Mirror Poems and Reflections Book Interview

Hi, it’s Jack Wolfpac. I just read a spontaneous prose interview Marc Latham just gave, with a couple of mentions for my human parallel, Jack Kerouac. Not only that, but I imported it into the Greenygrey world to save you getting on the road over to that poetry palace. Here it is:

Interview about Mirror Poems and Reflections Book
Posted on November 29, 2012

Last week, Caroline Gill kindly nominated me to talk about my second poetry collection as part of a blog meme called The Next Big Thing. Caroline also provided the foreword for my book, and has been an expert poetry consultant since the early days of the Folding Mirror form; so thanks to Caroline for nominating me, her advice and poetry.

Caroline and John Dotson have a new poetry chapbook called The Holy Place available, and I’m pleased to say that I just received my copy. From first read it looks full of interesting and evocative poems about subjects I like; such as wondering about life and existence from nature on our planet to the vastness of space.

For The Next Big Thing I answer a set of questions below, before I nominate five other writers to take part next week. Here are the questions and answers:

What is the title of your new book?

242 Mirror Poems and Reflections.
Where did the idea for the book come from?

I’d written about 100 Folding Mirror poems, so I thought I had near enough a poetry collection. I’d self-published a comedy-fantasy book (Werewolf of Oz) on Amazon Kindle earlier in the year, so I thought I would self-publish a poetry collection too.
Holly Valance

Cover of Holly Valance

I also had lots of old thoughts and poems written down, so I thought I could use them as reflections for the mirror aspect of the Folding Mirror poems.

Then I thought I’d have the numbers in the title mirroring too, with two identical numbers either side of a middle one, as two halves of poetry mirror either side of a folding middle line in FM poems. The next number to the amount of poems I had that worked like that was 121, with 242 also working when the reflections were included.

So I then created another twenty or so poems, until I had 121, and mirrored them with thoughts and poems that reflected them somehow.

What genre does your book fall under?

It is a poetry collection.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I have a Folding Mirror poem that mentions Johnny Depp and Sam Riley playing a couple of my favourite characters in the Dead Man and On The Road movies; William Blake and Jack Kerouac; so that’d do.

Holly Valance has featured in a Werewolf of Oz poem, so she could be the leading lady. Debbie Harry, Brigitte Bardot and Britt Eklund suit mirrors and reflections.

Deborah Harry

Cover of Deborah Harry

California’s first wild wolf since 1924, OR7, can play the Greenygrey parts if it tires of wandering and takes advantage of its celebrity status in Hollywood.

Will your book be self published or published by an agency? This one was self-published on Amazon Kindle and in book form on Amazon CreateSpace, after my first collection was published by Chipmunka.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

The poems cover three years, and were previewed here on fmpoetry. The poems were written and published here when they were written, so they were not in subject order.

I sorted the 121 poems into seven chapters: personal-psychological (containing thirty-four poems and thirty-four reflections), social (19-19), culture (15-15), literary (12-12), nature (30-30), travel (6-6) and space (5-5).

That took about a month, and then placing reflections with each poem took another month. So it took about two months to have a first draft.
Final editing and assembling took about another month, so about three months in all.
Orla Bardot

Orla Bardot (Photo credit: Tanozzo)

What other books would you compare 242 Mirror Poems and Reflections to within the genre?

I’ve read collections by Jack Kerouac and Jim Morrison in the past, and Norman Bissett’s Painting the Bridgemore recently.

Whether mine is comparable is probably not for me to say.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I’ve been writing Folding Mirror poems for a few years now, so it was poets like Kerouac and Morrison originally; along with the lyrics of rock music I’d been listening to since the 1980s.

More recently, it’s been the people who have posted poetry on the fmpoetry site; as well as people who visit, read and comment. I also read a lot of great poetry on other poets’ sites, and many are inspiring.

What else about the book might pique a reader’s interest?

The Folding Mirror poems have been previewed on this site, so if readers like them then hopefully they might buy or rent the book. Especially as there are 121 extra thoughts and poems in the book that are mostly unpublished elsewhere at the present time.

The Folding Mirror is a new and unique form, and readers who have an interest in new poetry forms might be interested. Especially if they like haiku and palindrome poetry.

The poems also delve deep into the (ADHD and bipolarity?) mind of a middle-aged world-travelled PhD graduate with a love for nature; who was inspired by the 1960s/1970s counter-culture, 1980s rock music and 1990s rave and dance. So hopefully it’ll have some interest for people of the same age, or with an interest in those periods of modern cultural history.

The books have also been priced at the cheapest tariffs possible across the UK, USA and EU on Amazon. The main reason for publishing the book was to make the poems available in a structured form, at a low cost, and with extra poems and thoughts to provide more value for money.

Not denying there was some vanity though, or still some lingering hopes and ambitions for super-stardom and riches in the future… without sacrificing any artistic integrity of course…

 

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Platoon Poem and 1960s Culture War Psychology

Hi, it’s Andy Wolfhol. I’ve bartered an even better deal with our ol’ pal Marc Latham over at fmpoetry this week, getting over twenty-four hours exclusivity for his newest Folding Mirror poem, as long as we publicise his second poetry collection: 242 Mirror Poems and Reflections.

