GUEST Q&A – poet, Aleksis Faust!

Hello my beautiful ones! Today I asked my husband Aleksis Faust to guest post and do a Q&A for my blog. I wrote the questions and he answered them all in private, so I was just as entertained reading them for the first time as you will be. I won’t keep his stage for long, so here he is ! If you enjoy his content here, go read some of his poetry at https://aleksisfaust.wordpress.com/, give him a follow! You won’t regret it. 

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  • At what age did you start writing poetry?
    • The first time poem I ever wrote that wasn’t some kind of English assignment, was in my 8th grade Science class. I was 14 years old.
  • Who were your greatest influences?
    • Besides other poets, I was heavily influenced by lyricists like Dani Filth and Marilyn Manson, as well as contemporary rap artists.
  • How much did personal experience affect it then, versus how it does now?
    • I think when I was younger, most of what I did was confessional poetry, as a kind of cathartic process. Now, I have more fun with, and even though my personal life always influences me – it doesn’t lord over my work.
  • What inspires you to write?
    • Literally anything. Usually the works of other artists, particularly films and other visual mediums.
  • Have you ever tried your hand at prose, and would you ever consider writing a short story or a novel?
    • I have actually; two unfinished pieces of prose are currently sitting in my hard drive. I don’t know if I’d ever be able to write a full length novel, but I would love to get to that point someday.
  • What is your ultimate goal for yourself and your writing?
    • I want to revive poetry for this era, and I want to share my work with as many people as I can, both while I’m here and when I’m gone.
  • Do you feel like poetry is a respected art form?
    • I think the “classics” are respected, such as Poe, Keats, Milton etc. but not necessarily contemporary poets. Spoken word and rap are the only subsets of verse that are getting any shine, in my opinion.
  • Which poets make your top list?
    • Charles Baudelaire, Charles Bukowski, Arthur Rimbaud, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Saul Williams, my husband, and Charles Simic to name a few. (Why are there so many good poets named Charles?) side note to my readers: this is especially funny because I am his husband and all of the men on my dad’s side are named Charles.
  • Would you say that you have settled into a style, or are you still experimenting?
    • I think my most comfortable style is a modern, more musical twist on free-verse, but I don’t think any writer should restrict themselves to only one style. Experimenting in other forms teaches you more about your craft and facilitates creativity.
  • What would you say is the most interesting thing about you?
    • I don’t think I can point out a singular, ruling characteristic to describe myself. I think if I was able to do that, I’d be pretty boring 😛
  • What is a day in the life of a poet like?
    • Well I’m not sipping wine from a goblet, hunched over parchment by candlelight with a quill and ink if that’s what you’re asking. I’m also not living in a coffee shop with a beret and a cigarette tape between my fingers either. xD
  • Do you think anyone can be a poet?
    • I think anyone can write poetry.
  • If you could give a piece of advice to someone who was just starting out, what would it be?
    • 1) Only say what’s necessary. 2) Whatever you say, say it in a way that’s never been said before. 3) Don’t ever force it.
  • In what direction do you see poetry as an art form heading?
    • I think spoken word will continue to be hijacked by social activism and rap will continue to develop into weirder and more unique content. As that happens, I think we will see a reemergence of appreciation for written verse.
  • What are some of your other interests?
    • I’m really into alternative rap, “artsy-films” , and recently rekindled my love for videogames. Basically, I never go outside during the day.
  • Are there any countries you would like to visit that you think would inspire you?
    • Sure, Romania, France, Germany, Russia, and Italy all have aesthetics I would kill to see in person.
  • Do you ever take inspiration from current events?
    • Sometimes, but usually it’s something non-political. I like to stay aware of social issues, but I think those issues are best articulated through discourse rather than poetry, where it can sometimes get to abstracted.
  • If so, how well does a dramatic event or social concept translate into poetry?
    • I think it’s much easier to write about a dramatic event than a social concept. For example, one could certainly write a moving piece about the humanity (or lack thereof) in Ferguson, but it would be much harder to unpack white privilege and the history of racism within power structures like the police force in a single poem.
  • Is there a poet in your life (someone you know personally) who you look up to?
    • Can I say my husband without sounding like a sycophant? Honestly he’s the only person I know personally whose poetry I’ve read and deemed professional.
  • What do you feel makes a poem ‘fresh’?
    • Just about anything you can choose as a topic has been written about before, so the key is to take whatever that is, and try to flip it on its head or change the perspective. One of the best ways to do this is to experiment with imagery and metaphor.
  • If you were to have your poems illustrated and could hire anyone dead or alive, whose art would you use?
    • It’s cruel to make me just pick one, but H.R. Giger is the first one that came to mind.
  • If you could capture your philosophy in one word, what would it be?
  • Satanism.
  • Do you prefer to have your work honestly critiqued or blindly adored?
    • Honestly critiqued.
  • What inspired you to go professional with your writing?
    • I just didn’t see the point in expressing myself creatively if I wasn’t going to share it with anyone. Why write at all if you’re the only one who is going to read it?
  • What gives you the drive to continue?
    • The encouragement of my husband and the opinion of others whose opinion I respect.
  • What would you consider to be a ‘stereotypical’ poet?
    • Nowadays, a young, twenty-something who only performs in front of a mic with a perpetual upward inflection and an irritating lack of breath control.
  • If not drinking and smoking (and other stereotypical poet behaviors) what would you name your vices?
    • Attention, love, and sex.
  • Sum up the ‘greats’ of poetry in one word.
  • Encompassing.
  • What are the absolute “Don’t’s!” of writing poetry?
    • DO NOT rhyme something simply because you can.
    • DON’T say anything that is already implied/obvious.
    • DO NOT force anything to come out of you that isn’t there. It’s contrived. If you’ve heard something said similarly, by anyone else, don’t say it.
    • DON’T underestimate subtlety and purposeful restriction.
    • DON’T become so abstract that no one can discern a meaning.
    • DON’T try to adopt a style that you aren’t suited for just because you admire it. Play around with it, but if it’s hindering your content – move on.
    • DON’T doubt your work.
    • NEVER delete anything without consulting an honest reviewer/friend.
  • I hear you have an incredibly handsome husband. On a scale of 1 – Adonis, how sexual is he?
  • Satan.
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