Saturday Spotlight for December 24th, 2011
"I walked out, and I just couldn't find why I left. But I'm back because the words written need to be spoken."
I stood there, and bared my soul and my writing to a willing audience in way I had never expressed before. It was beautiful, and I was accepted to the team.
I never went to the team meetings. It was a taste of perfection that I was unprepared for, but it made things clear; my destiny was poetry. Being that I had to face the man who had expressed his disappointment in my not showing up for the team every day in class, he took me under his wing and offered me some of the best advice that I carry with me today. He taught me how to use imagery to complement the abstract and vice-versa.
I began beating out a path for my writing with simple, prolific sentences contrasted with elaborate and verbose descriptions such as can be seen in many of my poems. I became interested in the field of euphonics-- the study of making harmonious sounds out of basic phonetic and vocal sounds.
I wrote both longhand and digitally, but all my editing is almost exclusively done with a pen in hand. But where does my work start? I often find myself wondering this. The best way to put it is that, my work is like coral, it continuously builds off of previous verses and concepts and expands those words and concepts. Only my prose seems to start off as a genuinely new idea. I mostly recycle material that I've cut out of other pieces of writing and word them to fit appropriately.
What often goes most unnoticed in my work are the multitude of allusions to books, songs, headlines, etc. in my writing. To date, I'm not sure anyone has caught all of the references in Sojourner, as there are tons, and they are very subtly worded. But most of all, I just love making the language look and sound beautiful, that is my passion.
2. How do you feel about dA as a literature community?
I feel the dA literature populace is a very confused community at the moment, in terms of what it wants for each other and writing in general, but I, unlike other writers here on deviantART do not use dA to get feedback on their writing, I have some close friends and mentors who provide me with what I need in that area, and I am also fairly confident in my ability to self-edit. I use dA to read other's work and become familiar with other forms and genres and styles. I have discovered many amazing writers here, and hope to continue to discover more inspiring writers. I also do not mind offering my opinions on pieces and providing feedback to others. I know for some, that dA may be there outlet to do so.
3. Do you still participate in slam poetry? How is performing your work different from writing and posting it?
Performing your work can be a lot of fun, it can also be nerve-wracking. I have done it a few times since, in creative writing classes in high school and at a library and coffee shop. I have a copy of one of my performances somewhere that was recorded for my writing class.
The thing about slam poetry is it requires more than just being talented in writing. There are other skill-sets needed, so you aren't just standing there reading off your poetry. You have to choose topics, sentences and words that you know will let you be able to justify your dynamicism onstage, so that you are moving and full of energy when the writing calls for it and when the writing calls for something else entirely.
Anybody who feels that slam poetry is not their type of writing, I would encourage them to experience it at least once in their life. This is a video that I feel explains my feelings on slam poetry: [link]
4. You help run a fairly new group, #EliteLiterature. Would you like to tell us a bit about that? What are you hoping to accomplish with your group?
The goal of the group was to showcase the writers alongside their work. This was inspired by the exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago (artIC) which featured whole portfolios of artists and not just works by them. I felt I could connect better to the artist after seeing many of their works displayed beside one another. It becomes rather intimate.
#EliteLiterature is different from other literature groups in the way it showcases its literature, by providing each member with their own individual folder to submit to. Our gallery is a collective of writer's galleries. We don't try to sell the group's work through what comes through your message center, but by encouraging members to visit the group's gallery.
I would also like to say that #EliteLiterature has some ideas for the future that you may see implemented in the coming months, these plans include opening the group up to all users of deviantART to use as a resource and as a hub for writing. I am not comfortable with the idea of using a group such as mine to say who can or cannot use its resources and influence to get people's work out there. I am tired of seeing groups that are open for business for all types of writing but yet do not distinguish between a great written work and a piece with potential. There are also a few groups out there that only promote the well written work. If I had to name a group I believe that does a good job of balancing everybody's work, that group would be #theWrittenRevolution.