1960s Cartoon and Counter Culture

The poem is about the Platoon film, and contains some plot detail, so spoiler alert if you want to watch the movie without knowing any of the story.

Having studied Marc’s books in some detail I know that Platoon was quite a big film for him. Born in 1965, when the Vietnam War and counter-culture was just getting started, Marc wouldn’t really remember the adult period of war and revolution, but it would always interest him.

The Banana Splits in Hocus Pocus Park

The Banana Splits in Hocus Pocus Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

However, Marc would remember his first experiences of mass culture in  the late-1960s and early-1970s, when the liberty and colour of the hippy age movement probably influenced television shows such as Scooby DooThe Banana Splits and H.R. Pufnstuf.

Good and Evil Duality Folk Tales and Film 

H.R. Pufnstuf

H.R. Pufnstuf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

H.R. Pufnstuf had a good and evil fairytale theme, and it was probably one of Marc’s first visual experiences of this fiction formula. It might well have influenced his interest in Greenygrey’s Rambles three and a half decades later.

Between the early inspiration and the written product, Marc had a whole lotta other influences, both in the fictional and factual worlds. One of the most important fictional influences before Marc travelled was Oliver Stone’s  Platoon Vietnam War movie, which really struck a nerve just a year before Marc set off.

Platoon Time and Place Relevance 

Hamburger Hill

Hamburger Hill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Platoon was a major film, winning Academy Awards (Oscars) for best film, best director, best sound and best editing in 1986. In The Guns N’ Roses Worker-Traveller, Marc mentioned seeing a Platoon poster in the early days of his worker-traveller life on Crete, and also went to see spin-off Vietnam War films Full Metal Jacket and Hamburger Hill while there.

While Marc was a staunch socialist at the time, and didn’t agree with the Vietnam War, he was also a rookie adult, like the Platoon protagonist and his grunt colleagues, so he related to the American soldiers’ trials and tribulations, and hoped they’d pull through and survive.

Anyway, I Andy Wolfhol, have definitely digressed. Here’s the poem:   

Platoon (film)

Platoon (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Platoon Protagonist, Life Lessons

Good Elias Grodin
soldier of conscience
trained to kill
living for honour
remembering right
way to live and fight
shot in back
paradise lost
witnessed by
helicopter angel

rookie recruit Chris, Taylor rendered realist

heaven’s assassin
fait accompli
executioner’s song
finger on trigger
put end to war mad
regurgitating wrong
surviving on hate
killing for fun
sweet innocent child
Bad Sergeant Barnes

Cover of "Platoon (Special Edition)"

Cover of Platoon (Special Edition)

 

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Kate Middleton and Sebastian Vettel Star in Greenygrey World

Hi, it’s Wolf Whistzer, with a greenygrey round-up of the big wide world of greenygreyness in the media. Princess Kate Middleton took some great greenygrey photos on her recent tour to south-east Asia, with a great big greenygrey creation myth moment our favourite (although it admittedly doesn’t look that greenygrey below!):

While on the International Business Times website viewing Kate Middleton’s photos I scooped some more companies using greenygrey to enhance their products @ HTC and Undertone. We don’t know anything else about those companies, with the use of greenygrey of course always free.

Brazilian Grand Prix 

Also in the southern hemisphere, the Formula 1 motor-racing season came to a thrilling greenygrey end at the Brazilian Grand Prix. There was a feast of greenygreyness thanks to the colouring of the track, some atypical grey weather, the winner’s podium and a car manufacturer.

Here’s a taste of the track from the BBC website highlights:

And the Greenygrey was there to celebrate the end of the season Grand Prix, won by Jenson Button of GB driving for McLaren-Mercedes:

Sebastian Vettel of Germany won the season’s drivers’ championship driving for our ol’ friends Red Bull, which also won the constructors’ championship.

Mercedes’s greenygreyish car; on the boundary between green and turquoise; had a respectable season, with fifth place out of twelve constructors in the championship:

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Alice Springs to Alice Springs in new Werewolf of Oz

Hi, it’s Greenygrey. Thanks to Baron Wolfman for a great Greenygrey glossary of greenygrey gifs from magnificent Mont-Saint-Michel, and a nice use of his initiative. We’re sure you’ve been on the edge of your seats all week waiting for the next exciting episode of the comedy-fantasy travel quest classic epic Werewolf of Oz: Fantasy Travel by Google Maps epic classic quest de travel fantasy-comedy, now available at Amazon and some other leading book sellers. So without further ado, with a just added Zemanta image extra special Roo, here it is for you to view:

Alice Springs city

Alice Springs city (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

30.  ALICE SPRINGS, WE SINGS AND THE WALLAROO SYMBS

‘Come along off the path,’ advised Alice, ‘you all look plum pole-axed piqued out. The ghangiant could be along soon, and you don’t want to be around when it turns up.’

