C. Allen Rearick
"What is your opinion of the current state of poetry? Is it thriving in an internet era? Is it being watered down by an overabundance of outlets (i.e.blogs/myspace/lit zines, etc)? Is there an audience for the modern poet?"
I have been asking this question for several weeks now to various poets, and the answers have been far reaching and all very good. However, I never fully believed either side of the debate. I routinely scourer the internet for poets of all types and ages, and I have read the loved and the hated alike. I could never really put it all together until I read the work of and talked to Cleveland poet C. Allen Rearick. He himself is clearly thriving in this internet era, but it was his more casual perspective on poetics as whole that solidified my opionion of the era. Each poem, from contrived and wordy to high school melodrama and all of the beauty inbetween has a home on the internet, and the reader can sort them on his or her own.
C. Allen Rearick is one of the founding members of the Guerilla Poetics Project and his work has been published in various on-line and print journals. Most recently he appeared in Zygote in my Coffee Print No. 3 and The Quirk. He is working on a split chapbook with S.A. Griffin that will be published by Tainted Coffee Press.
Recently, C. Allen took some time out to talk to us his work and his answer to the above question.
Orange Alert (OA): I really enjoyed the broadside that you put out with Guerrilla Poetics Project, "A Shy and Quite Morning". What are your thoughts on the efforts and mission of the GPP? What has the response been like to your broadside?
C. Allen Rearick (CR): I think the GPP is a wonderful idea, and I'm happy to not only be apart of it but to also be one of the original founding members. Sofar, the effort put into it has been amazin'. From the GPP printer,to the operatives who sign up everyday, to the website designer, tothe myspace controller. Without any of 'em it would be damn near impossible to make this all happen. I think the overall mission ofthe GPP is great. I think there are a lot of people out there who feel alienated, not just in a sense that "i'm a writer, no oneunderstands me" but in a sorta indifferent, the world is fucked, whytry way. I think when people find one of the broadsides, it's asudden jolt, an unexpected joy. It gives 'em an oppurtunity to join,to feel as if they are part of somethin', a way to meet more peoplewho feel the same way and can relate. As far as the response to mybroadside, I think there were one or two comments left by finders who liked it. Other'n that, I really don't know.
OA: What is your opinion of the current state of poetry? Is it thriving in an> internet era? Is it being watered down by an overabundance of outlets (i.e.blogs/myspace/lit zines, etc)? Is there an audience for the modern poet?
CR: To tell the truth, I haven't really been payin' attention to thecurrent state of poetry as of late. At least not like I used to. Ido however think it's fine. Both the internet and print mediums havethey're various pros and cons. I think in the years to come, we'regonna see more online mediums, whether or not they'll be credible is awhole 'nother descussion. I don't know whether or not it's bein'watered down. What I do know is that with so many outlets, there issomethin' for everyone. Whether you like to read"highschool-teen-whoa-is me" stuff, "Bukowski wanna-bes""puedo-intellectuals" whatever..find your nitch and enjoy. Of course,I also think we should all strive to better not just our writin' bute veryone's as well. Of course, who's to say what is "good" and whatis "bad". It's all subjective. I don't even know what i'm talkin' aboot anyomore. I feel like John Kerry.
OA: What can you tell us about your forthcoming chapbook?
CR: It will instead be put out by "Tainted Coffee Press" which is part of "Zygote in my coffee" (http://www.zygoteinmycoffee.com/) Co-edited by Brian Fugett and Karl Koweski. The only details thus far are from Brian's e-mail to me - "...The "69" FLIPBOOK CHAP SERIES is a unique combination of 2 chapbooks by two different poets packaged together in which one sidewill feature the poetry of ONE poet & then you flip it over & it will feature a whole DIFFERENT poet! And each side will have it?s VERY ownCover art! It's kinda in the same vein as those flip-book style of comic books from back in the late 70's & early 80's!..." The other poet will be non-other than S.A. Griffin, co-editor of "The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry" and his latest "Numbsull Sutra" available from Rank Stranger Press.
OA: Does the act of conveying a poem to an audience ever change the way you feel about a particular poem? How do you feel about poetry readings in general?
CR: No, i don't think it does. Poetry readings can be varied. It's a total crapshoot when you go to 'em. I've been to some, such> as the monthly one hosted by Steve Goldberg and Nick Traenkner at the Literary Cafe in Tremont, Ohio, (http://literarycafe.net/blog/) which are always fun with great featured readers as well as some fine open mic'ers. Than there are others that are like an old lady's quilting b.
OA: Who are some of your biggest literary influences?
CR: Sharon Olds, Charles Bukowski, Kurt Vonnegut, William Carlos Williams, Thomas Mann, Henry Miller, Mike Topp, Tom Kryss, d.a. levy, Kent Taylor, James Wright, Billy Collins, Knut Hamsun, Jim Burns, Raymond Carver and a SLEW of small press/independent poets.
OA: What next for C. Allen Rearick?.
CR: Well, gettin' the word out aboot> Ron Paul. Helpin' to promote poets and artists I like via my myspace (www.myspace.com/c_allen). I've been readin' a lot in the> area of screenplays too.
OA: Coffee? If yes, what is your favorite kind of coffee, and where is your favorite coffee place?
CR: Coffee is a must!!! Has to be strong too. To quote S.A. Griffin when he crashed at my place for d.a. levy fest "Cowboy coffee!" Well, I used to enjoy goin' to this place called "Common Grounds" it's open 24 hours and you could smoke there. I don't go there as much anymore due largely in part of the Ohio smoking ban. F**KERS.
OA: What type of music do you enjoy listening to currently? Who are some of your
CR: My taste is very eclectic. My all-time bein' Nirvana. I also love, in no particualr order, Alkaline Trio, The Lawrence Arms, The Broadways, The Queers, Brandston, Public Enemy, Eminem, Outcast, The Beatles, The Traveling Wilburys, Dreyfus, Whatever, The Reserves, Greg-o/Little Beck, William H. Michaels, Thursday, Jawbreaker, Norah Jones, etc...
For more information on C. Allen Rearick visit his website or his myspace.