Sunday, May 27, 2012

An Interview With Steve Roggenbuck

Some of you may remember that I helped Steve Roggenbuck distribute his poems back in 2010. He's gone and done a few things ever since i am like october when i am dead, including download helvetica for free and recently self-published a book of poems called Crunk Juice. It's a combination of absurd humour and unusual poems with varying formats and deliberate misspellings littered throughout. I've read through it multiple times and it is one of the most interesting collections of poems I've read. Here is an interview with the man himself about Crunk Juice and his work in general:

Q:Your videos online are very unusual and often random. Do you script them or do you just pick up a camera and say whatever comes to mind?
A:usually i have a loose topic and then all the rest is improvised

Q:How often do you get asked if you’re on drugs?
A:haha maybe once a month. i am not on drugs

Q:You’ve retweeted bad reviews and incredibly negative ones are featured on the back of Crunk Juice. Do you ever get offended by people hating your poetry?
A:if the person actualy seems to be one of my friends or someone with an informed opinion, it has gotten me down a few times. most of the criticism i get is just so hyberbolic and ridiculous, it is hard to take it seriously. also most of the criticism i get is from people who write way different styles of literature than me. it seems like, they have their way and i have mine, and its ok for people to like differnt things

Q:Crunk Juice as a whole has recurring themes and motifs, but individual shorter poems appear random, bizarre, or even incoherent. Is it possible or intended for someone to understand and deconstruct your shorter poems on an individual basis?
A: i think a lot of the shorter poems are just functioning to embody a certain style or a kind of humor, and u get more by reading a whole bunch and getting a feel for the voice in general, the personality or the energy behind it all. analyzing the specific mispelling in a single isolated line might not help a lot

Q:What are your poems about generally as a whole?
A:i think they r about how to live.. i want to promote an approach to living that is playful and honest and free. a lot of the way people live is bulshit they are just following peoples expectations or the usual way.. i want to be an example of someone who has questoned the usual way and created a more beautiful, alternative way. i want to create a cultural movment and impact people spirtually and their personality and how they treat themselves and others

Q:You say in one of your videos enjoy the internet because people can appreciate your deliberate misspellings. Crunk Juice has obvious visual influences from the internet in some of its IM styled speech, text based emoticons like \m/\m/, , ... and even its inclusion of URL segments like “Now THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about! http://invalid.invalid/url””. Are your deliberate misspellings related to this internet influence?
A:yes stuff like lol cats and some twitter accounts like @wolfpupy influenced my misspellings. but the internet is not the only influence. peter orlovsky was a beat poet who used mispellings to create a realy funny and cute as heck writing style, he is pre-internet and he was a major influence on me. also, poems by kids. oh my god kids are beautiful they write better poems than adults. i think its because they are more beautiful people. and iam willing to acknoweldge that, so i write more like a kid

Q:You confess to being inspired by e.e. cummings, do any other poets inspire you?
A: walt whitman and tao lin are usually the two others that i list along with cummings. k silem mohammad and some other flarf poets have greatly inspired me. ron silliman and some other language poets have inspired me. some dada poets and beat poets have inspired me. a lot of my peers in Pop Serial and the extended "alt lit" scene have inspired me

Q:I hear you’re working on your own feature film though I can’t find where it was written. Did I imagine that? If not, then will that be like a 90 minute version of one of your videos, a documentary styled video, or will we see a pseudo-narrative form?
A:i think it's gonna be a compliation of a bunch of my short videos, plus excerpts from my live broadcasts and live readings, plus short interview clips with a lot of people. kind of like how "justin bieber never say never" has all those different sources hehe i want it to capture this year of traveling and community building, and also just encourage people to watch a whole bunch of my material at once instead of just 1 or 2 short videos. the working title is "A YEAR IN THE LIEF." lately i created a couple longer videos, particularly "this is how we live in this world," and was really satisfied with it, i would like to use the length of my full movie to build emotional depth and realy mmove people

Q: would you describe some of your poems as having a stream of consciousness feel to them?
A: i coudl see them being descriebd that way. a lot of my poems use found internet language or they are styled to be similar to internet-comment type of language. also the poems (and videos) change topics prety frequently.. but sometimes the changes of topic seem even harsher than most stream-of-consciousness writing, like there is more overt randomness, compared to a poem that is just meandering thought. usually i end up deleting a lot of my first draft, so there is only a few lines left, and they dont always relate to each other in any obvious way, but i still keep them in the same poem haha
Q:Do you ever see your poetry being physically sold in a store in the future?
A:it could happen, but it wouldn't mean much to me, i dont need the help of any publishers or corporations to get where i want to go. i will probably never distribute my books through chain stores because i dont want to contribute to that system. independent bookstores would be more likely, but still it's not a priority in the near future. im building up everything myself, with my friends help

Crunk Juice can be bought physically or downloaded as PDF for a donation of your choosing here. Printed copies are on %100 recycled paper. For more Steve Roggenbuck you can follow him via Tumblr here.

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