ABP– Thank you for taking this interview, Aldo. Back in October of 2020, ABP had the privilege of publishing your book “Confessions of a Pregnant Man”. What can you tell us about this book? What was the writing process like? How do you feel about it now almost a year later?
AQ- It was really like venturing out into the most erogenous zones of my brain! I had so much fun writing it and conceiving it, it was truly similar to labour! ‘Confessions Of A Pregnant Man’ gleans from so many books I read and several mental states I crossed while discovering teachers like Gurdjieff and Tulku Urgyen and it was also deeply influenced by the many spoken world nights I attended all over London before Covid-19 came to screw our lives! It was a charming period! Now that nearly a year has gone since its birth, I realize it’s still quite alien and frightening to me, that sort of thing that makes you think Wow, I have really gone mad with this one! It still spreads out my visions and horizons to brand new levels, and It was nice to see how different people reacted so differently to it.
ABP– We have also been lucky enough to feature you in a few of our anthologies such as The Last Time The Alien Buddha Got Sooo High, The Alien Buddha Gets a Real Job, and The Alien Buddha Skips the Party. Are there any other collaborative books that you have been featured in outside of ABP that you would like to mention?
AQ– I have been lucky to be included in a lot of webzines, anthologies and magazines, all over the world. From Brazil (with the experimental Revista Torquato), US (Poetry In the Time Of Coronavirus), Canada (The Essential Anthology), Ireland and The UK, where I was selected last October for the Chelsea and Kesington Art Week for the Poetry Corner. That was such a lovely achievement for my career, I was really honored. So far this year I have been included in different projects, such as Continue the voice, The Pangolin Review, The Pine Cone Review and strangely enough I managed to get both selected for a gay webzine (Wicked gays) and a Christian one (Parouisia ) hahaha!
ABP– Can you share a poem with us here?
AQ– Of course, thanks! This one is called Recalcitrant and will give the readers a taste of Confessions Of A Pregnant Man
I’m not recalcitrant: I’ll grind my heart into the ground
If a new species can arise from it
or maybe some butterflies hacking around
gussying up for the intractable pollen
It will ham my disappointment up
with an eye patch, a dutiful reminder
I can still perceive the fil rouge
I tied up to my ankles
when I noticed you,
it was the embouchure for poetry
you kissed me and I became virgin
a naked child, in a candid dishabille
you phoneme joining my first whimper
and my last rites
I’m fine with it: hinging on random boondoggles
along an impolitic life
rest assured: I can swim in my sceneries
can hook up to a gentle breathing
blowing to our face glued with kisses
:an hypnagogic nursery rhyme
ABP– Who is your favorite writer? What is your favorite book?
AQ– It’s really hard to say, I’m constantly devouring books and discovering new authors, especially because I am a huge fan of book exchanges and recycling centres to get free books and get exposed to authors I had never heard of. If I had to pick three authors that keeps amazing me they would surely be Aldo Busi, Paulo Leminski and Emily Dickinson. My three favourite books of all time are surely The Wizard Of Oz for its visionary and propulsive writing, Froth on the Daydream by Boris Vian and Cuttlefish Bones by Eugenio Montale
ABP– What do you have planned for the rest of 2021, and going into ’22 creatively?
AQ– I cannot wait for Lockdown restrictions to be totally lifted in order to get back to the stage to perform my poems and meet new like-minded folks to share my passion with. I have started a Youtube Channel in Italian having weekly brief talks about books I stumbled upon. I am also conceiving a short documentary inspired by Confessions Of A Pregnant Man, working on new ideas on a budget, and I am also allowing myself to play with a synth that I bought three years ago to create some nice soundtrack for it. Oh, and I am obviously writing a new poetry collection, which will be ready by the end of the year!
ABP– You are from Italy, is that correct? How long did you live there? Where are you currently, and what is the art/lit scene like in your area?
AQ– I lived in Italy until I was 18, then started to travel all over Europe to satisfy my insatiable curiosity for languages and new places. I lived for a while in Austria and in Cambridge (UK) before settling in London, where I fell in love with its chaotic, thrilling art scene. Back in my hometown, the only art scene I could think of would come from the picturesque landscapes. Lake Garda is really inspiring, its energy can really galvanize you into life-changing actions. But it’s not a place to thrive, it’s quite a nice place to spend the last years of your existence to prepare yourself to the next passage.
ABP– Thanks again for taking this interview, Aldo. If there is anything else at all that you would like to mention here, please do so.
AQ– I would like to thank you, first of all. For the braveness you showed in publishing such an undomesticated book like Confessions Of A Pregnant Man. There aren’t many publisher who would take such risk, especially if the author is not an English native speaker. I would like to encourage people to keep supporting Alien Buddha Press, because It truly has a diverse array of authors, quite unique for these days.