If what were left
instead of dust
I'd drink a little
and piss you out
in the mornings
like dew drops
on the heather
then wait for you
into the clouds
for stormy weather
I am pleased to announce that starting today, I will be making a regular appearance on Thursdays. In the past, we have interviewed members of the Real Toads community. Now, I am turning the spotlight to our followers to illuminate a bit about those who keep coming back to the Garden.
Today, I am highlighting a recent conversation I had with Tim Schaefer (aka “Timoteo”) self proclaimed desert rat and film enthusiast. Tim posts regularly at the Catnip Blog, and also a film review blog Timmy's Noodle Film Review.
Without further ado, let’s begin.....
Izy: I’m buying the first round of the drinks, what will you be having?
Tim: Corona with a wedge of lime. And I'll get the next round. (Don't believe that.)
Izy: So, your profile says you live in Tucson....how long have you lived there, and why do you continue to do so?
Tim: I've been in Tucson since 1977, and that qualifies me as an official "Desert Rat." Was actually born here, but grew up in the midwestern U.S.. I came back out of curiosity about my birthplace, and the day I drove into town it felt like home.
There is something magical about the desert which draws people here from all over the world. Their will is not their own. They wake up one morning glassy-eyed and begin chanting robotically : Tucson...Tucson...
Izy: Your blog dates back to 2009, but how long have you considered yourself a poet?
Tim: I have considered myself a poet since high school, when I found the whole idea of "learning" the way they implemented it to be boring, so I would sit around in study hall and write these nasty little parodies of "Beowulf" or "The Night Before Christmas" and pass them around in class. The other kids would chuckle and snort, so I figured they liked them.
Izy: What are you trying to accomplish with your words?
Tim: My mission statement as a poet isn't a fancy one. I think self-expression happens because there is something inside that (sometimes urgently) needs to come out--if it doesn't you go around feeling bloated all day--so you put it down on paper or into the computer and then you feel better. I have always felt that words were primarily for the purpose of communication. (I know some poets think they're primarily for play!) The only way we can know anything about each other--besides body language--is through words. So in my work I am most often dealing with universal themes that people can relate to in one way or another, based in real life situations as opposed to fantasy. I use a lot of satirical humor in my poetry, but underlying the humor there is often a sense of pathos. This is how I interpret the human condition. Beneath the laughter there is pathos...beneath the sadness there is the Cosmic Joke. In our world of duality, one always implies the other.
Izy: When reading your blog profile I was delighted at this statement: “Sometimes I go to the library or a bookstore, and just open books to some random page, and read a few sentences. Once in a while what I find seems like a message meant for me”--what was the last “message” you received and what journey did it lead you to?
Tim: Truthfully, I just opened this book to a passage that said: You evasive bastard. I'm trying to understand you, and you won't give me a straight answer. This is one of those times when I definitely feel like something is being directed toward me. But hopefully not by you!
Izy: (Laughs). No you are being very forthcoming...so far! One aspect of your poems which I enjoy is that they tend to end in a different a tone then where they started (and never where I suspected they would end), as if the narrator has stumbled into insight. When you write a poem is your top priority to express your insights or to provide a genuine experience for the readers....and I am sorry, but I am not going to allow you to used the safe answer of “both”....simply what view do you consider first, yours or your audience?
Tim: Well, it's always my view in the beginning, because whether I'm writing as myself or through a character, it's always me and my world view that is being expressed. I think you have to write for yourself, and not try to tailor your work to a specific audience in hopes of having a better chance of it being accepted. Your work will be more honest that way, and if it's any good, put it out there and an appreciative audience will find it.
Izy: That explains why your poems seem to just “unabashedly be” on the page. What aspects of you appear in your poems?
The aspect of me that most often shows up is the guy who is speaking from his heart. Speaking out of a sense of passion about something.
Izy: I’ve noticed you also have a passion for cinema. You write a film review blog where you review. What was the lowest grade you have given, and why?
Tim: I used to watch Siskel and Ebert and think what a great job to have--hang out in the balcony and watch movies, then write about them and get paid for it. I told myself I didn't need to get paid--I would do it just for the fun of it. So now, writing about movies has become something of an obsession.
The lowest grade I've given was an "F" to a film called When In Rome. Mainly because I thought it was going to be set in Rome, and most of it takes place in New York City. Oh, yeah--it was stupid too. But I think that is the only F I have ever given. I usually find something redeeming about each film that saves it from that worst of worst report cards you can't take home to mom.
Izy: That is very kind of you to dig for fragments of brilliance. I usually am a little more fickle. Okay, so now begins what I call, “rapid fire” questions. They are meant to have short answers, but if you are feeling verbose that’s okay too!
Do you write rough drafts in pen, pencil, or electronically?
I normally scribble with a pen in my notebook, until I can't read my own writing anymore, then I switch to the computer.
The Jetsons or the Flintstones?
Flintstones. I used to take their chewable vitamins, and I wasn't even a kid at the time.
Favorite curse word?
It's this wonderfully all-encompassing epithet that I first encountered in the insanely irreverent novel, Candy, by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg.
An alien lands on earth and asks you “what is poetry?” Which poem of yours would you share as an answer (you can only pick one)?
A poem entitled "Poetry Lives," which can be found in the archives of Catnip.
Three things you never write about?
Faeries... cooking...and iPads (because I don't have one.)
Four Favorite words?
"bugger" "anyhoo" "kiddo" "anthropomorphic"
The power to fly or the power to be invisible?
I fly in my dreams. So I would choose to be invisible so I could get into all the movies for free.
You have a copy of the Sunday paper in front of you, which section do you read first?
The sports page. I'm a fantasy football freak. Just when you think you know someone, eh?
What is the sound which best describes your poetry?
Two things that make you lose sleep
1. Thinking about an unfinished poem. 2. Coyotes howling outside my window.
I’ve got a full tank of gas, 1,000,000 Marriott Reward points and a stolen platinum credit card: where are we going?
A ski lodge in the Rockies. Sit by the cozy fireplace. Drink some wine. Retire to the room. Don't even think about skiing.
Worst writing advice you ever received?
Get an "expert" to critique your work.
You get to host an intimate dinner party with 5 guests, and you can select anyone (famous, infamous, living, dead etc,..though for purposes of this question the dead will be brought back to life in a non-zombie way). Who gets an invite and why?
Marlon Brando. My favorite actor, and I do a great impression of him that I think he might like. (If not, I be sleeping wit da fishes!)
Stephen Hawking--so we could discuss the topic of "why does anything exist."
Alan Watts (Zen philosopher and writer.) He and Hawking would have a very interesting discussion, I think.
Claude Lelouch--French film director.(A Man And A Woman) Because I've been knocked out by just about everything he's put on film.
Zooey Deschanel...just to gaze into the black holes of her eyes up close.
So thanksgiving is soon...
Yep...I love the holidays. Even if they suck and they are lonely...there's a getting in touch with buried emotions that usually occurs. I think we should do that from time to time.
And that is where the convo ended, kiddos. I want to thank Tim for his gracious replies to pesky questions and for taking the time to provide such a wonderful dialogue. Happy Thanksgiving Tim! I will save you a seat at the Ski Lodge.