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 Allpoetry.com. 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
and would never be again