Poetry grows……….because people are hungry for truth: An online interview with Gil VanWagner

Published books: Fuggeddaboudit, Reports From The Frontal Lobe, Sabbats, Dead Drunk

Dupur Mitra: Do you think poetry play role in your society? If yes how and if not why?
Gil VanWagner: Poetry is art. Artist shine in example of honing and sharing your gifts. Poetry mirrors life……and shows the poet to any that care to and dare to look. It is exposure of soul and truth……and lets everyone know where we stand. Society can learn from artists…..and be true in message and self.

Dupur Mitra: Who are your major influences as a poet?
Gil VanWagner: My major influences as a poet are musicians. Dylan. Leonard Cohen. Melissa Etheridge. The amazingly talented Billy Joel. Simon and Garfunkle. The singer/song writers that show us the world all around us in truthful ways. Elvis. The man who delivers his soul in every song…….and lived his gift. His gift is now anyone’s forever…..and that is why we were born….to leave our gift for any and all to have.

Dupur Mitra: What is poetry?
Gil VanWagner: Poetry is showing your soul…….and letting anyone see.

Dupur Mitra: What are your observations about trending of world poetry?
Gil VanWagner: Poetry mirrors the future so we can see what comes. More and more turn to poetry to speak as well as to hear. Some measure the effectiveness of their gift in sales. Some share freely and trust the word will spread. Poetry grows……….because people are hungry for truth.

Dupur Mitra: Is poetry movement can improve the poetry? if yes how, if not why?
Gil VanWagner: Let the words flow. Share. Care. Love. Let the poets set the standard for sharing and being one world of caring people.

Dupur Mitra: What is your opinion about today’s world poetry movement?
Gil VanWagner: It is hope for the future. Let us feed hope, light, and love.
I have 153 pages of odds and ends. Some things sit there a long time….years even. Others merge and become something much different. There are poems that burst right into the light in their entirety. Others showed themselves and needed some nibbling around the edges. One, just the other day in fact, was one that sat finished yet I knew it was actually off. Something missing. Something hiding. It gnawed at me for a long time and “Poof”, the other day it revealed itself. Here is what it was:

I’ll Know

I’ll know dark, fear, and depression.
I’ll know the path that is true.
I’ll know the truth beneath the deception.
I’ll know when to rest and when to push on.
I’ll know my own limitations.
I’ll know what to say and to do.
I’ll know things that were and that will be.
I’ll know ache, anxiousness, and pain.
I’ll know friends that speak from the darkness.
I’ll know how badly I’ve wronged.
I’ll know to say I am sorry.
I’ll know to let go what is not meant to be.
I’ll know the feel of my laughter.
I’ll know the meaning of loss.
I’ll know the square root of seven.
I’ll know the joy of ice cream.
I’ll know snarl, growl, and whimper.
I’ll know the roll of my eyes.
I’ll know the taste of my fear.
I’ll know the free flowing river.
I’ll know to dance as if making love.
I’ll know the glory of sorrow.
I’ll know to care through it all.
I’ll know you can’t go back there.
I’ll know what comes has yet to appear.
I’ll know to sing in the shower.
I’ll know the sting of a bee.
I’ll know when words should be spoken.
I’ll know when to shut my big mouth.
I’ll know the deep need for sharing.
I’ll know the aching of wants.
I’ll know all will be forgiven.
I’ll know we reap what we sow.
I’ll know to stop the complaining.
I’ll know there are more unknowns.
I’ll know each voice truly matters.
I’ll know I am one of the many.

Here is what it became:


Dark, fear, and depression.
Snarl, growl, and whimper.
Truth beneath the deception.
The path that is yours.

The feel of your laughter.
The square root of seven.
Ice cream in all its joy.
The slow roll of your eyes.

When to rest and if to push on.
What to say and to do.
Things that were and that can be.
What comes has yet to appear.

How badly you’ve wronged.
Ache, anxiousness, and pain.
Friends that speak from darkness.
To let go what is not meant to be.

To dance as if making love.
Free flowing rivers.
The sting of a bee.
To sing in the shower.

What loss means.
You reap what you sow.
To say you are sorry.
How fear tastes as it dies.

The glory of sorrow.
To care through it all.
You can’t go back.
What you really do control.

