Simon Perchik–Interview

Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

I write in the local coffee shops, almost never at home. Too lonely.

What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

A fountain pen. I write on the back of “scrap paper.”

What is your routine for writing?

Wake up, catch the 8:30 bus to town and write in a coffee shop till 1 or 2 pm than take the bus home.

How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?

Began in public school but mostly since I retired from law practice in 1980

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

I don’t think along that line. My hope is everyone will read what I’ve written.

What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

I use photographs.

What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

I’m retired and spend all my time writing.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

The rapture of discovery when I reconcile two conflicting ideas or images, exactly what a metaphor does for a living.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

To read at least 50 poems before 1 he or she writes.

Check out Simon’s work in Volume 3, Issue 1, Volume 3, Issue 2, and upcoming in Volume 4, Issue 2.

And to read more about Simon on Writing, check out the essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities.”



Where do writers get their ideas? Well, if they are writing prose, their ideas evolve one way. If, on the other hand, they are writing poetry, their ideas evolve another way. Perhaps some distinctions are in order. Distinguishing the difference between prose and poetry may not be all that simple. There are many definitions, all of which may be correct. For the purpose of this essay allow me to set forth one of the many:

It seems to me that there is available to writers a spectrum along which to proceed. At one end is prose, appropriate for essays, news, weather reports and the like. At the other end is poetry. Writers move back and forth along this spectrum when writing fiction.

Thus, prose is defined by its precise meaning that excludes ambiguity, surmise and misunderstanding. It never troubles the reader.  To define it another way, prose is faulty if it lacks a coherent thrust guided by rules of logic, grammar and syntax. It will not tolerate contradiction.  Poetry, on the other hand, is defined by its resistance to such rules. Poetry is ignited, brought to life by haunting, evasive, ambiguous, contradictory propositions.

This is not to say poetry is more or less useful than prose. Rather, they are two separate and distinct tools, much the same as a hammer and a saw. They are different tools designed for different jobs. If an essay is called for, the reader wants certainty; exactly what the words you are now reading are intended to give. If, on the other hand, consolation for some great loss is called for, the reader needs more: a text that lights up fields of reference nowhere alluded to on the page. This calls for magic, for illusion, not lecture. Thus, one of the many definitions of poetry might be: Poetry: words that inform the reader of that which cannot be articulated. To be made whole, to heal, the reader needs to undergo an improved change in mood, a change made more effective if the reader doesn’t know why he or she feels better. Exactly like music. That’s where poetry gets its power to repair; an invisible touch, ghost-like but as real as anything on earth. A reading of the masters, Neruda, Aleixandre, Celan…confirms that a text need not always have a meaning the reader can explicate. To that extent, it informs, as does music, without what we call meaning.  It’s just that it takes prose to tell you this.

This is because prose is a telling of what the writers already know. They have a preconceived idea of what to write about. With poetry it’s the opposite. The writers have no preconceived idea with which to begin a poem. They need to first force the idea out of the brain, to bring the idea to the surface, to consciousness. With poetry the writer needs a method to find that hidden idea. If the originating idea wasn’t hidden and unknown it isn’t likely to be an important one. Let’s face it: any idea that is easily accessible has already been picked over. It’s all but certain to be a cliché.

To uncover this hidden idea for a poem the writers each have their own unique method. As for me, the idea for the poem evolves when an idea from a photograph is confronted with an obviously unrelated, disparate idea from a text (mythology or science) till the two conflicting ideas are reconciled as a totally new, surprising and workable one. This method was easy for me to come by. As an attorney I was trained to reconcile disparate views, to do exactly what a metaphor does for a living. It’s not a mystery that so many practicing lawyers write poetry. Lawyer Poets And That World We Call Law, James R. Elkins, Editor (Pleasure Boat Studio Press. Also, Off the Record, An Anthology of Poetry by Lawyers, edited by James R. Elkins, Professor of Law, University of West Virginia.

