I can’t think of many people that have been there for me as much as Wesley Attwood. Over the past 5 years, Wesley has supported me through my toughest days, stood alongside me during my happiest moments, given me countless hours of his time for advice, and has been the most loyal son of a bitch I know. I could go on for days about the person Wesley is, the things he’s done for me, and the times we’ve shared over the years, but I’d like to spotlight what I believe is his greatest accomplishment to date; his first book, “Dances with the Kachina: A Compendium of Poetic Thoughts” published in August by Createspace.com and available NOW through Amazon.com here: http://www.amazon.com/Dances-With-The-Kachina-Compendium/dp/149127381X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390453700&sr=8-1&keywords=dances+with+the+kachina
Under the pen name “The Dark One”, Wesley has crafted a true masterpiece of raw emotion, covering a wide range of topics that leave the reader both enjoying the simple things in life on its surface and looking at it a little more deeply. I’m proud to present to you my recent interview with The Dark One.
This book covers such a wide range of topics. Everything from love to self reflection to whacky college professors to elder abuse. When you come across these things in life, do you find it therapeutic to write about them? One of the reasons I started blogging so often was because it’s a calming feeling for me to let my thoughts run free on paper, so to speak.
I find it extremely therapeutic to write about things in my daily life. Writing allows me to express my emotions about certain topics or situations.
What got you into writing in the first place? When did you start?
I started writing poetry in middle school. During an English class, I was given an assignment to write five poems about various topics. Before this, I had always admired poetry for the feelings and emotions it can provoke, but I never really thought I had something good enough to write about. So after completing the project I found that poetry came very naturally as long as I had a feeling or subject that I was passionate enough to write about in mind. Also, my father, in his private life, is an excellent artist with a paint brush, a stanza or words, or even with models, so I was very inspired by him and his works over the years. After that middle school class, I didn’t really start writing too much until I met my first girlfriend. That is when I discovered the art of Romance in word form.
How many years worth of material is in this book?
There is three years’ worth of material in this book.
What made you decide to turn this material into a book?
Many of my friends proposed that I put some of my works into a book and publish it. People often see my notes on Facebook with my poems, so a lot of it was my friends’ suggestions, but the rest was a dedication to the Kachina and the inspiration that she is.
You told me when this book was coming out that these aren’t actually all of your works. Why not just publish everything and lay it all out there?
The reason I do not publish all my works is because there are many that are extremely personal to me. Many have a very deep and personal connection and I’d rather keep those to myself.
Where did you come up with the title Dances with Kachina: A Compendium of Poetic Thoughts? Are these really just thoughts of yours that you write down onto paper and make them into a kind of story?
The title is directly taken from one of the poems titled “Dances With the Kachina”. The title refers to my encounters and experiences with the Kachina. The Kachina is not only a person whom which I have experienced a lot with, but the Kachina is also the idea of art and inspiration. You could say that the Kachina is the muse in my life. Some of the poems are just thoughts put down on paper, but most are about actual memories, emotions, dreams, or experiences I have.
What is your relationship like with your real life Kachina? It must be pretty special for you to have her on the cover of the book as well.
The real life Kachina is my best friend. She is the best friend anyone could ever hope for. She has been there with me through many things. We even traveled across the planet together one summer. So the Kachina is someone I truly love and am inspired by every day.
How would you classify your style of writing? What are the main things you focus on as far as themes, messages, etc.?
For the most part, I would classify my poetry as free verse. There are occasions where I write sonnets or even other forms of poetry, but it all really depends on what I am writing about and how it comes out. In my poetry I focus mainly on life, love, and the state of mind. I enjoy writing about my own and others’ perspectives within life and daily life. Many of the topics recur through simple phrases or words within various poems.
What are some of your favorite pieces by other authors? Any favorite authors?
Some of my favorite authors would be Sara Teasdale, Alexander Pushkin, and of course Sixto Diaz Rodriguez. Many music artists such as Rodriguez, in my opinion, are poets and thus have my admiration as well for not only their music, but their words.
