Brian Rihlmann is Alien Buddha Press’ Featured Artist for January 2020


ABP– Thank you for taking this interview, Brian. This past October, ABP had the privilege of releasing your poetry book Ordinary Trauma. For those who don’t know anything about this collection, what can you tell us about the contents, and what went into the writing of it?


BR– Well, I hope it’s a good mix.  I try not to limit myself in what I write about.  I do seem to touch a lot on my inner life…the confessional kinda stuff, but I also write about the city, nature, society, relationships, love, pain….pretty much anything and everything.

What went into it is pretty much my whole life experience up til now.  I was actively alcoholic for a long time, with varying degrees of wretchedness over the years.  When I quit, over two years ago, I had to do something with the madness, all the emotions I’d been suppressing with booze for so long.  So….poetry.



ABP- What is the poetry scene like in Reno Nevada?


BR- I honestly don’t know, but it ain’t L.A. or the Bay Area, that’s for sure! I have a friend here who mentioned doing a live reading somewhere… I think there may be a small scene centered around the university, but I’m really outside all that.  Early on I submitted to the UNR magazine, Brushfire, but was rejected.  I may try them again….pretty sure my stuff’s better now.



ABP- I see that you have been featured all over the web. Vita Brevis Press, Academy of the Heart and Mind, Poetry Super Highway, and the San Antonio Review, just to name a handful of places. Is there anywhere else online you would like to mention where one can read your poetry?


BR- Yeah….I’ve had probably a hundred acceptances this year, into various magazines and journals.  The American Journal of Poetry was one of my first.  Also The Rye Whiskey Review, Cajun Mutt Press, Madness Muse, Synchronized Chaos, The Blue Nib, The Piker Press….there’s been so many!  More recently Heroin Love Songs, The Mark Literary Review, and Yellow Mama.  I’ve got one coming out in Chiron Review later in 2020.  Oh, and I finally made it at Into The Void.   That one’s coming out soon!  I’m really honored by the response my poetry has gotten.


When I first began, I posted my work on  I still have a ton of poems there, and some at Poem Hunter.  I post links to all my publications on my Facebook page.  I’m on Instagram, too.



ABP- What do you have planned for 2020?


BR-  Well, more of the same, I guess.  I seem to be possessed by the words….the ideas just keep coming, and I keep writing them down.  Another book, for sure.  Probably later in the year.




ABP- Who are your biggest influences as a writer


BR– I’ll bet I’ve read less poetry than any other poet alive, hahaha!  Of course I’ve read some of Bukowski’s stuff, more of his prose than poetry, though, and Raymond Carver, also.   I do love Robinson Jeffers.  I’ve probably been more influenced by Nietzsche and Dostoyevsky and Camus, by studying psychology and philosophy and religion, and by….I don’t know…George Carlin, and punk, hardcore, and heavy metal than I have by reading poetry.  I’m really kind of an impostor…



ABP– Thank you again for taking the time for this feature, Brian. The floor is all yours. Share anything you’d like with our wordpress readers; be it some poetry, announcements, shoutouts, anything you’d like.


BR-  Of course!  I appreciate it.  There’s been so many people, so I won’t mention names, or I’ll forget somebody.  I’m just overwhelmed by the support and encouragement I’ve gotten from people on Allpoetry and Facebook, and all the editors in the small presses, all you guys who work so hard to put our work out there.


Here’s one I just finished, it’s not published anywhere yet.  A nice gritty one.  Enjoy!




Young, Dumb Fucks

I remember that night

we drove drunk out I-80 east

to deliver a bindle of white

to your girl at the cathouse

who needed a little boost

for those late night tricks—

she’d recently fallen asleep

with some dude’s cock in her

mouth…and he’d complained

about halfway to Mustang

just for the hell of it

you rolled down your window

and emptied the clip

of your nine into the desert

yelling “yee-haw, motherfuckers!”

we got there somehow

and the man buzzed us in

we found her sitting in the parlor

and you slipped her the stuff

she hung out with us for awhile

but then she got picked out

and went back to her room

with some fat guy

while we sat at the bar doing shots

snorting little bumps

when the bartenders back was turned

lighting our farts on fire

and laughing like the young, dumb fucks

we were

and would never be again


1 thought on “Brian Rihlmann is Alien Buddha Press’ Featured Artist for January 2020”

  1. “and laughing like the young, dumb fucks

    we were

    and would never be again”

    Been there (young/dumb) but never as wild as this.


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