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?
"fuckashitpiss." 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.
Izy, what a wonderful set of questions and Tim I am so happy to know more about you. I am always curious about the person behind the pen/computer.
I agree with Susie Clevenger's comment about the questions. Comfortable and sequential without overreach.
Thankyou Izy and thank you Tim for sharing something that I felt the same within.
Tim is just one of my faves in the land of blog. His take no prisoners approach is a delight to my misanthropic humanitarianism.
Thanks for sharing something of your process with us on Real Toads, and for your contribution to our Open Links.
That's no nonsense love pom if ever I saw one! LOL
I enjoyed both sides of this interview, the ee and the er.
Great interview, Izy, as always. Tim is a natural for your quick-fire questions, too--'splat' Timo, fun to learn a bit more about you in your own inimitable style. One of the things I like about your work is that I never know what to expect, where it will take itself, but I always enjoy the trip. I find your observations about the holidays(which I loathe) very comforting as well. Thanks for baring your soul --or at least answering some questions in a lively and entertaining manner--here at the toad pond.
Super interview. Insightful on both sides of the microphone! Hope your Thanksgiving doesn't suck this year, Tim.
Seems like a likable enough guy.
ooooh Tim! yippee! i just LOVE that poem up there on the top. i dig your writing, dig your blog, truly. and i had no idea you have a film review blog! *runs off to look*
Timo! Yay! Great choice, Izy. I love your description, Tim, of the human condition: "Beneath the laughter, there is pathos....beneath the sadness there is the Cosmic Joke." This is why I love your writing so much.
Izy, I love your observation that Tim's narrator often "stumbles into insight". So clever.
I love "splat". Hee hee.
Oooooh, that dinner party would be something!
Such fun to read this! Smiled all the way through.
Great conversation, praying tonight for anyone who feels lonelytoday Xxxxxxxx
I like this idea - interviewing our followers ~ Great to know more about you Tim ~ I really like your poem offering and your unique voice in the bloggerland ~
Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it ~
How great to get to know some of the members! I love Tim's poetry~always a favorite stop.
Seriously, though, thank you all for your beautiful comments. Izy was so fun and enjoyable to work with, and here's a secret...she is a dynamite poet! So check out her work.
What a great interview, so much fun getting to know the story behind the writer ..
...'they wake up one morning
glassy-eyed and begin chanting robotically: Tucson...Tucson' ~~ exactly how I felt my first time in Tucson! My travel companion told me I must have been a lizard in another life .. and don't get me started on the sunsets!
fun interview. I like that the questions are unique to Tim and it's fun to read his answers. and his poetry is always fun to read as well.
thanks for the interview. have a great day.
Izzy...your questions and style of interviewing is so effective...I really enjoyed your process of bringing forth your poet.
Tim!! I was so surprised to see you here being interviewed...it was just Monday @ the open link here in the garden when I read you and thought, "Hmm, I don't know this poet very well," and I snooped around your blog reading what you said about the book store and how you pick random books and open them to find messages...this made my ears perk because I do the same thing sort of...when books come to me or I seek them I always check page 111 first to see if there's a special message there for me.
So glad to get to know you more your answers are fun!!
:)'s and great interview you two!
Everything I know about interviewing I learned from you. I enjoyed this, and look froward to your weekly feature!
Tim, It is wonderful to finally meet you! I am happy to see your wise glance expressed directly though I often see it in your writing: "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."
Thank you both for a great interview! I was beginning to think that I did not share travel opinions with Tim when he talked about a ski lodge in the Rockies, but he redeemed himself when he said "no skiing!" That's my kind of ski vacation!
Great interview with interesting and fun questions. I really enjoyed learning more about Tim and you asked the perfect questions!
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