To share and care.
The ache of wants.
There are more unknowns.
All will be forgiven.

When to speak.
The comfort of silence.
To stop complaining.
Each voice truly matters.

You are one of the many.
Everyone feels alone.
Gifts are to be shared.
Together all things are possible.

Dupur Mitra: Describe the writing process in your poems? The poems let me know.
Gil VanWagner: Sometimes it is just a word. Other times a sentence.

Dupur Mitra: Where do you get your ideas for poems?
Gil VanWagner: Music. Life. Pictures. Words. Everywhere.

Dupur Mitra: Do you get inspiration from your readers?
Gil VanWagner: Yes. Each comment offers inspiration. Their stories and sharing often show me new ways to look at things……they open me wider and that lets the light in.

Dupur Mitra: Can you read me one of your poems about school?
Gil VanWagner: Interesting question. Made me see my poems are about almost everything else. Learning is everywhere for me…….so school is living.

Dupur Mitra: How long does it take you to write a poem?
Gil VanWagner: It truly varies. My best stuff usually takes at least a few days. I let it sit. Feel it each day. Let it show me if it is really done.

Dupur Mitra: What was the first poem you wrote?
Gil VanWagner: Not sure. Suspect is was juvenile and dirty.

Dupur Mitra: What’s your favorite poem that you’ve written?
Gil VanWagner: Here is one of my favorites:

Five Story Walk Up

The bricks challenged.
Façade with an attitude.
More came before you.
More will follow.

Seven blocks from the ocean.
One bridge away from Downtown.
A place passed if even seen.
Forlorn and forgotten.
Just another five stories no one hears.

They remembered.
Dark things.
Little ones that quit breathing without reason.
Two that had help.
Fights that never really stopped until blood flowed.
Some that went on even after that.
Lonely people gone before others noticed.
Days sometimes.
Weeks one time.
Bricks remembered.

Tagged and repaired.
Tagged and repaired.
Weather beaten and all the heartier for it.
Hit by a Volvo guided by a blind drunk in sixty-three.
Newer bricks came and still showed their difference.
Still, red is red and you had to know where to look.

The bricks were cold.
Sun kissed too little.
Shaded too much.

People noticed the Maple Tree.
I noticed the bricks.
The bricks noticed me.
They didn’t care.
Perhaps they never will.
It’s been a long time since anyone cared.
They fit right into the neighborhood.

Dupur Mitra: Do you illustrate your own poems?
Gil VanWagner: No. I am the word man. Someone else would have that gift.

Dupur Mitra: What else do you like doing when you’re not writing poems?
Gil VanWagner: Write other stuff. Live my truth. I work a few days a week. My life is blessed in giving away bodywork, doing life coaching, and living my spirituality. Words and music are my touchstones.

Dupur Mitra: When did you start writing poems?
Gil VanWagner: A few years ago. Dabbled prior. Write books and missives about life……..and poetry. Whatever speaks to me.

Dupur Mitra: Where do your ideas come from?
Gil VanWagner: Everywhere. Life offers so much inspiration. The seasons. Each person. Moments of life. Photographs. Dreams. So many wonderful opportunities for creative feeling.

Dupur Mitra: What makes your poems different from other people’s?
Gil VanWagner: I am all over the spectrum. Rare for me to rhyme. Poems of deep spiritual nature as well as primal and personal things. I expose my soul.

Dupur Mitra: Is illustration important in your poems?
Gil VanWagner: The words are the illustration for me.

Dupur Mitra: How does a poem begin for you – with an image an idea or a phrase?
Gil VanWagner: Some birth fully right away. Others…..just a line. Even a word. Example……I said something the other day on a phone conversation. “Shadows….in living color.” It jumped out at me and I highly suspect it will be in or even birth a poem someday. It is now one line on those 153 pages of loose ends.

Dupur Mitra: How do you edit your poems?
Gil VanWagner: Letting them sit for a while. Re-reading them a few times before posting. Reading them aloud to others helps me see any errors or things that need tweaking.




One Response to “Poetry grows……….because people are hungry for truth: An online interview with Gil VanWagner”
  1. Gil Van Wagner says:

    Thank you for this, Dupur Mitra. Hope it resonates.

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