The efficacy of this method for getting ideas is documented at length by Wayne Barker, MD. who, in his Brain Storms, A Study of Human Spontaneity, on page 15 writes:

If we can endure confrontation with the unthinkable, we may be able to fit together new patterns of awareness and action. We might, that is, have a fit of insight, inspiration, invention, or creation. The propensity for finding the answer, the lure of creating or discovering the new, no doubt has much to do with some people’s ability to endure tension until something new emerges from the contradictory and ambiguous situation.

Likewise, Douglas R. Hofstadter, in his Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid writes on page 26:

One of the major purposes of this book is to urge each reader to confront the apparent contradiction head on, to savor it, to turn it over, to take it apart, to wallow in it, so that in the end the reader might emerge with new insights into the seemingly unbreachable gulf between the formal and the informal, the animate and the inanimate, the flexible and the inflexible.

Moreover, the self-induced fit is standard operating procedure in the laboratory. Allow me to quote Lewis Thomas, who, in his The Lives of a Cell, on page 138. describes the difference between applied science and basic research. After pointing out how applied science deals only with the precise application of known facts, he writes:

In basic research, everything is just the opposite. What you need at the outset is a high degree of uncertainty; otherwise it isn’t likely to be an important problem. You start with an incomplete roster of facts, characterized by their ambiguity; often the problem consists of discovering the connections between unrelated pieces of information. You must plan experiments on the basis of probability, even bare possibility, rather than certainty.  If an experiment turns out precisely as predicted, this can be very nice, but it is only a great event if at the same time it is a surprise. You can measure the quality of the work by the intensity of astonishment. The surprise can be because it did turn out as predicted (in some lines of research, 1 per cent is accepted as a high yield), or it can be a confoundment because the prediction was wrong and something totally unexpected turned up, changing the look of the problem and requiring a new kind of protocol. Either way, you win…

Isn’t it reasonable to conclude that the defining distinction between applied science and basic research is the same as that between prose and poetry? Isn’t it likewise reasonable to conclude that the making of basic science is very much the same as the making of poetry?

In a real way I, too, work in a laboratory. Every day at 9 am I arrive at a table in the local coffee shop, open a dog-eared book of photographs, open a text, and begin mixing all my materials together to find something new.

For the famous Walker Evans photograph depicting a migrant’s wife, I began:

Walker Evans     Farmer’s wife

Tough life, mouth closed, no teeth?  Sorrow?

Not too bad looking. Plain dress

This description went on and on till I felt I had drained the photograph of all its ideas. I then read the chapter entitled On Various Words from The Lives of a Cell. Photograph still in view, I then wrote down ideas from Dr. Thomas’s text. I began:

Words –bricks and mortar

Writing is an art, compulsively adding to,

building the ant hill,

not sure if each ant knows what it will look like when finished

it’s too big. Like can’t tell what Earth looks like if you’re on it.

This too goes on and on with whatever comes to mind while I’m reading. But all the time, inside my brain, I’m trying to reconcile what a migrant’s wife has to do with the obviously unrelated ideas on biology suggested by Dr. Thomas. I try to solve the very problem I created. Of course my brain is stymied and jams, creating a self-induced fit similar to the epilepsy studied by the above mentioned Dr. Barker, M.D. But that was my intention from the beginning.

Sooner or later an idea from the photograph and an idea from the text will be resolved into a new idea and the poem takes hold.

No one is more surprised than I. Or exhausted. The conditions under which I write are brutal. My brain is deliberately jammed by conflicting impulses. Its neurons are overloaded, on the verge of shutting down. I can barely think. My eyes blur. The only thing that keeps me working is that sooner or later will come the rapture of discovery; that the differences once thought impossible to reconcile, become resolved; so and so, once thought  impossible of having anything to do with so and so, suddenly and surprisingly, has everything in the world to do with it. Or has nothing to do with it but can be reconciled with something else it triggered: one flash fire after another in the lightening storm taking place in my brain.