I didn’t like the sound of the ghangiant, and thought we’d had enough drama for one day. I checked the hat, and it was glowing, so we followed Alice:

Alice Springs

Alice Springs (Photo credit: slowe6847)

Spring, spring, spring
we span,
springing sprightly we sprang.

Alice Springs Invites us to Sing

We reached a spring, and Alice took a drink. She invited us to quench our thirst too, ‘Come drink at this spring, it’ll make you sing.’ I checked the hat, and it was glowing, so I told the others it should be okay.

Werewolves of London

Werewolves of London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The water sure did taste sweet, and the next thing we knew, Bonzo was singing Have a Drink on Me. Elle then started singing Waltzing Matilda , (the Andre Roo and Mirusia version) before Warren Zevon‘s Werewolves of London must have cornered my cerebral cortex (nailed my noggin), because a rousing rendition suddenly burst out of my mouth. Alice finished off our medley with The Jam’s A Town Called Malice.

‘Why, Alice, I haven’t heard such sweet singing since Sade stopped by the Springs,’ a voice said from behind us. I looked around to see a macropod approaching.

Waltzing Matilda (album)

Waltzing Matilda (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘Hello Wally Mac,’ exclaimed Alice, ‘what brings a wallaroo like roo to these parts.’

—————————————————————————————————-

Notes

cerebral cortex – outer layer of the brain; vital for thought processing.
noggin – slang for head.
Ghan – a passenger train operating on the Adelaide-Darwin railway.
wallaroo – any of three closely related species between kangaroos and wallabies.
Have a Drink on Me (AC/DC song).
Waltzing Matilda (Australian bush ballad).
Werewolves of London (Warren Zevon song).
A Town Called Malice (The Jam song).
Sade (soul singer).

—————————————————————————————————-

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Mont-Saint-Michel Bay Causeway Greenygrey Photos

greenygrey bay causeway photos
pourquoi? ‘cos by GG

Hi, it’s Baron Wolfman. I’m still loving it at the Greenygrey, but feels like I’ve been thrown in the deep end, and am doing most of the work! I can’t find another werewolf around here at all half the time. Anyway, after Monsieur Wolfpac introduced the fascinating Marc Latham at Saint-Malo and Mont-Saint-Michel TravelThruHistory article yesterday, with a mixed bag of photos including one very greenygrey one of Mont-Saint-Michel I was set the task of finding Marc’s best greenygrey photos from the Mont.

There were lots I had to miss out, and you can find your own at Picasa.

Here are my three favourites:

Looking south at the causeway from half-way up Mont-Saint-Michel:

Looking west from half-way up Mont-Saint-Michel:

Looking up at Mont-Saint-Michel (wider angle than the one on TTH):

And now for something completely different. Zemanta has offered up this one of the cloister that I just couldn’t resist. I hope the Greenygrey doesn’t mind me using my initiative!:

Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, Manche, Normandie,...

Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, Manche, Normandie, France. The cloister. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Saint-Malo and Mont-Saint-Michel Travel Article

Hi, it’s Jack Wolfpac, travel-writer correspondent at the Greenygrey. I was thrilled to see a not-so-young travel writer following in my footsteps over the last quarter-century, and to read his latest travel article about Brittany and Normandy on the Travel Thru History website; based in Saint-Malo and peaking in Mont-Saint-Michel. 

Mont-Saint-Michel and Saint-Malo Travel

An old friend of the Greenygrey website, Marc Latham visited Saint-Malo, Mont-Saint-Michel, Dinard, Cancale and Saint-Briac-sur-Mer; as well as passing through Saint-Servan, Saint-Coulomb and Saint-Meloir-des-Ondes

Saint-Malo is full of history and beaches, which makes it great photography territory. Mont-Saint-Michel is just spectacular, and Marc was lucky enough to visit it on a day providing a greenygrey morning and clear sky afternoon; like a 2 for 1 offer! The rest of northern France provided a super place to swim, walk and sightsee.

Anyway, enough spontaneous prose for now, and I’ll let you get off to the French history and travel article.

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Artwork of Nagai Hideyuki Inspires Day at Greenygrey

Hi, it’s Baron Wolfman. Greenygrey sure is pleased it hired me, as the emorfes blog is keeping the Greenygrey art world supplied with lots of great material this week. I thought I’d be off helping Andy Wolfhol create something extraordinary this morning, but instead I was called in to the office to present the extraordinary 3-D pencil drawings artwork of Nagai Hideyuki. Photos 1,2 and 4 were on the emorfes blog, while I just found the third on Nagai’s website; so well done to me for some intrepid independent research!

Greenygrey in the Morning

I’m kinda getting used to seeing the Greenygrey reach for the alarm clock on an early morning start, such as today, and this drawing sure does remind me of that sunrise extravaganza (there was a real one of those on Monday too!):

 

Once the Greenygrey is up and running its next task is to open its curtains to the world, and this next one reminds me of that special occasion:

 

A working day at the Greenygrey:

 

And finally, after a busy day in the Greenygrey world, everything returns to hush:

Long time ’til that today, and off to find Andy Wolfhol now for some extraordinary creating of our own…