Do those said authors influence the way you write? If so, how?
Sara Teasdale has always inspired me to write about simplicity. Throughout my poems I mention the “cup of tea” or “the hands holding the cup”. This, to me, is a direct reference to the simplicity of life and the beauty within that simplicity. After reading Sara’s work throughout the years, I’ve been able to see and write about the small things in our day-to-day lives and how these small things hold so much beauty. Rodriguez has been a lifelong inspiration for just about everything. Rodriguez wrote and sang about life, poverty, love, injustice, and perspectives. Out of anyone’s words I’ve read in my life, he has to be the biggest inspiration I have. A lot of his work has contributed to my personal feelings about love and romance.
As for your own writing, what are some of your favorite entries in the book and why?
I cannot really pick one I like more than another because, for me, most of the poems I write pertain to my life or experiences/memories. But if I were to choose I would say that my favorite entries are “12:53”, “Absent Earth”, “Fond Memories of Days In Your Bliss”, and “Prison of Melody”. I pick these because they each signify a great or extraordinary experience in my life which has contributed to my development in my life. These instances have given me some kind of feelings or enlightenment which has aided me overall in my opinion.
How did you come up with the titles for each piece?
For each piece I generally use a word that sums up the poem unless I have a title in mind. For a lot of the poems it’s very difficult to give them a title so I often find the title the hardest part.
You mention in the foreword that the poems in the beginning of the book are “simple or silly at times” but as you keep reading the pieces “become deeper and more intense”. You mention that this is the result of a “personal change” in how you expressed yourself or even a change of your writing abilities. Can you elaborate on that?
I believe that over the years I have gained a lot of understanding for the world around me directly and how I perceive it. I believe that my perceptions are captured in my poetry by how simple life can be seen to how deep it can be at times.
Why do you call yourself The Dark One?
I use the Dark One as my pen name because that was the nickname I was always given by the Kachina since we first met. I don’t like to be melodramatic but I do like the idea of darkness and the mystery within it. As I may describe in some of my poems, darkness is a place of solace, reason, and understanding where one can reflect upon life. I feel as if I should be more in touch with any dark label than anything pertaining to light and completely seen.
What should people know about The Dark One and his poetic thoughts?
People should know that the Dark One writes about the things that are important to him. The poetic thoughts aren’t always straightforward and sometimes don’t have a meaning, but the meaning is in the eyes of the reader.
Music is such an important part of your life. You write about it quite a bit in the book and you’re also in a band called Losing Time as the percussionist.
Music is one of my biggest inspirations. I have played percussion and other various instruments for most of my life. I also love to sing. I find great relaxation and expression in music, which essentially is poetry in a different form. Music can define emotions or anything, and I like to reference it in my writings.
Any more books on the horizon? Are you still writing? What’s on your mind these days?
I was thinking about putting together another book if I really had the motivation to do so. I generally write a poem a day or more. I’m always writing and, regardless of any publishing, I believe I will always be writing. I still am writing about love, romance, life, and the mind these days.
You’re one of my best friends in the entire world. We’ve been close buddies for over 5 years now and I feel we just become closer over time. I enjoyed every page of this book and can’t wait for possible future tomes! Thanks for including me in the foreword!
You and I have been very close for the past years and I’m honored to have you as a friend. I really glad you enjoyed my book and I hope you enjoyed the writings within. Thank you for your friendship and for buying a copy.
“Dances with the Kachina: A Compendium of Poetic Thoughts” is AVAILABLE NOW through Amazon for less than $6. I’ll give you the link AGAIN!
You all should definitely pick up a copy of The Dark One’s first book. Go ahead and squeak out a couple bucks. You won’t be disappointed! “Dances with the Kachina” is one of the best purchases I’ve made in a long time. I wouldn’t have dedicated an entire blog entry to this if I didn’t have the utmost faith in this man. Wesley is not only a fantastic writer, but a a brilliant, creative, loyal, and kind man with an endless amount of talent and heart.
Follow The Dark One on Twitter @JohanVanRiebeec
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