My aim with my group, #EL, was to settle into our place into the community, but I just wasn't satisfied with that. I've always had great expectations of myself, and now I want to help shape that community. #EliteLiterature will be undergoing some fundamental changes in the following months to help achieve this. I would also like to note that we are looking for staff members at the moment as well.
5. What would you say is your highest literary accomplishment?
I have three high points in my literary career as Nic Swaner. One is in the past, one I'm working on currently, and the other is a future goal I have set for myself.
Writing and completing my first written work was the first high point I ever experienced, and I still have the notebook the story is in. Presently, I am attempting to get published in journals, quarterlies, magazines and the likes. A goal I have set for the future is that when I am around 20-years-old is that I'll start self-publishing a book/chapbook of my own poetry and short stories.
SojournerRevisited 10/28/2012 - Read by disrhythmic HERE.
Salt in the cemetery licked at the lacking and
Lacquered ribcages of centuries old hulls
Hulls and albatrosses overhead like
Broken ribs and severed sternums.
Masts akimbo and off-kilter, wood stained
To the marrow by the fresh saltwater from the shore
Of the Aral Sea; beached, sunk in the speckled
Sand, like the words of a guilted verdict,
A flotilla of past-flown ships and craft
Plunge further into the pebbles and topsoil.
The decay of humanity and humus emergent,
Each vessel was a well-rested relic reliant on
The sun to circumnavigate the pearlescent skies,
For the vessels could no longer circumvent the
Dusk that plagued each day.
Coerced to acquiesce and reacquaint with
The night, the marquee moon beams upon
The shoreline where sea-stricken ships offer
Shelter, like a lightn
Only as Old"Frail bones predict what fragile minds can't detect,"
He trailed off slowly, "And my bones are achin'."
The air around me hung low and depressed,
Sticking to the back of my throat like a stormy syrup
I'd tried to swallow down.
I peered out the kitchen window
And caught an inklet of patched-over-grey sky;
I wondered what was in store for the day.
Impartial to the gloom outside, we stepped out onto the back porch;
Grandpa wobbled out with his cane in hand and we waited.
In the hushed stillness the trees traded birds
Robins, swallows, whippoorwills, and cardinals.
If you squinted hard enough at the sullen shrubbery,
You could spot the caterpillar creeping to the underside of the leaf.
That's when I looked at Grandpa,
And saw through his eyes nature receding
At his prescience of a storm.
"Grandpa, how do you always know?"
He chuckled and simply said: "The world tells me."
It was left at that, but years later I have found
That the world is only as old as the person to whom you speak.
The Other ColorWith an inhalation of breath and mind he realized
He had always found it effortful to depict
And portray the apperception of the paints
And the ethos of the ink to another
Individual who had wandered out of room.
But they were not out of mind, and the premise
To call their presence nearer was an undeniable
Determinant in his whirling to look behind him,
Finding nothing but the morning dust lurking like
A ghost that had misplaced its haunting.
But the dust offered no criticism, response,
Or interpretation. He turned back to his work,
And the music that eavesdropped on his inspiration
Traipsed on, changing tracks.
That was when the color came into conception.
The ashen blue hues were singed by coral cinders,
With streaks of cinnamon strokes chilled by cerulean streams.
But his work needed another. When he went around the
Color wheel the hue he envisioned on his painting seemed
Of a dissimilar tone and texture.
It was strange to him how the color enveloped
Him, his mind, and was much simp
Metamorphose Teaser I.
Met-uh-mawr-fohz verb (used with object): to change the form or nature of; transform.
Pulses felt by palpating and pressing hands manifested an arrhythmia. Her breath breached consciousness and eyelids unsealed, irises constricting their pupils as they flitted from white wall to weighted, slate hinges.
Her blood hastened in reverse systolic motions. She could discern the rhythm, flooding into ventricles from pulmonary arteries and escaping