsten and the Downes Braide Association. His poetry is widely published in cult journals in the US, UK, Eire and Canada including in Travesties, Queerlings, Poetry Bus, both of the ‘Avalanches In Poetry’ tribute anthologies to Leonard Cohen, the Dreich pamphlets ‘Famous’, ‘Ismism’, ‘Pop’ & ‘Response’, the Pilot Press ‘Queer Anthology Of Healing’ and in the Broken Sleep Books Aphex Twin anthology. His recent pamphlets are ‘Café Kaput!’ (Broken Sleep Books, 2020), ‘F**kpig Zeitgeist!’ (Cherry Red, 2021), ‘Bucolicism’ (Cherry Red, 2021), ’Geopoliticus, Pupsy!’ (Red Ceilings Press, 2022) with his latest collection, ‘Cul-de-Sacrilege!’ due for publication by Polari Press in October, 2022.