William Goldspiel is a poet by passion; though few of his works have seen the public eye, he has been writing since he could hold a pen in his hands. As a young child, he wrote a page a day in his book after school. He is in the process of rewriting his current works.
William’s style can be considered unconventional at first glance, but when you read more of his poetry, you begin to understand his rhythm and cadence. He can have a polarizing presence – in fact, when I first talked to William, he infuriated me because of a purposefully poorly written poem. Little did I know, it was purposeful, and he is actually a very talented, if sometimes obscure, poet. His poems remind me a bit of e.e. cummings, in the vein that I have to reread them often to fully understand them.
I know it’s a cliché, but what inspires your poems? How do you know what direction you want them to go in?
Most often, I find myself hit by a line or a series of words, an image, or a concept from out of nowhere. Often, it comes out in a long first draft, though sometimes it starts and stops for a while (years) as I work out what they mean. Generally, what inspires my poems is the same thing that inspires all the forgotten notes files on my PC. There’s not really a rhyme or reason as to why something works or not.
Where I intend to take a poem and where it goes depend on the poem really. I remember while writing B. Solid/Liquid/Gas I had to hit three different story beats, but the beats themselves came as I was writing them. I would say that I mostly find the direction when I’m there.
A lot of poets seem to think that because poetry is a form of self-expression, it should not be edited; otherwise, it censors the poets’ intention or somehow convolutes the message. As a poet who clearly puts effort into his work, what are your thoughts on this?
When I was a kid, I didn’t know how to edit. So I just wrote and when it was done, it was done. When I learned to really go back and fix my writing is when I became a better writer, and it’s the part I stress to anyone starting out. [Emphasis my own, not William’s.] It’s why simple things like a spell check can make such a huge difference in the quality of your (and not you’re) writing.
What do you do when you feel blocked? What are some of your favorite subjects to write about? Least favorite?
Distraction is basically all you’ve got. Back when I was routinely productive, I would take breaks between writing to play Civilization. I actually wrote a book that way.
I have a core group of people who have followed me from story to story, so no matter if my book takes place in 1980s Colorado or after the sun has gone nova in an extire galaxy away it will probably be about how they would respond to the situations. I also like writing indecipherable metaphors, a unified theory of everything, the words “you” “fuck” and sometimes “duck”, and nonsense. I dislike actually doing any writing at all, as it’s not only emotionally and mentally taxing, but I never have any idea if I’m doing it right.
We’ve discussed how you use George Carlin as an inspiration for titles. What poets, lyricists, comedians, etc. inspire your poetry? What do you take away from each of them?
I got the idea for the structure of matingsong [William’s in-progress poetry book] from misremembering a Kafka story that completely slips my mind at the moment. He (or the translation) used indentation to great effect in the story and it created the B, etc. [William’s structuring device in his poetry book.]
Here’s the place where I admit that I haven’t read any poetry and everyone outs me as a fraud. I do enjoy Vonnegut, Bradbury, King, Kafka, and Douglas Adams.
Despite the fact that I name-dropped them in a title, I’m not inspired by Daft Punk.
What’s the most difficult thing about being a poet?
Trying to force it when it isn’t there. Especially when you have something and then it stops. You like what you’ve got going and now it’s just not there any more. Then you push and make it work and you question if anything you’ve ever written has ever been good.
Why do you write poetry?
When I get that thought, that image, it’s something that I want to make real.
What emotions elicit the best poems in you?
Longing. Plummeting, pit in your stomach rising, endless falling. Not hopeless, but certainly about to crash. Also, Sardonic glee. Triumphant wonder. Peevishness. Love.
Frost clings to your eyelashes sending diamond rays across your sight. You’re the ideal vision of a makeup advertisement
1)A perfection untouchable
a)even if they’re using the brand the makeup is still applied by artists and you can never hope to achieve the effect at home
b)much too beautiful for the average person to ever hope to attain
and that’s only starting with your eyes. I’m in wonder at your hair, something that can pool underneath your lying form to create a black canvas that hides all manner of linen; strung tight coiled rope down and up your back, into your hands, nervously fidgeting with icicles on clinging strands. It’s like a slowly moving snap fan, with seamless transition.
You stand on a fire exit, broad enough to turn into a porch. Are you smoking? I don’t know. It’s cold enough out that your breath mists around you anyway. You’re leaning on a railing overlooking the entrances to a few lower built buildings yet still high enough to see most of the city.
1)Why are you always up high? I’m terrified of heights.
I wish you would move so I could describe your motion. It’s melted metal flowing into place with mechanical precision. There’s the smoothness the liquid perfection, with this robotic touch that gives every motion a feeling of finality to it. When you fly you’re a rag doll tossed around by those behemoths in your back, if you let go of your iron will your limbs jerk with each metal wing beat.
- William Goldspiel