Article Author Wayne Allen LeVine Has A Lyrical AwakeningPosted on the 30 June 2011 by Aprylskies @edgarandlenores
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Interview With Wayne Allen LeVine
How long have you been writing?
I suppose the literal answer would be; ever since I learned how. And that knowing how began to unfold and open outward into song lyrics when I was in the 7th grade – which I quickly started to recognize as poems. Of course, when I was in the 7th grade – in the Windy City, music was cool and widely acceptable, but poetry… not so much. So I shared the lyrics that lent themselves to romantic rock songs, and kept the poems to myself. I kept my poetic spirit a well-guarded secret for years to come – even from myself, by writing poems periodically, and forgetting about them rather quickly. I wrote covertly for several decades; stories, poems, soulful speeches I would sit alone in my living room, and imagine myself giving to a riveted audience. One way or another I think it’s fair to say I’ve been writing my entire life – maybe even before I learned how? Although for the last sixteen years I’ve been doing it openly, prolifically, deliberately, and with lively, unbridled passion.
How does your work compare now than to your first few poems ever written?
My earliest poems were written within the ferocious innocence of my tender adolescence; while chasing lofty dreams of imagined maturity wherein, the freedom to do as I pleasewould be there to greet me. Now I’m in the middle of this astonishing odyssey – doing mostly what I please, the majority of the time, while holding true to the responsibility that comes with it. I still dream, of course, though I no longer chase them. I’ve learned to stay centered long enough to allow fresh new aspects of old dreams to catch me. The poems that come through now are reflections of that. The poems I penned in the early days of creative discovery were fueled, at least in part, by a chaotic longing to leap ahead into the well-imagined freedom of adulthood; freedom and adulthood, two largely arbitrary, often illusory, relative states of mind. I’m not suggesting they do not exist outside the realm of pure imagination. But that those frames of reference could not be found, seized, and fully honored, without the power of creative imagination. “As a child I painted like a master. And I’ve spent the rest of my life learning how to paint like a child again.” Pablo Picasso What does poetry mean to you?
Poetry means never having to say you’re sorry. Oh Wait! Love means never to say you’re sorry. Maybe? Maybe not? Though poetry offers endless ways in which to apologize to the world, to yourself; to those you love – mostly for the things we have not done, but long to. Poetry is one of the pivotal pathways to the heart of forgiveness – allowing us to face our impediments, embrace our flaws and blaring inadequacies, in order to find and honor our genuine strength and robust abilities. Poetry means liberation — through the power of soulful expression.
How do your close friends react to your poetry?
Fortunately, the responses I get, both from strangers as well as my closest friends,
tends to be reassuringly positive and supportive. Poetry has been, and continues to
be a wonderful way in which to establish and/or deepen those heartfelt connections;
keeping it honest; keeping it real, and permitting those artful connections to be
pillars of true support.
Will you be performing anywhere soon? If so, where and when?
I don’t have any featured readings inked as we speak, although that could turn into several rather quickly. Readings, features, and book signings, have been cyclical for me by design. When I have a new book, I do what I can to promote it, including a slew of readings at various venues. So I will make the pre-announcement, to the grand announcement, that a new one is forthcoming! In the mean time, there are a couple open mike readings I drop in on periodically, as well as one I do frequent, which is Moonday. Moonday is held at Village Books in the Pacific Palisades, the 2nd Monday of each month, co-hosted by Alice Pero and Lois P. Jones, two wonderful women and terrific poets in their own right. And I do feel at home there.
What is something your readers don’t know about you?
I’ve been a drummer all my life – my entire life, as far back as I can remember. I really can’t recall a point along the way that it wasn’t obvious. I can almost remember, or rather easily imagine tapping my tiny newly formed fingers against the fleshy walls of my mother’s womb – kicking my tender feet to my mother’s heartbeat … pounding out primal rhythms upon wet placenta, to honor the timing of the story now unfolding. That may be nothing more than a semi-metaphysical fantasy, which is good enough for me. Although, I can say, without a doubt, that being a drummer lends itself to the rhythm, measure, timing and tempo of my writing and the reading of my poems. Also, my gymnastics and my martial arts background, help to give a shapely arch to the movement and flow of words.
Is there anything you’d like to share about your work?
Yes – of course, nearly everything. And at the same time, I guard it like a dragon that can be expected and relied upon to guard their treasure fiercely. We know about Dragonsguarding the Golden Fleece and the Golden Apples of Hesperides; and so I see myselfas the guardian of the keep – albeit, the keep in this analogy is not the metal of the sun we know as gold, but a hoard of treasured verses; valued stories, and precious thoughts infused with enriching memories. I do guard those, quite possibly a little too much? The thing is, I know their origin – where they came from, and what it took to dig them out of those caverns of the soul and shape them into stories, poems, and copious manuscripts – much of which is yet to be published. They are golden to me – a genuine treasure, thus those dragon-like characteristics I’m willing to own up to, seem natural and appropriate, from my perspective. One more tid-bit about dragon lore and/or fire-breathing mythology. It was once widely believed that if a dragon speaks, he will not harm you – but are most dangerous while maintaining utter silence. This interview is a welcomed interruption of my otherwise possible silence, and I am grateful to you for that. Your questions have elicited an honest response, which would not have seen the light of day, had you not asked.
What can we expect from you in the near future?
This may well be my favorite question you’ve asked so far, because of my deep
undeniable largely unguarded excitement about my soon to be published third
book! My third book, albeit, my first non-fiction, and I can barely contain my
absolute elation, with regard to the birthing of this next book. Writing, for me,
is the easy part – I’m in love with the creative process, and I feel privileged to
be doing what I love to do. Publishing and marketing, on the other hand, tends
to be a tad more challenging, in part because those other aspects of the artful life
requires us to find other people we must trust and depend on. And God knows
that’s not the easiest thing for an artist to do, a good part of the time. Nevertheless,
we must find others to help us do what cannot be done alone. And when we do,
creative celebration is in order! And that’s where I find myself now; having found,
not merely a publisher, but the right publisher for my next book.
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