Today we’re getting to know another G+ writing friend of mine, D.W.Metz. Doug and I share interests in poetry, Asian forms in art and poetry, natural healing arts and Buddhism. We were cabin mates at Camp NaNoWriMo, July 2014 edition, but he got quite a bit more writing done. Doug is a Renaissance man and modern-day Kerouac, introspective, meditative and a nature boy during weekend web fasts. He blogs at unknown poetry and recently released his first independent poetry collection, Discovering Duluoz, after Kerouac. Please join me in welcoming him, and remember to show Doug some follow love. – Belinda
Recently you participated in Camp NaNoWriMo. What was your experience like?
Overall I would say it was a success for me. It did confirm that I am absolutely horrible under pressure when it comes to forcing myself to write. What I liked about the “camp” experience is that the goals were much more flexible and you didn’t have to commit to writing a full novel. I wound up working on a short story I’ve had brewing for the past year. Well that was my chosen assignment at least. Most of the time if I was doing anything writing related it was working on finalizing my first solo poetry publishing, Discovering Duluoz.
What can you tell us about Discovering Duluoz?
Discovering Duluoz is a collection of poetry based off several years worth of journals I wrote in the early 90′s. The poems cover the period when I was first exposed to the writings of Jack Kerouac as a teenager on the beach at Long Beach Island, and culminates with me hitchhiking (in true Kerouac fashion) from my home in New Jersey to his birthplace in Lowell, Massachusetts several years later.
What is your experience with poetry anthologies?
I’ve been published in a couple anthologies but for the most part they were all 20+ years ago. Most recently I responded to a solicitation for poems on a Google+ post and was very pleased to have been included as a result in Scattered Voices: A Collection of Poems Shared by Strangers on the Internet published by Rotting Horse Publishing. What I really liked about this experience was that because all the poets featured were from Google+ I’ve gotten to know a few of them better after having been included in the anthology with them and gladly consider them friends now. I also have a piece that’s coming up in an upcoming anthology surrounding the Fukushima disaster in Japan.
Why do you write poetry?
I’ve written poetry for as long as I can remember. When I started it was a lot of “roses are red” and such. If it wasn’t so successful with the girls I pursued as a young man I probably never would have continued with it. As I got older it became less about the wooing and more about the catharsis. I’ve used poetry as an expression of art therapy to get me through the most difficult situations in my life. For me poetry is like a hurricane of emotion. The ‘event’ comes on with a storm, black clouds and lightning. Water whipped against you so hard it feels like stones. In the eye the poem comes out. Tranquility. Clarity. Then it rips back through you again for good measure. You pick yourself up, hopefully, and stand up to survey the wake. From that moment life starts again.
Do you have a favorite poetic form?
Not particularly. Most of what I write tends to fall under ‘free verse.’ Sometimes I find myself in the midst of a rhyming poem and if that’s the way it comes out I tend to go with it, though I’m always apprehensive of the rhyming sounding forced. I also like to experiment with several Japanese forms of poetry – specifically senryu and choka.
What’s your writing space like?
For the most part my writing space is very mobile. The majority of my poetry in the past few years was actually composed and published from my phone. I use a laptop or tablet when I’m working on longer fiction pieces. I do have a desk that I write at but only when I’m dedicating a lot of time to writing. I also tend to do most of my spoken word editing at my desk.
How long have you been doing spoken word poetry?
When I was in high school and college I would often participate in open-mic readings wherever I could find them. When I started publishing my poetry online a few years ago I got hooked up with a Google group that was doing spoken word workshops, which led me to experimenting with Soundcloud. Over the past couple years I’ve recorded a large percentage of my poems as well as some recordings of other famous poems. I enjoy doing spoken word because I think it allows the listener to experience poetry from a different dimension. Recently I’ve been adding music and effects to the recordings as I experiment with the abilities of the artform.
Do you have any favorite writing tools?
My phone/ipad are probably my favorites as I’ve always got one of them with me. I use a plain text app, iA Writer for poetry writing which I backup to Dropbox. For fiction pieces I use Google Docs. I like the piece of mind knowing that if one of my devices were lost or destroyed I’ve got a backup online whether the piece has been published or not.
What’s your most recent publication?
Most recently I published the short story I was working on for Camp Nano. The story is about a character who is down when he inherits a house from an Aunt he didn’t know he had. The inheritance proves to be more than he bargained for when a secret room is discovered in the basement.
What are you currently working on?
At the moment I’m working on another short story. This one is about an antique typewriter that has some haunting characteristics.
If someone wants to read more of your writing where should they go?
My two poetry books are available in print and kindle editions via amazon and other book retailers. You can visit my author page on Amazon for links to purchase. http://www.amazon.com/author/dwmetz. I’ve also started promoting my work on Goodreads and would be grateful for any reviews there. https://www.goodreads.com/dwmetz. In addition to those I publish my poetry, spoken word and fiction at http://unknownpoetry.wordpress.com
Thanks for visiting, Doug, and for hosting me at unknown poetry. We look forward to hearing more publication updates from you.