Friday, 10 November 2017

Frankenstein's Pheomedu

Now, where is that blessed book? Yes here is it: Lady Jane Grey.
A swift push at its hand-stitched pseudo-leather cover & Victor
Frankenstein's secret laboratory lies exposed. Igor, his servant,
spent the last hour & a quarter lighting all 200 beige bees wax
candles. Prior to Dr. Frankenstein's decision to work on humans,

he found delight with creatures of myth. Victor's obsession
for Medusa nearly cost him the true love he had found in Elizabeth,
at a young age. When most histories would show disdain for Medusa,
Victor sees in her someone violated, who deserved to be honoured.
Many a trip to Athena's temple did he made to look at the covered

aegis that hung on the wall. Protected by a fence of three foot high
flames - enough to deter any mortal from passing through and
capturing her shield. Each fortnight for about 3 years, Victor travelled
from Geneva to Greece to look at the concealed aegis. Never able to get
close enough to uncloak her visage, until this time: Victor is prepared!

Travelling with the protection of night's shade, he had taken water
collected from the river in the Elysian fields to pour over the flames
and uncloak poor Medusa's severed head. Victor desired to see her face;
tenderly, his hand made its way to the cover, with one nervous jolt he
could gaze at her vacant expression. Shocked with the discovery of –

a frozen powerless Medusa with eyes tear-stained before Athena cast
her face to stone - Victor approached & said:

"Mademoiselle Medusa, I am Doctor Victor Frankenstein. My fiancé has
a Phoenix familiar close to rebirth; we want to take your head to attach it
to his body. I know you have suffered at the hands of others. Your destiny
is to be bonded to his body & sent to guard the gateway to the Labyrinth.
You & Tristan, Elizabeth's phoenix, will be a new creation, called The
Pheomedu! You will guard & protect the Labyrinth from those by impure
hearts, who will be tuned to sand with your eyes & melted to
glass by Tristan’s fire, allowing those with hearts of purity to pass
through."

When Victor had removed Medusa's head from the shield, her eyes
opened with sadness; the words 'thank you' whispered from her lips. He
fled Athena's temple. No one noticed until morning that Athena's aegis'
headpiece had been gone. Athena had known it was only a matter of time
before it would be stolen; she knew that Medusa's head would come to life

once removed, however unaware it would be one with adoration & not with
evil intentions. Elizabeth was trying to keep Tristan alive enough for Victor
to come back & give him a new head. She kept rubbing his body with
cinnamon sticks soaked with the essence of frankincense, especially his
beak & eyes, to ensure he was ready for Victor. Many creatures had come

to life in this laboratory: Victor thought of it more as an artist's studio. The
Griffin - with the head & wings of an eagle & body of a lion – had its first
breath here. And, of course, we cannot forget about the poisonous Lulla-
Bugg - with the head of an owl, body of a bee, wings of a Blue-Morpho
butterfly & legs of a great blue heron. Victor finally arrived with Medusa's

head. He put on his dark cloak and began to prepare for his creation's first
whisper. As always, Victor requires the sonorous presence a 5 piece
musical ensemble, consisting of a grand piano, flute, violin, harp & cello.
All of the music is composed and conducted by his young friend, Frédéric
Chopin. They play on the balcony of the grand laboratory, elevated so as

to not be in the way while he creates. The rhythm of the metronome's ticktick-
tick, in the background helps keep Victor's mind grounded with each
cut & stitch. Igor must replace and relight all the candles, giving him
enough time for him to see Elizabeth and give her a kiss & an embrace.
Medusa's salt-stained face is thoughtfully cleansed with lavender oil to

remove all of the tear-splotches from her skin, including the crimson
smudges on her neck. Ampoules of laudanum injected in Medusa’s neck,
lulling her to sleep ensuring she would not feel any more discomfort.
Elizabeth gave Victor Tristan, wrapped in a linen-blacked cloth soaked
with frankincense, his head still intact. He wanted a humane death for

Tristan. As quickly as he could, with one hand on Tristan's beak the other
on his dagger, he administered one quick slice. Tristan's head ignited into
flames before it reached the floor. As he promised, Tristan's body
remained. Under the veil of darkness, Victor worked on ensuring his

creature would survive - otherwise his sacrifice is worthless. His final task:
take a silver thread & stitch Medusa's head to Tristan's body - a silver
thread because there would be no recovery time. It is imperative that the
guardians of the Labyrinth report to their post by dusk or the Labyrinth
would vanish, leaving the memory of myth instead of bone. Morning's light

shone through the curtains, playing on & tickling Medusa's eyes. Still in a
daze from the Laudanum, she looked down at her new body and, with all
the day's new anticipation, knew exactly where to go. The gates of The
Labyrinth finally have sentries. When Victor came back to the laboratory
to look upon his creation, all he’d discovered was a newly shed snake skin

& fiery feather.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Father William By Shaun Mclaren

I know, it's been awhile since I posted up a review on the blog this will probably be my last for sometime since – I want to focus on my next book Verity of Humanity...

Ok. So, I've not reviewed any books since reading Scott Laudati's Play the Devil. Most of who follow the blog know I am mostly at home reviewing poetry but; when the opportunity came to review Father William Part 1 by Shaun Mclaren I was totally intrigued by simply reading the Prologue. When I first started, I thought I would break it down in chunks but something happened the minute I started reading. I started think of growing up in a very strict Catholic family and found part one somewhat relatable...   The priests were always frightening creatures that used to scare the hell out of us – especially when it was time for confession. The way that Mclaren established Father William's character is quite brilliant – he is not only very creepy but also very realistic. I found much of the plot to be extremely believable and very human – especially with regards to the way the characters are intertwined with each other. I've decided since this is a part one not to give too much of the story away as it is something I would recommend to anyone who likes things steeped in haunted pieces.  The scene setting alone was enough to not so delicately produce goose bumps on my arms. That is exactly how I knew I was going to enjoy this story. 

