CrazyApple Press

John Findura - Poet. Reviewer. Critic. Ruggedly Handsome. Dashingly Good Looking.

My Photo
Location: New Jersey

Thursday, July 27, 2006

So I'm watching some History Channel thing about UFOs and I'm getting kind of upset because now I live in the mountains, near cows for chrissakes, and I still haven't seen one. These aliens are way too picky about where they show up.

What should you be listening to right this very second? You should be listening to Van Davis - NYC based jazz-fusiony-groove thing. That's right - go right now and listen to them. Go on.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I think one of the biggest influences on me is Annie Dillard. While she actually only wrote one book of poetry (that being Tickets For A Prayer Wheel; Mornings Like This was a book of found poems) I look towards her non-fiction constanly for inspiration. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Teaching a Stone to Talk, all of it amazing. It's not about creating your own version of reality, but truly living in the reality you already exist in. That makes sense, right?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

But now I know you're saying "What about the poetry, man? Where does that fit in?" Kerouac, Ginsberg, Corso, Snyder - the usual suspects. So how was I dragged kicking and screaming out of the Fifties? I snuck into an Art History class my girlfriend was taking with David Shapiro. I showed him some of my poems and he gave me a reading list. Ashbery, Schuyler, O'Hara, Koch. The other usual suspects. Then I took some classes with Tim Liu. He gave me a reading list. Then I took other classes. I received more reading lists. I read more. I wrote more. I got a few degrees. And more reading lists. It's all about reading, I'm telling ya. Somewhere in there: James Tate, James Wright, Mark Strand, Charles Wright, C.K. Williams, Billy Collins, Don Patterson, Matthea Harvey, Sam Truitt, Elaine Equi, David Kirby, Denise Duhamel, Franz Wright, Li Young Lee, Jack Gilbert, Charles Simic, Michael Burkard...there's a lot more. Later I will go into specific detail.

Then there's the stuff I read in High School: Crichton, King and Barker. Yes, yes, I know...anyway, I loved Michael Crichton's books with all of their scientific explanations. Stephen King wrote some pretty damn interesting stories. It, The Stand. Good stories. And then there's Clive Barker. Really weird stories, very elegant prose. The Great and Secret Show, Imajica. Good stuff. Somewhere in there is when I decided I wanted to write. Books, for me, beat the hell out of tv and movies.

Monday, July 03, 2006

And here is my second. Alright, so I've been walking an awful lot lately and thinking about poetry, as opposed to American Idol which I have been known to do. Previously, I was reading a biography of a rather well known poet who has been dead for a long time and found myself drawn to a chapter on his influences, so I started thinking about my own influences. I'd rather start to list my own than to let someone else assign them to me at a much later date.

First and foremost: Franklin W. Dixon. That's the right, the guy who wrote the Hardy Boys series. I very much doubt I would ever have become interested in reading anything had it not been for the The Hooded Hawk Mystery or The Twisted Claw. Seriously. I'm just as surprised that I wrote that as you are reading it.

Then there's the Oscar Williams anthology of major american poets or whatever it was. A great little paperback where I found e.e. cummings. cummings was the first poet where I said "good Christ, would you look at that!" I would say that cummings is the first actual poet to ever have any sort of influence on me, although I do recall trying to write some Shel Silverstein-type things in third grade.

Later on perhaps I will add some more. I know that you cannot wait.

So here is my first post.