I write to satisfy my muse, to make sense of the universe: An online interview with Mark Paleologo
Mark Paleologo lives in New Jersey,USA. Poet, novelist, and songwriter.
Dupur Mitra: When did you start writing? And why do you write poetry?
Mark Paleologo: I started writing when I was about 11 years old. I started journaling and soon found myself given to flights of fancy as I mused about the world around me. I would fill notebook after notebook and soon had trouble hiding them all. The real writing started around my thirteenth birthday with a few short stories and some poems, both remarkably crude and poorly thought out. I refined my skill and was recognized during high school and college for my work. Most of my work was short fiction, mostly about living in New Jersey and coping with life. My poetry was also published for the first time, again looking back I see it as crude and artless. Art is evolutionary and I think it normal for us to suffer growing pains along the way to finding our mature voice. Now I write to satisfy my muse, to make sense of the universe, so that I might be able to share my vision of all of it with all of you. Or not…
Dupur Mitra: How would you describe the contemporary poetry? or What is your opinion about today’s world poetry movement?
Mark Paleologo: I honestly believe that poetry, as many other art forms, is going through some critical changes in form and structure, especially with the advent of the internet. Music, photography, fiction, non -fiction and poetry are all going to have to define themselves over the next decade. There have never been so many forums nor have there been so much being produced and self-published. The gate keepers are losing their importance as to whether or not something should be seen. Of course this is good, more ideas and more information being shared is wonderful. The down side is that there is a mountain of garbage to wade through to find the gems… and now we have to do it ourselves instead of relying on editors and publishers to sift through it all for us. Hence I think a lot more may be available but an almost equal amount is still being missed.
Dupur Mitra: Who are your major influences as a poet?
Mark Paleologo: Ahhh, right to the point. I like that. There are so many people who have influenced my writing, not all of them are writers. The poets whom I read most are Emily Dickinson and Pablo Neruda. I admire Dickenson’s grace and conservation of words. She wrote tight, short winded verse packed full of imagery and understanding. She easily displayed her view of the world for us. I also admire Pablo Neruda for his sense of passion and life. His later work, mostly love poems written about women and food are transcendent, lifting the reader an inch or to above their purchase.
Dupur Mitra: What does being a poet mean to you or What is poetry?
Mark Paleologo: While there may be many forms of poetry, from sonnets and songs to free verse and haiku, some long some short, some using very high language and others the language of the street. All are poetry, all are expression. So if I am to answer what I believe poetry is, I would call it an undefinable use of language which conveys an idea or not. And so being a poet means that I arbitrarily use words to express the hidden wonders of the universe as I see them. Or not.
Dupur Mitra: What is your opinion about today’s world poetry movement?
Mark Paleologo: I think it is wonderful that I have the chance to communicate with writers from all over the globe and share their work and cultural experiences. My associations have confirmed my belief that we, all of earth’s children, are all really very much alike. We all want food, clothing, shelter, sex, and most of all, to be loved. All great poems are love poems, regardless of what is beloved to the poet…