 With Shawn's permission I have posted the prologue. I would strongly recommend that you read this piece..... 


Prologue


The sun hung high, the zenith of its daily cycle casting a warm light upon the grey stones of the church. She sat crouching behind a tombstone, waiting the moment when she would be found, hands pressed firmly against her eyes and her heart pounding in her chest. She waited and waited, but her brother never came. With a sigh she stood up. “I’m here!” She cried in her young and carefree voice. Her elder brother spun on his heel, running over with the glee of childhood in his eye as he laughed “I looked there, you moved. Cheater!”.
“I wasn’t cheating, you just can’t look properly” she insisted as she avoided his grabbing hands. The two ran back over to the church where their parents stood. The Father was waiting to speak to them about something, but she had been unconcerned with what it was, she had a game of hide and seek to finish and win. She heard her mother call her and her being the more dominant of the two siblings ordered her elder brother over. “George, move! Mother wants us and you’ll get the belt if you don’t go now!”. Her brother grimaced pettily and ran over. “I’ll beat you there and then you’ll get the belt, ha!” he said as made off in a sprint.

True to his word, the elder won the race over. She was annoyed, he was always faster and she didn’t like it. Her parents stood in conversation with a very tall man. He was big around his shoulders and had black hair, but she could only see the back of his head. Whereas other children at school were shy she was bold and puffed her chest out as she walked up to her parents. “Come here and say hello to the Father” said her mother. She didn’t even care to look at him so she just waved “Hello, father” as she continued to try and poke and prod at her brother. She didn’t notice the sigh her mother let out.

“She is always like this, Father” she explained “she has no respect and honoustly, we are at our wits end with how to discipline her. Even the threat of the belt does not stifle her wildness”. The priest took his beard between his thumb and forefinger, considering the words. Whatever her parents were talking about was of no concern to her, really. She wandered merrily over to a sarcophagus in the distance, examining the funny object with the curiosity of youth. She wondered who would have a bed like this instead of being put in the ground like everyone else, probably someone rich who had money to make sure they didn’t have to, she reckoned. She turned to make sure she was getting away with ignoring her parents. It was the priest who glared back at her. He didn’t smile, he didn’t blink. He didn’t do anything. Just stare. She didn’t like it. Not because it made her feel a little uncomfortable, no. It made the giant man scary.

She marched back over as her family entered the church, her brother calling on her to come, clinging to his father’s heels. She tutted and followed them in. They went into a side room where a table was prepared. The tall priest waved at a chair “sit down, girl” he said with a deep voice. She hesitated then climbed into the seat. Her parents shared an incredulous look for a second before returning their attention to the priest. “I will take her tonight” she overheard as she looked around the shiney things that were in the room. ‘I wonder who they mean’ she thought, but she didn’t have enough attention to the boring priest to listen to anymore, so she let her mind wander and thought about stories and horse-riding as she usually did when the adults bored her.

The priest shook hands with her Father who was smiled when he turned to her. He ruffled her hair for a second and winked at his daughter. “You’re going to stay here tonight, Katarina” he said, bending down to her level. She looked him in the eye and crossed her arms. “Why?” she demanded. “George doesn’t need to stay in this rubbish place” she called pointing at her brother.

“That’s because I’m a good boy, you’re-”
“Enough”. The command was not from either of her parents, but the priest. He glowered down at her, seeming even bigger because he was standing. He smiled and placed his hand on her head “You may be a little unruly, but we’ll teach you true faith and how to behave soon enough, Katarina”. She flitted a look to her parents to see them both standing as well as George. ‘They must be kidding, I won’t stay here’ she thought. She whimpered, trying to get them to change their mind but her mother simply shushed her and bent down. “We’ll come and get you tomorrow, Kat. Father William is just going to make sure you behave like a good girl for mum and dad. It’s only a night”. She grimaced and frowned, sighed and cried as she always did, but it was clear this time her parents would not change their mind and were set on leaving her. After some moments the priest ushered her parents out of the small room.

“Please, mother, I don’t want to stay here. I want to go home. Now” she said. Her mother shook her head and placed a soft hand against her cheek.
“No, Kat. Father William will take good care of you”.

“Fine” she retorted, crossing her arms with deliberate exaggeration. She wanted them to know that she didn’t like them so she didn’t even look at them as they waved back to her and then left the church, and her, behind as they walked into the sun.
The tall priest walked back into the small room and she stood where she was. “You will move, child” he said pointing into the room.

“My name is Katarina” she said, swelling with confidence. He nodded and the side of his mouth curled into a kind smile.

“Of course, Katarina. If we are to ensure your obedience titles will indeed be required”. She was surprised. She expected a command or a threat but instead he simply held the door open for her and smiled as her little legs passed through. He crossed the room quickly with big steps where as she skipped along after him. He pulled out some keys and opened the door and led her through. The spring in her step stopped suddenly as she noted a strange smell. She clasped her fingers to her nose. “It smells in here” she said, her voice nasally. He turned quickly and pulled her arm away from her nose. She was stunned into silence.
“Do not blaspheme in the house of God, Katarina. The punishment will be severe”. Her eyes widened briefly, then shrunk into slits as she got angry at the man.
“I didn’t do any-”

“Are you saying that the smell of the lord’s incense is not-”
“That’s not incense” she cut across him. He turned slowly to look down at her.
“Clever girl” he said slowly. She felt her stomach twist and turn with nerves she was not used to feeling. She heard the behind her close and span on her heel to see two men in white robes had come in behind her. She felt frightened. They didn’t look at her as she studied them, they didn’t even break breath to her. They stood by the door and she seen them take deep breaths.

