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.