About Will Schmit and a new poem “Six Strings Untie the Knot”

My name is Will Schmit. I began writing
poetry in the late 1960’s on a dare from a
high school English teacher who took
umbrage at my sarcastic response to his
suggestion Rod McKuen was the next Carl
Sandburg. I didn’t know who the first Carl
Sandberg was either but I was sure the
poetry foisted upon us wasn’t worth the
teacher’s emphasis.

I wrote a poem for the school newspaper but
didn’t use my real name to not tip off the
faculty. It got in the paper, it was some sort
of concrete poem using the shape of steps
coming to an abyss to represent our
education.

My first outside school norm influence was
Ginsburg’s Howl given to my by a member of
our state champion wrestling team. I went to
college in Milwaukee Wisconsin for several

half semesters, took two creative writing
classes, well one and a half as I was bodily
carried out of class by a body builder named
Texas Jack Gonyo who told me poetry can’t
exist in a classroom with no windows. He
brought me to the side of a river and began to
teach me Tai Chi and turned me onto Arthur
Whaley’s Translations from the Chinese.

In 1972 I published my first book of poems
Woof dem Babies Down on a literally
underground press called Babylon. Anti-war
protest stuff mixed in with travel tales of
crossing most of Canada on a bicycle and of
course the unrequited love poems.

Feminist poetry was the rage and I heard
Denise Levertov live and began peddling
small press radical feminist poetry books out
of the co-op where I worked. Some of the
lesbian poets didn’t know I was a male as my

nom de plume was not so gender specific and
when they came to town to read it made for
some awkward book sales. I left the Midwest
at the height of my local fame having pulled
in a 100 or more people to a hybrid
jazz/poetry show as the local poetry club
wouldn’t give me a gig.

I didn’t quit writing altogether but it was the
90’s before I got back on stage for an open
mic in Northern California. I was also
studying music and African Dance and
formed a spoken word band with a group of
multi-instrumentalists called Wiley Jadavega
and the Poetry Section because the local
Barnes & Noble didn’t have one.

We played coffee clubs and campus lounges
for a few years, put out a cassette, did a local
TV spot. Incidentally a poet who just last
year was a Pulitzer nominee was a fan of the

band. I put out two chapbooks during the
decade but the band folded and I again
didn’t quite quit writing to study saxophone.

To be blunt I didn’t have much use for
poetry. If I came across a literary journal I’d
page through it and scratch my head at the
obtuse language. Poetry slams and rap styles
left me in the dust as I couldn’t memorize or
freestyle so I took fiction courses on line,
finished a novel, came in 12 th out of 200 in a
contest and, you guessed it, set it all aside to
study saxophone.

I’ve always worked, always been a blue collar
street level sort of poet and around 1995 I got
sober, re-married, and began writing faith
and praise poems in what I imagined was a
born again griot style. I called the band out
of retirement to record a CD Bring to Glory

which is available on Spotify, iTunes, and my
website.

I published a collection of personal
psalmistry entitled Head Lines Poems &
Provocations in an effort to rescue faith
based literature from right wing propaganda.
I got a Kirkus Review, had an ad in
Poets&Writers and sold a handfull of signed
copies before the pandemic.

I got on Twitter to promote the book and CD
and found a new world on online publishing
such as Fevers of the Mind. I’m writing more
‘secular’ stuff nowadays to use a word I
would never use and have a new EP coming
out later this year to be a poetic/music
companion to a book of interviews I just
signed a contract for entitled Bumping into
God A Search for the Sound of Spirit.

I was recently excused from my first ever
poetry workshop (and issued a full refund!)
as I am apparently a horse’s ass of a different
color. The highest compliment I’ve ever
received is from folks who tell me they’re not
into poetry but they read one of mine out
loud to their spouse at the kitchen table
through tears. Not sure I’ll ever top that but
aim to have some sort of reputable press
discover me as I enter my fifth decade of
emerging as a poet.