She felt funny. The priest walked to one of the men, looking down at him too. The attendant handed him something and then the priest walked to a cabinet on the wall. He took out a cup and poured something in it. “Drink, girl” he ordered. She stood, her lip trembling, her head beginning to feel light. “I won’t ask you again, Katarina” he said. His eyes seemed to flash a little. He was angry, she knew.

“I don’t want-” before she could even finish her sentence the priest dived at her, forcing her small mouth open and pouring the cup down her neck. It felt warm, whatever it was and she cried openly at being treated so rough by such a big and imposing man. He took a pace back and watched as tears streamed down her pale face, a predator’s smile twisting his lips into a sneer. She barely seen him as he nodded to the two men and they walked out the room. She looked around, racking her childish mind how to escape. But all thought seemed to dim in her mind. She couldn’t concentrate, she felt dizzy. Soon she slumped against the door with a start and then even the tears ceased to pour down her cherub-like face.
With a powerful sweep Father William lifted her. She was tired, too tired to speak of do anything about it, so she lay in his arms. He walked through a corridor, but she didn’t register it having had been there before. As he walked on with her, her eyes became blurry, she could barely see the shapes that seemed to swirl past her and then everything went black as she walked into a dark room. She could hardly make out the light of candles that seemed to float around her.

She felt numb all over, but still felt the thud somewhere in her slowed mind as she dropped hard against what felt like a stone floor. Around her the room flashed with white and orange among the black. Faces pressed in at her, distorted and ghostly white. Her eyes rolled blearily from side to side trying to figure out her surroundings, but her small body would not allow her to. “Your parents will not see you on the morrow, girl. You are mine now” a voice boomed with hellish vigour inside her skull. Using every last ounce of stubbornness and anger she had in her, she rolled her closing eyes in the direction of the voice. She seen a tall man, a giant in scarlet as he raised her up onto a table, no, an altar, made of blackness and with parchment the colour of candle wax. She seen the giant prowl forwards in his crimson robes before she slipped entirely from consciousness.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Interview, Rose & Jon Lupin

I know, that it might sound a little unrealistic but regardless of what happens in life -- I believe that love conquers all. And, my next interview with Poets Rose & Jon Lupin proves my point. These are two individuals who have decided to not only work hard on their relationship but; also at their chosen craft of writing Poetry. I must admit, I admire their spunk and ability regardless of how difficult things get to never give up – even though at times they've come close to the razors edge.

It was important for me to facilitate this interview because not only are Rose and Jon passionate writers each in their own right. They are also immense advocates who not only write about their causes but -- consistently speak out about them. We live in such an artificial world which makes me linger on Rose & Jon's works more. The careful use of phrases ensure not a single one is wasted with the utmost of authentic of expression. I would strongly recommend that you follow both Rose & Jon on Instagram your brain and soul with thank you for it.

Oh and before I forget to mention, Rose is working on putting her first book together and Jon has a book available for purchase on Amazon called My Sober Little Moon...



RMMW: Do either of you have any artist rituals before beginning a new piece?

J & R: Neither of us have any rituals before beginning a new piece but we both listen to music while we write.

RMMW: Which writers inspire your muse?

J: Rose, Ray Bradbury

R: Bob Dylan's style of writing music really speaks to me and moves me. I don't know if he inspires me so much as he impresses me with his word play and makes me wish I could write like him.

RMMW: How do you find social media has shaped how you share your poetry?

J: growing up, there was no internet for me in my teens and 20's, so sharing my work was relegated to where i could find a place to play my music (i'm originally a singer/songwriter). So with social media now available to me, I was able to rediscover my voice and share poems and pieces I was coming up with on the spot and pieces I had written earlier.

R: right now, Instagram is the only way I share my poetry but hopefully in the near future I will be able to broaden my reach by selling my book through bookstores.

RMMW: It's obvious from your social media interactions that the both of you love each other quite deeply? How do you keep that level of love alive amidst all life's trials and tribulations?

J &R: we keep it real, in the real world. social media is an easy place to create a fake life, and neither of us are like that in real life, so it seemed quite easy to be ourselves on social media, however, we do write under pseudonyms and our immediate family do not know about these writing accounts. But we are the same here as we are off the net. Our marriage and friendship has become an inspiration to many, and it is important for people to realize that if you are not selfish, you can make any relationship work.

RMMW: How did the two of you meet? Did you write poetry to each other during your courtship?

J&R: we were both trapped in a dungeon from some serial killer looking to skin our faces off and use them for who knows what. It seemed like it was the end so we just started making out hard, and then the police showed up because I left a trail of goldfish behind, i love those things, and we were saved. The rest is history.

RMMW: I know from having three kids myself that life can be quite challenging how do the both of you balance work, life and family all together?

J&R: It helps that I can be home most days with the kids while Jon does most of the working. We have found an important part of our sanity is finding time for ourselves. Regular date nights are a must, as well as individual alone time.

RMMW: Jon, you've been very open about your sobriety – how do you feel writing has impacted your recovery process?

J: having an outlet like writing, sharing the story, finding other people in early sobriety was what essentially brought me out of a vicious circle of relapsing. i hooked in with some special people and they guided me to AA and without them, without the Poetry Bandit experience, I may have drunk myself to death or ended up in a ditch somewhere. In addition to regular meetings, my writing is a key component to my sobriety.

RMMW: Rose, you've been very open discussing BiPolar – what you think needs to happen on a sociological level to once and for all end the stigma attached with mental illness?

R: I am open with my mental health and illness for the very reason of ending the stigma. If everyone were open and shared unabashedly of their experiences and struggles the stigma would disappear in a puff of smoke. It's a dream of mine that one day this will happen.

RMMW: Jon, please tell those who do not know about you 100K giveaway, while you discuss the premise to My Sober Little Moon?