Getting the idea is one thing but the finished poem is a long way off. And to get there I abstract so my subconscious can talk to the reader’s subconscious, much the same as an artist abstracts the painting so the viewer’s subconscious can listen to the artist’s subconscious. There will be nothing anyone can point to and say, “That’s why”. Exactly like music, the most abstract of all the arts. Thus, for each poem its opening phrase is stolen shamelessly from Beethoven. He’s the master at breaking open bones and I might as well use him early on in the poem. Then I steal from Mahler whose music does its work where I want my poetry to do its work: the marrow.

Perhaps marrow is what it’s all about. Abstraction, since it contradicts the real world, is a striking form of confrontation which jams the brain till it shuts down confused. It befits the marrow to then do the work the reader’s brain cells would ordinarily do. And though what the marrow cells put together is nothing more than a “gut feeling”, with no rational footing, it is enough to refresh the human condition, to make marriages, restore great loses, rally careers.

Of course abstraction is just one of the ways writers arrive at the poem with their idea. But however they come they all leave for the reader poetry’s trademark: illusion. It is that illusion that builds for the over-burdened reader a way out.

Perhaps, as you may have already suspected, a poem, unlike a newspaper, is not a tool for everyday use by everyone; it’s just for those who need it, when they need it.


Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review,The Nation, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013).  For more information, including free e-books, please visit his website at

2017 Pushcart Nominations

I am so proud of our 2017 issues, and it was very difficult to choose only six pieces for the Pushcart Nominations. Congratulations!

The Old Familiar (Equivalencies 7=7) by Devon Balwit (Volume 3, Issue 1)

Fred, Half Dead, Beethoven In His Head by Holly Day (Volume 3, Issue 1)

In A Dark Time by Kirie Pedersen (Volume 3, Issue 1)

First Day by Bill Trippe (Volume 3, Issue 2)

Hypnophobia #1357 by Ellie White (Volume 3, Issue 2) by Buffy Shutt (Volume 3, Issue 2)


Lisa Stice–Interview

Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

I always carry a notebook with me, but I never write more than fragmented thoughts when I’m out and about. Most of my creating happens at home. I have notebooks all over those house, but most of my writing usually happens in the living room at my desk in the guest room.

What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

All of the fragments and first drafts always happen in either a notebook or on some random scrap of paper, and I always use a pen (usually ballpoint, but sometimes fountain). All subsequent drafts happen on my computer.

What is your routine for writing?

My most productive time of writing is in the early morning when everything is quiet and feels fresh. My little dog usually lies next to my chair or at my feet when I write.

How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?

The earliest poem I saved was written in the third grade; it was about kit foxes. It wasn’t until undergrad, though, that I really began writing and started thinking of myself as a poet. Still, I didn’t submit anything and kept my poems basically to myself until I started my MFA over a decade later. It’s a little scary putting your heart out there for others, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize the sharing is what makes poetry powerful because it’s those deep feelings it contains that connect us all through the human experience.

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

My poetry often pulls from my life as a mother and Marine Corps spouse, so I suppose my writing speaks loudest to those audiences, but the themes also reach out to others who feel isolation, fear, worry, and all those other emotions we often feel we grapple with alone.

What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

I’ve come to realize if I force myself to write what I want to write, I run into writers block more often. When I left what I need to write come out on the page, the poems come easily and plentifully. My inspiration comes from my day to day life. Prompts can help when the writing hits a wall, but the prompt only helps I think of it as a fluid thing that doesn’t bind my writing.

What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

I love painting and dancing. My daughter is getting old enough to do more and more art projects and games, so those are becoming more frequent family activities in our home. I also do scent detection training and therapy dog volunteering with my dog.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

It’s a toss up between the exhilaration of seeing something in the process of creation and seeing something get shared with others.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

You are a unique individual who has a unique voice and experiences. If you write in your authentic style and voice about what matters most to you, all the deeper emotions within your writing will speak more clearly and connect with more people.

Check out Lisa’s work in the issue, Volume 2, Issue 1 and Volume 3, Issue 1.


Samantha Chasse-Interview

Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

I almost exclusively work from home.  Working in public spaces makes me feel self-conscious, so having my own little niche at home is much more comfortable.  Usually my space consists of a mug of coffee (usually getting cold because I can’t type and drink), my dog resting her chin on my leg begging to be pet, and the TV on so I can listen to cooking shows while I work.  I generally write when I’m home alone so there isn’t a lot of extraneous noise.

