This is the 5th part, and last day of our special 5th anniversary celebration. What better way to cap this writing prompt then to check in with our young and energetic poet, Anthony Desmond. Gayle Walters Rose is posting and presenting the prompt.
What are you currently preoccupied with? (e.g. books currently reading, music, hobbies, etc.)
Reading my first David Foster Wallace book, ‘Brief Interviews With Hideous Men’ and
I’m totally enthralled with how unique his writing is. And as always, I’m reading Frank Stanford, my favorite writer. The new collection of works from Stanford came out recently and it’s pretty amazing. On the music side, I’ve been into, ‘I Don’t Think It Is’ by Say Anything, ‘The Life of Pablo’ by Kanye West; ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ by Kendrick Lamar, as well as 70s/80s tunes that stay in rotation.
Any memorable events or milestones that you would like to share with us?
Well, what I thought was a milestone turned out to be a huge lesson for me. There was a certain publishing company that really was a scam to get money out of poets, editors, etc.; some got published, but never received any money, some paid in hopes of being published but kept getting pushed back until everyone was fed up. There were some other allegations that came to light, but I won’t speak on that. You would think running a scam in a field where money usually isn’t associated wouldn’t be a smart idea, but it was. They sold a dream most see as nearly impossible; thus, more and more people started to fall for it. While I didn’t lose anything besides a few months’ worth of time, many of my friends lost a lot of money. It was a huge eye opener to how shady business can be in any field, but also allowed me to see just how many still love and are willing to support poetry as they had a very large base of supporters.
Do you still write poetry? If yes, would you care to share a poem with us?
When Everything Real is Gone
My admiration of porn is diminishing
so I’ve no more hope left
in the things in life that aren’t real.
The hell inside others
no longer shines brighter than
the flames that burn these
tired eyes, turning my pupils
to char like love letters in a house fire.
Though my memories hold every word
he wrote to me, still, I would fall
into the burnt paper and rub it against
my skin just to feel some remnants
of warmth, but it’ll never compare
to the inhalant that was his breath.
Love overlaps my mind
like shuffling cards
while my vices hold me
tighter than the hug I gave
my mom after her hospital stay
and my wingspan is the only
thing that stops these walls
from closing completely.
To a new poet or writer, what lessons or insights would you like to share?
Be ORIGINAL. Don’t become stagnate; study peers you enjoy, study greats you admire and evolve. Be your biggest critic. A lot of people may say that’s bad advice, but it keeps me working to get better. And please, new writers/poets, social media is not the end all be all for us. Submit to actual magazines, journals, anthologies, etc. they’re out there – find them! I’m not saying don’t take advantage of social media platforms, but also aim for deeper connections and have tangible goals by submitting to print publications and whatnot. Lastly, get used to rejection, learn how to move on and not take it to heart.
Any new projects coming up?
Yes. I’m hoping to self publish a chapbook before this year is over, just to get something out there for my readers while I find a home for my main manuscript.
For now, find me on Instagram – @anthonydesmondpoetry
Thank you, Anthony, for sharing a bit of what is going on in your life and for the wisdom that you have come by through your experience. It’s nice to hear from you.
I was inspired by Anthony’s poem and as a prompt for today and our last for the week, I would like us to reflect and write on a belief (or what we thought was real) and how they can transform as our views and ideas change throughout our lives. Write on a belief that you once had that has now changed or you let go of it. Did it change any relationships that you had? Have you ever been pressured to change a viewpoint? How did that make you feel?
Gayle Walters Rose