J: I had the giveaway already - sorry this was so late in getting to you! The book chronicles all the poems i wrote while trying to get sober. they are very real, real time poems written when I would fail and drink again, or after coming back ashamed, or after finding some courage and getting some time in. As the book the progresses, so does the writer, finding some stable ground and becoming whole.

RMMW: Rose, how do you feel organizing your very first poetry book?

R: I have this feeling of trepidation and inadequacy, if I were to be completely honest. It holds me back at times and without Jon to push me along I know this book would not get completed.

RMMW: Have either of you ever been creatively blocked? If yes, what do you do to get those creative juices flowing?

R: Absolutely. The key is to just keep writing. I say this rather hypocritically as I have not written anything new in a number of weeks and that's due to a lack of creativity which is due to me being lazy. When I get really stuck the only thing that gets me out of it is forcing myself to write, not matter how crappy the content is. It's better to write something and then toss it in the trash than to not write at all.

J: Rose's response is similar to mine. Right now I feel that way and I'll probably head to the basement to write a bunch of crap, but it will feel good to hit the typewriter again and I will start on the road to writing meaningful pieces again for another book.

RMMW: We all have to contend with our inner critics constantly judging us, how do you contend with yours?

R: I complain to Jon and he tells me how untrue that voice is and I try my best to believe him!

J: I usually just re-write the piece until that critic inside me shuts the heck up.

RMMW: If you had a superpower what would it be?

R: It's a toss up between super strength and super speed. Can I pick both?

J: for me I'd have to pick healing powers. I'm not much of a risk taker anymore, but if I had healing power, I'd do all sorts of crazy stuff ... and an adamantium skeleton and claws as well. Definitely.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Interview, Mitch Green of RAD Press Publishing

I really truly am fortunate to be surrounded by all these amazing micro presses and poets which includes Mitch Green's house RAD Press Publishing. Do me a favour for a minute think of the word RAD and the feeling in which it evokes from your core. A derivative of the word RADICAL and RAD Press Publishing certainly is that. The content they curate is fresh, unique and innovative pieces whether it be art work or literature; both are exhibited via RAD Press Publishing.

Moreover, I'm finding the more Poets, Presses and Artists I interview we all seem to share the same goals. All we basically want to do is create, courtesy of our innate gifts which at times, even I've commented on how much of a curse it is over a blessing. I know, many think it garbage to say that “artists feel things deeply other human beings would not even begin to comprehend” But, it is true. An artist's will allow themselves to feel from the tips of their very toes the the last hair poking up in that awkward picture taken right after you awake. I found myself, completely relating to everything that Mitch had stated throughout his interview. It really is amazing how like minded we all are if we simply open our eyes to see.

Check it out for yourself you can follow RAD Press Publishing on social media via: Instagram.

RMMW: When I first met you, I thought you only created these beautiful graphic spaces – I had no idea that you were also a writer. What medium do you prefer to create with or do you write and design equally?

MG: As for the selective choice between designing and writing – It really is all based around
the mood or state of mine I am in that day. Depending on whether or not I find myself drawn into a more visual vibe, determines if I am driven to conjure up visuals, or stick to drafting words to encompass another field of expression. As a film lover, I am more than inspired by storytelling narrated through depictions. I guess this defines the parallels of writing and design for me.

RMMW: When did you discover first your love of writing & art design?

MG:I discovered my love for writing at an early age. The age of 10 if I can recall correctly – it was then that I started jotting down these outrageous stories more so than not, focused around the living dead, demons, and secret agents. My love for design had really been inside me all along – but I didn’t know how to express it. Throughout my entire life, as mentioned previously, I’ve been influenced by the visual art of movie making. Siphoning inspiration from the moving elements behind the screen, I found it more than hypnotizing how words outlined something so cinematic.

RMMW: What is RAD Press Publishing’s genesis story?

MG:RAD Publishing came into existence when I really had nothing left to give. I mean, this was before I had started wholeheartedly dedicating myself to my art. I had previously worked with a publishing house (I won’t mention names) and basically wanted to create a brand for myself. The title RAD is simply the common phrase, and I guess I didn’t put too much thought into a depth behind the press’s handle – I only wanted to establish a home for others to voice their talents.

RMMW: What is RAD Press Publishing all about, what kind of artists you query?

MG: So here is the big picture. I want RAD to grow into a household name – a brand that resonates with all forms of media. Literature, Art, Film, and Music. I aim to create an imprint in each of these, in due time of course. There are so many aspirations that I have for the company. So many routes and paths that are open to voyage. In regards to artists – we have acquired various forms of talent, all originating from diverse backgrounds, and I’m very proud of this. To have an artist reach out to us looking to tell their story, to unfold their art, share their heart is the true mission RAD stands behind.

RMMW: How would someone submit to RAD Press Publishing?

MG:Submissions can be either done through the site – radpublishing.biz or by email: radpresspublishing@gmail.com

RMMW: The competition out there is fierce, what does RAD Press Publishing offer its clients that no other small press does?

MG:You couldn’t be more right. There are a mixture of methods that Rad utilizes to encourage writers to house with us, not saying that these are different, although I do find myself trying to steer a uniqueness in the waves when it comes to designing a set of covers for clientele, or putting their title through distribution. Each press has their own style, taste, and artistic preference. If you stick to your brands image, then the demographic will be drawn into you.

RMMW: How do you feel social media has shaped the way in which you conduct your creative business?

MG:I find social media, especially on Instagram to be a prominent, and productive market
for business. I find that the community of artists, particularly writers live their more so than any other social media outlet I’ve come across. The magic in being able to share, support, and bond with fellow artisans is really something grand. Just like this interview – if it hadn’t been for social media, we would have never linked up.

RMMW: What do you feel is one of the biggest challenges facing poets and visual artists alike?

MG:The challenges are always there. In my opinion, the creative block happens the same way in either spectrum. Writer’s block, designer’s block – it is all the same. I find that if I cannot write, I design, if I cannot design, I write. If I’m unable to bring myself to do either, I watch Netflix.