Please take some time to check out my
poems, tunes and essays on my website
http://www.schmitbooks.com

here’s something from a recent piece…

Six Strings Untie the Knot

I repair your guitar in a
bath of broken glass, these
are the new blues, frozen
specimens, blood tipped
tiles and footprints disappear
outside a window

Thank you for your interest I am looking for
my tribe and Like The Beatles I hope to pass
the audition. Be well, be vocal, be kind.

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Ryan Flett

with Ryan Flett:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Ryan: I’ve been writing since I was a teenager, but I didn’t take up poetry until a few years ago, well into my 30’s. I used to read a lot of science fiction and really liked authors like David Brin and Arthur C Clarke. Some years back I decided that when it came to my reading I needed to branch out into different genres and came upon a book of poetry by Charles Wright that I absolutely fell in love with.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Ryan: I would say Mary Oliver. Her voice and her insights into nature and our place in it are stunning. I’d be delighted if someday I could be even one tenth the poet she was. I think Tom Hennen is a phenomenal and tragically overlooked poet.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?

Ryan: I grew up (and still reside in) the Pacific Northwest. I grew up really close to nature, and I spent my youth camping and backpacking. I currently live in a rural area where I can watch deer from my kitchen table. So there’s always that thread of nature that runs through most of my work, and it’s probably why I feel such an affinity for Oliver and Wright.

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

Ryan: That’s a tough question to answer. I’d like to think that everything I put out there, whether it’s on my blog or on Twitter, is meaningful. This is like asking me to pick a favorite child–I just can’t do it!

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

Ryan: I always knew that I wanted to write. But I always imagined it would be novels. In school we’re taught a lot of the classics in units and lessons on poetry, and much of that is unrelatable or inaccessible to an adolescent, so I think we condition people to think of poetry as something unapproachable. If you told me five years ago that I would consider myself a poet I would have laughed. It was only when I was older that I wanted to try something new and branch out and saw that there’s a lot of wisdom in poetry. I really started shifting gears with my writing when I finally realized that you can tell a complete story in a poem, and it’s often more impactful than any novel.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Ryan: I really love animals and I try to spend as much time as possible with mine (we have dogs, rabbits, and a parrot). I’ve really taken an interest in gardening recently. I also am an amateur computer programmer and make apps and videogames.

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

Ryan: I’ve been sitting on a collection of poems for over a year now. I don’t know if I’ll ever publish them. But if I do you’ll be the first to know! (Ryan will have some of his poetry published in Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest Issue 5 in August)

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

Ryan: One of my favorite poems is a short one by Charles Wright entitled “Whatever Happened to Al Lee?” that goes:


What happened is what happens to all of us: we walked
On the earth, we threw a couple of handfuls of dirt
Into the air, and when it came down it covered us.

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Ryan: I’ve always thought of writing as a rather solitary endeavor, and I’m not particularly keen on workshopping things. I’d say ultimately the support of my family and girlfriend has really encouraged me to keep writing. And certainly the poetry community of Twitter has been fabulous.

Twitter: @ryanwritespoems

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Ryan Flett

2 poems by Ryan Flett : “How Dreams Die” “Some Nights”

Poem “Swallow the Night” by Ryan Flett

2 Poems by Samantha Terrell : Carpe Diem & Standards

Carpe Diem

I curse you, Shame - a
Persistent thief who
Sneaks into mornings, which turn into
Days - with your
Memories and fears
Determined to
Steal esteem
To fuel
New days, which
Turn into years.


Standards

My crown of bricks
Weighs upon my head -
Where it sits
Mocking me with its
Symbolism, and dissent
From expectation.

I understand it looks odd.
Please trust
It often
Feels awful.
But, for me, it’s more of a must
Than a choice.

So go ahead, stare.
I’ve learned constant
Application of pressure
Ensures
Consistent
Results.



Samantha Terrell, Poet/Writer
Vision, and Other Things We Hide From


Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Samantha Terrell


Sunday Interview with Poet Samantha Terrell


A poem “Blood-close” by Karlo Sevilla

silhouette of trees near body of water painting

Blood-close

Beyond embrace;
this is coalescence:

The weight 
of your breaths
and pauses
I hear and bear 
more than your
whispered
words.