What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

I write out notes by hand and then type the actual story, poem or script on the computer.  I have a legal pad filled with scribbled story ideas which I sometimes archive in Google Docs if I think a certain one is worth continuing.  I have an old laptop that I use almost exclusively for writing because my newer laptop’s keys are too small to type quickly on.

What is your routine for writing?

Usually when I have an idea I want to flesh out I have to do it ASAP or I will forget where I wanted to take the story.  It generally takes me a while before I generate and idea I want to run with, maybe about a month, and then I sit down and write the whole draft in a few hours.  Once I write the first draft, which is a rough rough draft, I will spend the next few weeks adding on and editing until I have a solid first draft.  From there I try to get a few people to proof read, edit some more, and repeat.

How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?

I started writing stories and scripts in high school when I took an English class that focused on Utopias.  We read so many excellent tales; I wanted to create pieces like these so badly. Unfortunately, I was embarrassed to show people my work or tell anyone I was writing.   I didn’t tell anyone about my passion for writing except my Aunt who was going through chemo.  Her passing lead me to start sharing my work, because I had promised her I would keep going with my passion.  In college I fell in love with playwriting, and I have kept going since.

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

I find that I write mostly for those who are willing to think about life in a new way.  I find college students and older adults tend to be most interested in my work, as the themes are often a bit much for younger audiences.

What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

I draw inspiration from people who confuse me.  I remember taking a college class on drug addiction, and I wanted to wrap my mind around how something could control a persons life so strongly.  I wrote a play trying to delve into the mind of a person who is an addict, and I learned a lot about what they go through.  Writing helps me explore topics I am interested in understanding on a deeper level, so I usually write about psychological issues or topics that might be “taboo” or personal.

I have the worst time with writer’s block, but I find that reading or listening to music can help me jump start my brain again.  If that doesn’t work I will sit down and talk with people about life and what is happening in the world.  Usually they will say something that sparks and idea.

What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

I have never been apt at sports, but I have a huge admiration for theater.  I was a theater major in college and I spent most of my time working on our school productions.  I started working in theater over the summers in high school.  I would help with set painting and assist the actors with costumes, etc.  In college I stage managed quite a few productions and helped to organize two theater festivals.  I also worked in two professional theaters as part of the run crew and as a costume assistant.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

My favorite part of the creative process is when I get to the end of the editing process, and I know a piece is finally where I want it.  The satisfaction of creating a finished piece of literature is immense.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

My advice is to never be embarrassed or hold yourself back.  If you love to write, you can succeed at writing, but only if you keep at it.  I spent a very long time being scared to fail, and scared to share because of it.  The first time I had to have a class reading of one of my scripts I was terrified, but I soon realized that we are all in this together and the writing community is quite supportive.  Never, ever feel like your words aren’t worth sharing.


Check out Samantha’s work in the issue, Volume 3, Issue 1 and Volume 3, Issue 2.


KR Rosman–Interview

The Magnolia Review: Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

KR Rosman: I’ll work anywhere. When my son was young, I would take a clipboard and printed copies to Discovery Park where he would play in a giant sand pit for an hour or two. He’d get deep into his imagination, and I would get deep in mine. When he was a little older, he’d make small boats to sail on the tide into Piper’s Creek at Carkeek Park, while I sat on a big rock and wrote. I prefer those places to coffee houses or my kitchen table. I’ve also used the steering wheel of my car.

TMR: What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

KR: I often start with a notebook that I call my Book of Lies, then I might pull something from that to turn into a story, with a first draft on the computer. Then I print that with wide margins, and rewrite it again by hand. I often rewrite it again onto a new computer file. The first draft is always by hand, and another draft is typically by hand as well. I like the process of feeling myself write the words. I also like having something with me if I go camping or on a road trip, without lugging the computer. Writing long hand also keeps me off the internet, which makes me more efficient with my time.

TMR: What is your routine for writing?