RMMW: Do you have any artists rituals before creating a new piece?

MG:This is a good one. Really, I’m not quite sure. I do like to channel my mind and attention into a different mental plain. Especially when writing – I have found myself sinking so deep into thought it feels like being submersed in water. The high that is found from finalizing a lyrical piece, or polishing off a design that spawns from someplace within me that I didn’t know I had. It is an addiction, one that I’ve been forever hooked on. As for a ritual, I guess music would be mine – shut everything and everyone out for hours.


RMMW: Music seems to always seep into the creative process... do you listen to music while you design or write? And, if yes what do you listen to?

MG:I guess this would go with my last answer. Music absolutely does enhance the creative process. The genre of music I listen to is more so on the heavy side to punk rock. Depending on the temperament of the design, or rhythm of the piece defines the severity of sound. I must say that lately, I have found myself listening to more ambient music when writing. I would refer this to anyone who runs into writer’s block. Getting inside your head is easier done with atmospheric tempos swishing between your ears.

RMMW: All artists have to contend with a creative block, how do you contend with yours?

MG:Creative block is the devil. It will break your spirit. There is something about a metaphysical release when it comes to delivering words, and when you are unable to process your art, it can most certainly take a toll. I find my breaking writers block is to stay at it. Forcing myself to break the restrictions, even if this only works half of the time. Once again, I think the best method, for me, is through the routine of music.

RMMW: Do you have an inner critic? How do you silence it?

MG:Oh hell yeah. Every time I sit down to write or design, there is that continuous voice debating with me on how bad I’m doing, or if this needs to be altered in some way. There really is a roller-coaster of thoughts and personalities rolling around behind my eyes during the process. The best way I know how to silence it is by finishing what I started.

RMMW: If you had a super power what would it be?

MG:This is an easy one. If I could have a super power, it would be to freeze time. 

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Interview, Jon Peach.

A couple of years ago -- I heard of this duo called The Junk Shop Poets -- I've asked both of members Jon & Justin Peach as I thought it would be fun to get differing perspectives.  Part one below is my interview with Jon Peach -- who also started his own musical path called Love Songs for Losers.  (But still maintains as a Junk Shop Poet) Either way, his creative melody and passionate lyrics always suck me into its musical orbit.  You can follow Jon's musical journey on Instagram & Facebook.



RMMW: What are you listening to right now?

JP: I'm having a bit of a nostalgia moment for some reason & listening to bands like Smashing Pumpkins, The Eels & Radiohead. 

RMMW: Why the title Junk Shop Poets?

JP: I had an image in my mind of 2 old robot toys in a junk shop...Junk Shop Robots!!! Then Justin came up with the Poet idea and it just worked better for the bands sound.

RMMW:What is the origin story of The Junk Shop Poets?

JP: We happened to go through relationship breakdowns the same christmas...by new years eve we were the poets. We had a new sound, a whole set of original songs & gigs being booked!

RMMW: Do you write music together or separately?

JP: We tend to write separately and then arrange together.

RMMW: You must have an insane schedule; how do you balance your work, music and home life?

JP The way I balance writing, work & life is easy...My kids always comes first, then writing. Work is just a way to pay the bills lol

RMMW: Festival season has kicked off in the UK, are there any specific festivals that you will be playing at or frequenting?

JP: No real big fests this year, I've just started a new musical project called Love Songs for Losers, & I've been recording an EP so its been keeping me pretty busy.

RMMW: Do you have any artist rituals before beginning a new piece?

JP: I don't really have any rituals before writing...I used to like to get a little buzzed before, but now I write all the time its harder to sustain that lol 

RMMW: Which Songwriters inspire your muse?

JP: I'm really inspired by writers like Billy Bragg, Tom Waits, Roy Orbison. I really love emotional lyrics & voices! 

RMMW: How do you find social media has shaped how you share your work?

JP: Social media has really changed the music industry,  as a band you had to play gigs usually for free, for exposure. Now you can be seen by a hugely diverse audience,  without leaving the house. You can live stream,  Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blog...it's endless. The industry as a whole where worried about the internet and illegal downloads etc. But it turns out that this is fast becoming the greatest generation for artists. so many people where undiscovered gems in past generations, but now you have an audience on your Android! 

RMMW: Have you ever been creatively blocked? If yes, what do you do to get those creative juices flowing?

JP: I haven't had writer's block in years.  I went a bit crazy in my late teens & since then I've written every day, in one way or another. It helps me keep grounded.

RMMW: We all have to contend with our inner critics constantly judging us, how do you contend with yours?

JP: I try too write really fast & totally disregard my inner critic...& only let it out in the studio when I'm working on sound.

RMMW: If you had a super power what would it be? 

JP: Immortality...I want to see what happens in the end!!!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Interview, Grant Jolly



Do you know what today is? It's the day Manic Raven Press Publishing is officially launched into the world!!! The founder Grant Jolly has roots heavily steeped in Scotland but has done something quite smart and universal -- he is the founder of Manic Raven a global press that seeks to publish not only local writers but also those who also reside abroad.  And, today, July 16, 2017 is the day that he's seen fit to introduce his baby into the world.  Grant in his own right is also a published poet, his book Feed Him to the Bears: A collection of Poetry is available on Amazon. His next book The Typewriter Tales will be released later this year.  Grant would like to bring quality horror work to the masses not only through his press but also emotive body of work.  For any information on submissions, please contact Grant directly.

RMMW: Do you both have any artist rituals before beginning a new piece?

GJ: I don’t really have any rituals but I do have a lucky sweater that I wear when I write. I’ve had it for 12 years, it’s ugly and full of holes.

RMMW: Which writers inspire your muse?

