As an extension of The Black Lion Journal’s mission, The Wire’s Dream is a semi-annual magazine that values community, life perspectives, and different worldviews. Contributors were asked to complete a set of mini interview questions with the purpose of sharing with the readers and their fellow submitters a bit about who they are and about their creativity. All questions were the same for each contributor; and each answer given is unique, open, friendly, and candid.
Let’s start by talking about creativity — what does creativity mean to you?
Putting your own touch to something. It could be something quite ordinary, like packing for a trip or making a cup of tea, but those simple things can become awe inspiring in the hands of a master. I’m thinking here especially of the poetry of Richard Tillinghast or Jack Ridl.
How and when did you get started doing what you love to do? Who or what is your creative muse?
I fell into poetry by default. A story of mine was rejected 15 years ago, but the journal said they liked my work and would like to see more. On a lark I sent them a poem, “The Game,” and they accepted it immediately (this was Barbaric Yawp). Soon I started sending out more poetry with positive results and thought, hmm, maybe I’m a poet.
What is your most memorable creative experience, if any?
Probably making a poem out of one of the saddest days in my life. The poem, “Catching Jesus,” was about putting down our lovely wonderful dog, Zorba. It’s in my book, Flashcuts Out of Chaos.
People approach creativity in such different ways! What about you? What is your creative routine? Do you know of any quirky habits or creative superstitions?
I begin the day with the newspaper, then move to reading poetry. Reading is exteremely important to my creative process. I actually gage the worth of a poet (probably unjustly) by how many poems her/his work inspire me to write. Recently this formula proved true with W.S. Merwin and Fleda Brown. Anyway, I write in the afternoon. I write everyday. If I can’t come up with a poem, I edit old work and/or submit my work. I consider submitting my work part of my creative process, part of my writing day.
Time, Tips, & Future Goals
How do you make time to do what you love to do?
I just fight for it. I’m lucky, because I live with my favorite poet, Judy Brice. Since she’s a writer she understands and promotes our mutual need to carve out time to write.
What tips can you give novice creatives about getting started on their creative journey and about submitting their work for publication?
Follow your own muse. As I said, I write everyday, but that might not work for you. My favorite poet/writer was Jim Harrison and he only wrote when the muse hit him (but it hit him a lot!). Submit and market your work vigorously. Don’t wrap yourself in false folds of humility. These poems won’t submit themselves. If you get accepted, tell the world about it: Facebook, Twitter, email chains–everything. How else are people to know where to find your work. Marketing yourself is a sign of positive self-esteem. Go for it!
What do you hope to achieve with your creativity? Where would you like to see yourself in about 5 years, professionally and creatively?
I’m 67. I just hope to be alive in 5 years! I have a new collection coming out in May and already have enough for a third collection, which I’m working on now. I hope to keep writing until I drop.
— TWD Magazine 3rd Collection—
I am a retired psychoanalyst living in Pittsburgh. My full length poetry collection, Flashcuts Out of Chaos, is published by WordTech Editions (2016) and my second collection, Mnemosyne’s Hand (WordTech Editions), will appear in 2018. My poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in over fifty publications including The Atlanta Review, Hawaii Review, Chiron Review, The Dunes Review, SLAB, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Sport Literate, The Paterson Literary Review, VerseWrights, and elsewhere.
Read Charles’s Poetry In TWD Magazine 3rd Collection
“Last Moments” — p. 22
“Ode To A Waiting Room Chair” — p. 25