Hat tip to Ken.
Labels: good reads
Labels: good reads
Labels: Bad Jokes
Labels: woo hoo
1. Dave, You've discussed hell in several of your posts. Tell us, what exactly is "hell". Is it a physical place, a state of mind, or a condition of the soul. Or is it something we cannot fully comprehend. Enlighten us.
Have I really discussed hell that much? At the risk of becoming overly obsessive about hell and becoming a hate mongerer there I can look at Hell in either the theologically or poetically. I have to admit talking about Hell at all makes me uncomfortable, but it is a topic that has been too long ignored by some churches or completely overtaken others. Theologic hell is a physical place. Where that place is I cannot begin to guess. All I know is it isn't a place I would want to go for the fact there is a deep absence of God. The torments are bad enough, but the absence of God is what makes it more painful. I have been tought that as a christian my "job" was to keep people from going to Hell. Though I think that is true it isn't the most important part of faith. The poetic hell is either a state of mind or a situation that we are in that is so intensely harsh and painful that it can feel like torture. These can pass over time. I try not to think about hell too much, but just enough to help me realize what I do have in this life and the blessings I can hopefully share.
2. You live in New Jersey. For those of us who have never visited NJ, what is it like? It's all urban sprawl, landfills and pollution and stuff, right?
New Jerseyans have the unfortunate blessing of being book ended between Philadelphia and New York City which means that people closer to southern New Jersey tend to act like Philadelphians and root for Philadelphia teams while Northern new Jerseyans act like they are from Manhattan. We have no real identity of our own anymore. And because we are a smaller state that instead of having great strethces of one type of land over another people can see us as either living in nothing but urban waste lands or chemical refineries. There are both of thoses depending on where you drive. We are very flat up through northern NJ where we hit a mountain range just outside of New York State. We have some charming small towns, but the suburban sprawl is taking over a lot of our open areas which is sad. Some of our shore towns are great and can be relaxing if you go to the right place.
3. You're a Blues fan. What is so great about The Blues anyway?
When you hear true blues there is something about hearing a guy or gal sing and perform in such a real way. It is the right music for the right time. You don't hear people getting the alternative rocks. People get the blues and these performers are there right along with you. They know what you are talking about and what you are feeling. There is an honesty and no holds barred attitude that speaks about who we are at any given moment of time. These guys didn't just sing songs they sang their lives. It is gritty and raw. You can fake a lot of things, but you can't fake the blues.
4. You are an admirer of good poetry. What was the greatest age of poetry and how does the poetry that is being produced in our time compare to that of ages past?
Right now we have alive and in our midst some of the most incredible voices in literature and poetry. Mark Doty, Donald Hall, Lucille Clifton, Galway Kinnell among others are the older gaurd. The grandparents of modern poetry whose voices that are influencing a younger generation. Sadly, a lot of the younger generation isn't really paying attention to what they have to say and how they say it. The craft isn't there like it was with them. There are definate exceptions. I have met several over the past few years like Linh Dinh who are continuing to create in a new and innovative voice. Plus the ammount of poetry from foreign shores finally making it to America is thrilling. I am fortunate, every two years in northern NJ we have a huge poetry festival called The Dodge Poetry Festival. It's huge and I have had the opportunity to meet and hear read poets from all over the world including China (Bei Dao), Isreal (Taha Muhammad Ali), old school beats (Amiri Baraka), and some from America like Fanny Howe. I'd say poetry was at it's zenith from 1875 til about 1960 or so. It was during this time we had people writing with the beauty of the romantics, but moving on to more modern and avante garde forms. They moved out of the old forms and became willing to not just write about the external, but the internal as well. Without becoming overly self-indulgent. They took poetry sometimes kicking and screeming into the modern age while keeping a foot firmly planted in the past as well.
5. Tell us about your experience as a comedian and why (or how) you failed.
At first it was a lot of fun. Going a couple of times a month to do a few minute set and see peoples reactions. Sometimes it would go well and others not so much. And people around me were encouraging which made it great. Then people became too encouraging and started referring to me as Dave the comedian. Of course with that people ask me to tell some jokes which put me on the spot. After a while it got tired of all the attention it was bringing me and finished out my last few commitments. There are times I miss it, but I don't want all the attention from friends and family like I had before.
6. You've held a variety of jobs. What was the worst of them? What was the best? Wait, I know, it was Chuck E. Cheese, wasn't it?
Believe it or not Chuck E. Cheese was a good job. I was 20 and working with a whole bunch of girls my age. That isn't such a bad deal. Plus my boss let me work as where i saw the need so I got to have the run of the place. But my best job was working as a court recorder in the courts. I got to hear a lot of exciting cases, meat some great attorneys (they do exist), and the judge I worked for was incredible. I respected him so much that when he decided to retire I put in for a transfer to another division. Working for someone else would not have been the same. Worst was near the end of my tenure at the courts. I was working in the finance office and hating every minute of it. There was a lot of pressure from the higher ups and any freedoms I had with my previous bosses were squashed by newere management. I was almost thirty and starting to question what I was going to do with my life. Every other day it seems like my managers had me in their offices reprimanding for one thing or another. After a while I quit. I was there physically, but not in spirit.