GJ: I am inspired by a vast number of writers, including: Edgar Allan Poe, James Herbert, and Charles Bukowski. The list goes on and on though. I’m a big fan of the late Scottish poet, Edwin Morgan. His words are very inspirational to me.

RMMW: Do you remember what your first poem was?

GJ: I’ve been writing poetry from as far back as I can remember. I had my first poem published when I was twelve, it was called My Friend the Sparrow. I still remember it by heart. Here’s a few lines:

Oh sparrow up there
In the sky
So mysterious and wonderful
How can you bare such small wings
And fly?
Can you bring me back
Wasted time
And all the things
I’d love to try?

RMMW: How long have you been writing?

GJ: I’ve been writing from a very young age. I started taking it more seriously when I was eighteen; that’s when I decided I wanted to make a career from writing. I finally quit my day job and started writing full-time back in 2013.

RMMW: How do you find social media has shaped how you share your work?

GJ: I think social media has had a big impact on how I share my work. Back in the day, I spent a lot of time printing my work in the library and sending it places with the hope that someone would read it. Using Instagram and Facebook has made it much easier to get work out there and to build a solid fan base. And on sites such as Instagram, you get a lot of valuable feedback from actual readers.

RMMW: Please tell us a little bit about Manic Raven's mandate?

GJ: As a writer, I know how hard it can be to get your work published. I also know how easy it is to get sucked in by scams that rip you off. I like to think of Manic Raven as a small press for writers, by writers. The aim is to create a foundation in which writers can believe in, and help them from manuscript to publication, creating an end product they are proud of. A percentage of the revenue generated through sales will be donated to mental health charities, including SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health), which is a charity that is close to my heart.

RMMW: What kind of books would you be querying at Manic Raven Press?

GJ: I want to bring back novellas and make them popular once again, primarily in the horror genre, including subgenres. I’ll also be looking for poetry and short story submissions. The first Manic Raven publication is my own book, Typewriter Tales. The second book we will be publishing is by a very talented poet from Florida, which is exciting! I don’t want to give too much away just yet, but the book is scheduled to be published just before Christmas this year.

RMMW: What was the process you went through to get the press up and running?

GJ: The first thing I done was write a business plan to figure out if I had a viable business idea. The next step I took was applying for funding from my local arts council. After I secured the funding I required, I started going through the steps of registering a limited company, creating a website and Facebook page, printing business cards and flyers. I am currently organising a business launch night in Glasgow which will be a lot of fun as there is going to be live poetry readings and live music. The whole process has been a huge learning curve for me as I’ve never done anything like this before, but it has been an exciting journey so far.

RMMW: What advice would you have for anyone looking to begin their own press?

GJ: I think finding a gap in the market or a specific niche is a good place to start. But most of all, I think you have to believe in your idea for it to be successful. If you don’t believe in yourself and your vision, then nobody else will either. Determination is key. Work hard and don’t give up!

RMMW: Have you ever been creatively blocked? If yes, what do you do to get those creative juices flowing?

GJ: I have never been creatively blocked before. I seem to get the opposite of blocked and end up with too many ideas floating around in my head at once! I think you need to write every single day to avoid getting blocked. I guess it’s like training your mind.

RMMW: We all have to contend with our inner critics constantly judging us, how do you contend
with yours?

GJ: I have a lot of inner demons constantly telling me that I’m not good enough, and to give up. Meditation helps me remain positive, but I think sometimes you just need to take a break, drink a coffee, smoke a cigarette, and breathe.

RMMW: If you had a super power what would it be?

GJ:That’s a tough question! I’m going to say teleportation. How cool would that be?