KR: I’m in a teacher training program, so I can no longer be fussy about a routine. It’s grab it when you can get it sort of stuff. But even with a tight schedule, I have time for something. Right now I’m trying to turn a notebook that is closely related to my life into stories, and I’m finding that process to be very complicated. I think I’m too close to the material. I’ve allowed myself to not stick that close to the truth, to change people and compress time, just fool around and not worry about making the stories successful. It’s the only way I can write right now.

TMR: How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?

KR: I used to write Black Stallion (Walter Farley) fan fiction, before there was an internet to invent such a thing. I don’t have any of it saved, but I remember how much I enjoyed writing those stories, and reading them to whoever would listen. From that age through my mid-twenties, I really didn’t want to be a writer as much as I wanted to work with horses (hunters and jumpers) and do a little writing on the side. But a couple of injuries caused me to change course, and then there was a time in my life where I didn’t want to write, even though that was my degree, because I couldn’t work with horses due to the injuries. So I quit my good paying job at Costco (good paying for Montana) and traveled. I came back broke and no longer in a relationship, and without any horses or a job. I was a long way from my family, as well as my mentors who were my riding instructor and his wife. I lived in a small town in Montana, on the other side of the mountains from where I was raised, but close to where my mom was raised. Then my old riding instructor had a heart attack and his wife had a stroke. They were like grandparents to me, and I didn’t have enough money to visit them. I took a job for the town newspaper (which paid even less than the job I had waiting tables) and found out what it meant to write in order to give people information. That’s when I started to write. I was twenty-eight.

TMR: Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

KR: I live in Seattle now, and though I love it here, I haven’t gotten used to it yet. It’s been over fifteen years since I’ve moved, and it feels as much like home as any other place, but I don’t entirely fit in. I think a lot of people feel that way here. It’s called the Seattle freeze and it’s as stupid as a macchiato that fits in a pint glass. But I think that’s often my subject matter, people who don’t fit into their communities or their families, or wherever. My intended audience is someone in that family or community with a willingness to see the subject matter from another point of view. I like to take things and look at it from a different angle, and I want my readers to do the same.

TMR: What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

KR: Lately I turned to Lucia Berlin to fix a story. I loved her collection A Manual for Cleaning Women. I see parallels of my life in her stories, though I don’t drink in the way people in her stories do. I did have to take a job cleaning houses a couple of summers ago, in order to put money in the bank to return to school. Most of the clients were considerate, but it was frustrating, tiresome work. After the first cathartic week (I had separated from my husband), I needed her stories to carry me through. So I return to her collection when I feel I can’t write a thing. I mark up sticky notes and put them in the book because I have so many thoughts about the stories, I know the margins will never do.

TMR: What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

KR: My old injuries have healed, but the Seattle commute and the cost of lessons make returning to riding horses prohibitive. I take long walks with my dog and I garden. I also sew when I have time, or feel the need to be creative and complete something. Sometimes I think I want to take up pole dancing or circus arts, but I know I don’t have time for that, or the arm strength. I learned to sing last spring, and play the guitar. I’m not good at either, but I enjoy both. I also like to camp, and follow the Mariners. I hope to sail again. I think I’d like a twenty-footer for the summer months.

TMR: What is your favorite part of the creative process?

KR: When I have a lock on the story and a sense of where it is going. That’s when I begin to push the sentences into the right places. I can sit for an hour on a paragraph, or hours with the story in its entirety. It’s that feeling that makes all the effort worthwhile.

TMR: What is your advice to aspiring writers?

KR: Read. Read what you love and mark it up so you know why you love it. Then read what someone else loves but you don’t, and try to see it as the other reader sees it. Those two ways of reading will anchor you through workshops and rejection. You have to know what you love to read and why. If you do that, you’ll be more confident to play a little and take chances with your writing, and I think we learn more when we take chances.

Check out KR’s work in the issue, Volume 3, Issue 1.