They are yours,
mine,
ours.

Hours pass
but don’t pass 
here.

Time is afraid 
to lose its 
hours,
minutes,
and seconds
one by one
into our oneness.

(And the universe,
all its meanings
and meanderings.)

Then, everything 
shall be
one
and
end 
with 
us.

Then, everything 
shall begin
anew.

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Karlo Sevilla

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Lawrence Moore

with Lawrence Moore

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Lawrence: I played around with words and wrote the odd poem as a kid, but it didn’t take off in any way until I was a hyper-political college youth with vague dreams of being a singer-songwriter. I would leave little scrawled scraps of lyrics around the house (a nightmare for my minimalist husband to be!). I felt an affinity for John Donne’s poetry early on, but didn’t become a bookworm until my early thirties, so took my influences from artists I loved such as Indigo Girls, Levellers and Kirsty MacColl.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Lawrence: I’m into some well known poets, like Wendy Cope and Seigfried Sasoon, but I’ve delved deeper down the rabbit hole of Twitter, where I am continually inspired by Kristin Garth (lolaandjolie), c m taylor (@carma_t), Susan Richardson (@floweringink), Annest Gwilym (@AnnestGwilym) and many others.

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

Lawrence: I’ve lived my whole life in the working class coastal city of Portsmouth, rarely traveling. The people I’ve met and experiences I’ve had left their emotional mark on me (particularly as a kid in school experiencing friendship, bullying and unrequited love) but that’s true of most people in most towns. It has given me a love of football and the sea. Perhaps the roughness at the edges helped to make me an introvert, but I’m very fond of the place.

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

Lawrence: I guess ‘Holding Hands’ – a pared down, free verse poem I wrote about the difficulties my husband and I have felt as a same sex couple wanting to show affection in public. I am a big fan of form poetry but sometimes, when I have something to get off my chest, it flows out quickly in free verse.

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

Lawrence:

Since my late teens at least, I’ve always sought some sort of creative outlet, but mostly as a dilettante, flitting from discipline to discipline (with zero discipline).
I often looked to make something happen with poetry – on MySpace in 2007, then in 2010/11 and 2015, but then I tried quite hard to be a singer-songwriter for a couple of years. I found the whole concept pretty intimidating because it has so many aspects – for example, production, melody, lyrics, vocals and instrumentalism. I partook in a grade 4 piano exam with grim determination but was a mess because of nerves.
In 2018, I spoke at my dad’s funeral, where I read the poem ‘High Flight’ by John Gillespie Magee Junior to some thirty people, and despite the strains that come with such an undertaking, it dawned on me later that I’d handled it a lot more calmly than I had the piano exam. I saw nothing in poetry that could unnerve me and felt ready to wave my dilettante days goodbye.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Lawrence: Reading, listening to music, going for walks and playing Elder Scrolls games.

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

Lawrence: I’ve made several poem videos, for accepted pieces, that I’ll be putting up on Twitter upon publication. I’m also working (I hope) towards a first collection, so that is occupying my mind a fair bit.

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

Lawrence:

My place within this scheme is very small –
I am no Gandalf, I am Radagast.

From my ‘Radagast’, to be published in Sarasvati (Indigo Dreams Publishing)

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Lawrence: My mum helps me quite a bit. She wrote poetry herself and is a very qualified teacher. She got me using more line breaks for effect and has read and commented on everything I’ve had accepted, which concerns me a little as I may get something really lewd or terrifying published one day and then feel obliged to show it to her!

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Lawrence Moore

3 poems by Lawrence Moore : “Over the Trees” “They Sang For Me” “Tethered”

Poetry mix by Lawrence Moore : ‘My Dream Playground’ from Anthology & new poem ‘Plumb the Depths’

3 poems by Lawrence Moore : “Battle-Hardened” “Ghost #2”, “I am a Tightrope Walker”

https://dailydrunkmag.com/2020/11/30/two-poems-by-lawrence-moore/

Twitter: @LawrencemooreUK

https://www.greeninkpoetry.co.uk/poetry-submissions-all/lawrence-moore-resolute