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Interview, Karina Bush

Karina Bush is a bold writer with brass balls who is quite methodological when it comes her work.  Whether she be writing about: self love, sex or john's the body of work genuinely speaks for itself.  I have to admit, I love artists who are ok with a little bit of discomfort when it comes to the world of art and staying true to artistic integrity.  That is how Karina Bush writes -- with a sense of self and exploration -- she likes to push boundaries and comfort zones.  And, I have to admit, as someone who has spent the majority of her life pushing boundaries -- I'm quite fond of other like minded individuals.  I mean, come on, think about it for a minute -- would you like to remain stagnant or would you rather spelunk issues and subjects so worthy of research that are constantly overlooked?
To purchase Karina's books: Maiden (which I've read and reviewed on this blog -- so bloody brilliant!) published through 48th street press and her latest ground breaking work 50 Euro by BareBackPress (which is on my hit list)  please check out Karina's website for more information. This is one Poet/Writer you should keep an eye on... 
... and, now for the show... 
RMMW: Good morning Karina... Do you have any artist rituals before beginning a new piece?
KB: Hi Rania! Not in particular. Every piece is different and requires a different entry point. I don't have a formula for writing, sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's a pained extraction. But there is something sacred about the flow experience of creativity, something shamanic or alchemic about accessing different states, conjuring something from the deep and manifesting it.
RMMW: Do you remember the first time you started writing seriously? What was the catalyst?
KB: Probably 48th Street Press asking me for a manuscript in 2013. They published my first book “Maiden” last year, it's a fantastic press, committed to the printed word and authentic poetry. They've published some incredible poets including Douglas Blazek - a pioneer in the small press and an early publisher of Bukowski, W.D. Ehrhart - the leading Vietnam War poet, and Paul Harrison, my favourite poet, he has a tender brutality and almost saintly presence in his poetry. Anyway, I was very flattered by the request for a manuscript and from then on I took writing much more seriously. The editor at 48th Street Press has mentored me and helped me develop my work a lot. BareBackPress, who have just published my second book “50 EURO”, was also an important presence, they've published me since 2013 and have been very supportive. They're brilliant to work with, the process of making “50 EURO” was very creative and productive. Having people believe in my writing enough to publish it is a big motivator.
RMMW: What social issues do you think influence your work the most?
KB:I don't think social issues have been a big part of my first two books. They're focused on emotional states and power struggles, in a sexual setting. The inner world more than the outer. In “50 EURO” there are some creeps, I guess meeting creeps in real life has influenced that, but it isn't the focus of the book. My next book is a move away from that, it's set in Belfast, and very different to both “Maiden” and “50 EURO”. Full prose, no poetry at all, with long stories. It deals with issues like conflict (I grew up at the end of a war), social deprivation, culture and identity, although I'm not directly addressing those issues, the characters are often a reflection of their environment.
RMMW: How do you find social media has shaped how you share your work?
KB: I guess it allows me to document progress a bit. Social media is an odd thing to figure out, so full of ego. I think it's kind of essential to have some online presence but not to take it too seriously, hope that the work will speak for itself.
RMMW: Have you ever been creatively blocked? If yes, what do you do to get those creative juices flowing?
KB: God yes, I've had long periods of block. The thrill and addiction comes from output, and struggling with that is demoralising. I write better when I've lots of solitude and less clutter in my head, so prioritising that helps. I work almost every day on something and that helps maintain the process as a continuous thread.
RMMW: We all have to contend with our inner critics constantly judging us, how do you contend with yours?
KB: Better than I used to but it can be challenging. I'm rarely happy with what I write, but not so unsatisfied I feel like giving up. I try to differentiate between a constructive or realistic critic, and the enemy of my own happiness. Intuition over paranoia.
RMMW: Can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect to see from your latest book 50 EURO?
KB: It's set in Amsterdam's Red Light District. The narrator is a sexworker in one of the famous windows, she's a bad Barbie. The reader goes in and out of her window - into the streets, back into the sex. It's pretty grubby in places, she does some very nasty things, like eats Haribo from a paedophile's crotch. It's quite seductive too, the neon lights beckoning, the lure of secret sex, the innocent getting sucked in. It's a kind of poetry/prose hybrid - some stories, some poems. I've lived in Amsterdam and spent a lot of time in the Red Light District. I adore the city, I was hooked on my first visit. One of my favourite things to do is watch johns, john-spotting I call it, it's a great hobby, I listen in on their conversations, follow them around a bit, be a creep myself. And the result is this book.
RMMW: The definition of modern feminism has changed over the years, what do you think are valuable lessons we should be teaching the younger generation with regards to fighting for ones rights?
KB: I honestly don't know enough about feminism to speak confidently about it. But children need to understand the bombardment of manipulation they face, and learn to recognise propaganda.
RMMW: Any time one does something that has to do with nudes, nudity or sex it always evokes a different reaction from each audience member. What do you want readers to take with them after reading Maiden & 50 EURO?
KB: I hope readers will read beyond the initial sexuality to the emotions behind it. I'm aware my writing isn't to everyone's taste, it can be uncomfortable to read, but I personally like being made to feel uncomfortable by art. What I write isn't titillation. It's important to explore sexuality in a way that challenges the dominance of porn. I'd like readers to feel the books, for the books to elicit a response. The books are quite different to each other. “Maiden” is emotionally charged and “50 EURO” is more entertaining, but both with dark undercurrents.
RMMW: Are you familiar with the work of Marina Abramovic? Her work is very evocative as is yours. Do you find you get a lot of judgmental reviews when others read your work?
KB: Yeah I am familiar with her work. I quite like what I have seen, a lot of contemporary art feels gimmicky and hers seems to be a genuine exploration.
I have had judgmental reviews. If you explore extreme emotions and situations it's inevitable to provoke reactions, a lot of people prefer comfort zones, and that's fine. But don't pretend to understand then get it wrong, people like that should stick with material suited to their reading age.
RMMW: If you had a super power what would it be?

KB: Tough question. It's not a superpower but I'd quite like a magic carpet, something opulent I could fly around on at night. Or the ability to time travel. It'd be cool to experience every century, be a wench with massive tits causing trouble in a tavern.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Ryan Hennessy

raw... expression... genuine...profound... worth the read.. check out Ryan Hennessy...

I'm standing on the edge of the Universe, or maybe I've fallen
already – I can't tell anymore. Prometheus brought fire to the
party, I bring whiskey. Fancying myself something I'm not, this
dance over the line in the sand turns into a sluggish sway. I',
crashing now, the wind is burning my eyes and I don't think I can
brace myself for this kind of hit. With the emptying of this brown
mash bottle in hand, there's almost something to say about it
being some kind of effigy.
I wouldn't be me if I hadn't been him first. Maybe that's the
justification in this, maybe it;s the end of this infinite
sadness.... A kind of serendipity.

There are so many times throughout the course of our lives where we have no idea if up is down or down is up. But to explore those feelings, I believe to be a great gift regardless of how our moods may contain our spitfire hearts. The imagery in the piece above is quite innovative and thoughtful. We are all surrounded from time to time with infinite sorrow – now here is the clincher – we require the moments of extreme torment to be able to appreciate moments which bring us much joy. Can you imagine having a party with Prometheus – hmmmm, I wonder what I would bring to the party? Perhaps some Romeo & Juliette's or perhaps a delightfully profound flavour of a Cohiba. Mind you, what could we possibly say to the bringer of light besides -- “ thank you for the gift of fire... but why did you feel the need to give it to us, we are nothing but lowly pathetic human beings in dire need of help?” My imagination, could linger all day long.


I never stood a chance, bright white
lights snare me down with mummification
in design. I choke on lithium and LED, she
runs her hands through my hair. There's a
wink, a devilish grin, a lip to bite, a
furrowed brow, I'm enamored and she knows
it. We're loaded into a cannon, my darling
companion fits snug. We'll be a spectacle
for all to see, an inferno across the sky. A
cosmic overload of epic proportions, a
glorious death to ache. The fuse is
lit, but I'm already in the stratosphere...