Richard Weaver–Interview

TMR: What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

Richard Weaver: My best writing has always come out of the tip of a pen. Not always black ink; sometimes blue. More often than not a Uniball finepoint, but sometimes a medium pulls doves out of the air. I travel with 6-8 in my writing bag which holds my Chromebook, 3-5 books, not always poetry, a folder of things to be rewritten, an 8 ½ x 11” 100 sheet yellow legal pad. (50 sheets is self-limiting). I have another well-worn folder of a poem about my father I have been trying to write for decades. One day it will happen. And other folders of other manuscripts in progress. Place and space are important, so I travel with what connects me.

TMR: What is your routine for writing?

RW: I could lie and say that I have sacred, inviolate writing hours – 2 hours in the morning fueled by espressos, and 2 hours in the afternoon, sitting on a balcony in the sun (weather permitting), a glass of sparkling wine going flat nearby, or I have migrated to my reserved space at a pub exactly 481 steps from my front door. Hemingway said you have to put your ass in the chair. (He wrote standing up). I do both. I add music between my ears to block out the world. Bose earbuds and an Ipod with large selections of singer/songwriters, from Joseph Arthur to Warren Zevon, with stops along the way for Van Morrison, Jonatha Brooke, Leonard Cohen, Ray Wylie Hubbard, James McMurtry, & Tom Waits. Sometimes I will read a bit, just to create an atmosphere. Usually I just jump in without warming up. The truth has to be tempered, in this case, with realities: laundry, shopping, house cleaning, paying bills, taking my wife to work, cooking, etc. etc.

TMR: How long have you been writing? When did you start writing? How long?

RW: 427,008 hours ago and counting. My earliest writing dates from High School. I wrote one-act plays heavily influenced by S. J. Perelman (he wrote humor, including several Marx Brothers films) Thurber, Benchley, and H. Allen Smith. These actually still exist, unlike my poems which were always mailed off to my girlfriend who lived 30 miles away. Typical adolescent stuff, except that I sought to write at least one poem in every known style, except an epic.

TMR: Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

RW: For me the audience question has many answers, mostly because I have no one style or approach. My wife, on more than one occasion, has accused me of always writing serious poetry. The kind that when read is somber, sober, purposeful, even reserved. Her confusion comes in knowing me as impulsive, whimsical, and always looking for ways to hear or see things differently. What Groucho once called the euphemism of the ear. Much of my recent poetry indulges in that playfulness. One poem comes to mind: Hi, I’m Margana. Every line including the title has at least one anagram in it. The poem is clearly meant to be read on the page. I doubt that I would ever read it to an audience. It is one of a handful of exceptions. Mostly I write and rewrite for a certain sound quality that is directly linked to the subject at hand. I just finished a MS which uses the dying words of a range of historic figures. The poems are anything but serious. They took on the persona of each person and wrote themselves. In many cases the last line or last words become a serious punch line. They are meant to be heard and enjoyed. They demand an audience.

TMR: What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

RW: A single word can set me off. Or a single poem of Russell Edson can explode into 3 or 5 or 10 furious poems, all untraceably distant and unrelated to what was just read. It’s more of a transfer of energy, an open invitation to follow in someone’s footsteps, but wearing different shoes, or sandals, and without a GPS. James Wright works the same magic. W S Merwin stuns me with almost everything of his I read. Ted Kooser. Gabriella Mistral. Galway K. Simic. And many others can cause my pilot light to burst forth.

TMR: What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

RW: I like to surf-fish, especially for pompano. I am a volunteer for the Maryland Book Bank, and act as the Archivist-at-large for a small Jesuit College founded in 1830.

TMR: What is your favorite part of the creative process?

RW: When the pen surges, and the mind lets go of its hold of the world, and the words empty faster than the hand and ink can flow. And the drained emptiness afterwards. Sounds like good sex, doesn’t it!?

TMR: What is your advice to aspiring writers?

RW: Read. Write. Repeat in that order. Be willing to re-read and re-write. Never think anything is ever “finished.” I write this shortly after the death of Leonard Cohen. A writer who always had to finish a stanza before he could discard it. A man who wrote 80 stanzas and discarded all but 4 for the song Hallelujah.

Check out Richard’s work in the issue, Volume 3, Issue 1.