…I have a new poem, "Slapdash" up at Eye of the Needle to celebrate Jack Kerouac's birthday, and another, "Homecoming" at Cynic Online Magazine. Both also appear here under "Words in Print."
…I write about dark things. Sometimes. Not all of the time, but, yeah, well, okay, most of the time. I write about dark things most of the time.
I don't consider myself a dark person. I have dark places and spaces the same as the next bloke, but I don't wear much black and I eschew mascara.
I often wish I could write happy things. To me, happy endings are not very interesting, although, in real life, I much prefer them. In fiction and poetry, not so much.
I like to explore suffering, devastation, loss, regret, estrangement, revenge--cruel and fascinating subjects, ones that allow me to play in those arenas without necessarily having had to have actually experienced them.
Mystery writers haven't ever killed anyone, or if they have, certainly they have never killed as many people as are slain in their books. Writing about murders and murderers doesn't make them killers. However, they get to romp around in that playground.
For whatever reason, many people who read my stuff think I'm like some brooding recluse. I'm not. I hardly brood. I live on a lake surrounded by people and relatives. It's beautiful where I live, and quite often so spectacularily sunny that I have to draw a shade to keep from having my corneas scalded.
In a recent article in USA TODAY, Edward Norton talks about this subject. I really like his take on things. Here, read:
"I've done films that followed a darker kind of impulse, and it can blow back on you. But you have to get comfortable with the idea that if you're going to do dark, some people are going to feel indicted. Some people are going to be frightened by it. Some people are going to question whether it's healthy to look at those things. I've gotten to the point where if some people don't reject it, then I don't really feel I've done anything.
In the late 70's and early 80's, Bruce Springsteen was one of the people, along with De Niro, who gave me my first experience of the excitement of somebody going into dark things. I remember 'Darkness on the Edge of Town' and 'Nebraska' in the same way I do films like 'Raging Bull' and 'Taxi Driver.' There is this shock when you realize at a certain age that there's something important about naming darkness. It does something positive for people.
A lot of people are scared to do dark things. But you're doing something that makes people realize that they're not alone with the thoughts they have inside them. It's like the C.S. Lewis line that 'we read to know that we're not alone.' It's this realization that you're doing something for people to provide solace and commiseration and compassion."