Her lips find mine.

We explode.

A myriad of images truly came to mind throughout, I started to imagine being squeezed into a small bullet with my love as we are fired up into the sky with a firecracker that truly knows no bounds. Making love in the cosmos while snug inside of each other in a tight space at the ready to genuinely explode. This is a fire light show spectacular – one worth a third and fourth read.


Grasping at straw as I burn the midnight oil; whether
it's people, substance or the thought that I might not be
what I think I am. Network connectivity problems of the
human soul, that's what I'd call it. The endless
disconnect that keeps me unplugged from you. I hate you
for it. I hate me for it. This is my praying you wake up
one morning in a motel bathroom, doped up and missing a
kidney in a tub full of ice.

Yikes, as a writer there are immensely beautiful things about life, glorious subjects that we can scribe about. Things that lighten our hearts but there are also images that come to mind, where we not only want to crush those who have maimed us but destroy them. The imagery truly is limitless when you look at issues of light and dark. The first time I read this piece, I had to do a double take, I've heard of revenge writings but

I hate you
for it. I hate me for it. This is my praying you wake up
one morning in a motel bathroom, doped up and missing a
kidney in a tub full of ice.”

No one ever wants to admit it because they feel someone how it makes the pitch heart an even darker one. But the truth of the matter is light or dark both can expose tremendous evil depending upon your perspective. This end piece, reminds me so much of Edgar Allan Poe

twisted pieces... 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Interview, Ottis Blades

A unique style √
Passion √
Enthusiasm √
Honesty √
Creative √

My next interview exhibits all of the traits checked above, a poet so focused on his craft -- many a time he speaks his mind and can at times be quite controversial. This writer is so intent on changing the world of poetry one poem at a time. Of course, I speak of prolific writer Ottis Blades (Blad3s).
I've not read either: Hate Me Like Lovers Do or Of Love & Other Dirty Business but, judging by Ottis' writing I would love both of them -- they are on my list of books to purchase.  

RMMW: As an indie writer what tools do you find essential to be able to properly market yourself?

OB: As an indie writer, you have to take advantage of everything that's out there at your disposal. Be it Social Media, going down to your local poetry spot to read a piece of two, submitting to literary mags, this very forum in which this interview is taking place on. You gotta be fearless, you gotta be genuine and speak your mind. People dig that shit. Get out there and let the writing speak for itself

RMMW: What was the first thing you've ever written?

OB: My books of Neruda and Garcia Marquez inspired me to write poems about my 7th grade crush. I don't recall what was the first thing I wrote because the notes back then where not something I took seriously until later in life. I wish I had those poems now. 

RMMW: What do you think about the current state of modern poetry on a whole?

OB: I wouldn't call it poetry. It's actually insulting to what poetry's supposed to be about. There's no metric, no rhyme or reason, no poetic inclination. These writers are not challenging themselves and that's a real shame because they reach so many people they could influence to actually fucking read more than three sentences. But they'd take the easy way out with the cliches we're all familiar with. You know them. "She, chaos, madness, moons, stars, demons, whiskey" etc and not an ounce of creativity to spare, because they have no love for poetry or writing in general, and this is why I have no qualms about speaking my mind on the subject and calling them out. Give me an hour and I'll write you a 500 page book full of the "poetry" people are reading today and have a best seller. It's that easy. 

RMMW: There's been a lot of plagiarism going on lately, has your work ever been plagiarized? How did you deal with it?

OB: No, never. But this one time some dude reposted a few of my pieces on Instagram and cut off my name. I'm too hard to plagiarize anyways. And that's the one thing we should all strive for, to have a voice so unique and powerful, that it'd leave no doubt as to who the writer is, even when uncredited.

RMMW: Do you have any artist rituals before beginning a new piece?

OB: I hate to sound like the cliche writer, but good fucking music, heartache and plenty of booze do the trick. 
RMMW: Which writers inspire your muse?

OB: The music that I listen to when I'm writing needs to be lyrically sound to get me going. I'd often hear a word or a phrase that would take me back to a point in my life and give birth to a million words in an instant. Also, fellow writers also inspired me, people that I love and admire, people like: Christy Aldridge, Christopher Andrews, Anthony Desmond,  Patricia Mogavero, Thom Young and Christina Hart. Reading them gets my juices flowing. 


RMMW: How do you find social media has shaped how you share your work?

OB: It's interesting, how because of Instagram I became obsessed with fitting as much story  as I could into a small square. I developed a stream of consciousness style because of it, and that's a bad habit I can't break. I like referring to my pieces as "miniature short stories". I'm not really concerned with writing less words to get more eyeballs on my stuff. I write for me, period. The people that can relate will gravitate and find me, and those are the people meant for me to reach. And I love them so much, every time I get a book selfie from halfway across the world, I'm infinitely thankful. 

RMMW: Have you ever been creatively blocked? If yes, what do you do to get those creative juices flowing?

OB: When I'm creatively blocked I'm very, very upset. Because it feels love like a part of who I am is missing. The way I get myself going is not thinking about it, to not even try. Nothing ever good comes out if you force it. Now, what you do is stimulate the mind, go for a drive, watch a movie, read a book. It'll come back when you least expect it, better than ever, and you'll be glad you didn't go crazy.

RMMW: We all have to contend with our inner critics constantly judging us, how do you contend with yours?

OB: I'm actually not too hard on myself when it comes to writing, because if I'm writing, trust me that I'm having fun. This is why I wait and don't pressure myself. I'm always in a good mood when the juices are flowing even if my world's falling apart, I'm my biggest fan, and that's how I live.

RMMW: If you had a super power what would it be? 


OB: I'd love to understand, speak and write every language on the planet. Not only will I be able to reach more people through words and help those in need, but I'd also get twice as many numbers on the dating scene. And you can't possibly beat that. Unless, you write them a She poem.