I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of Hosho McCreesh and Christopher Cunningham's new book called "Sunlight at Midnight, Darkness at Noon" .
After reading the book from cover to cover, I felt a connection with these two writers - a connection based on the visceral style they employed in communicating what is going on (and wrong) in the world today. It also made me want to ask them some questions. Hosho was kind enough to respond and his answers are below.
Where did you grow up? Has this effected your writing? How?
HM: Aside from a few lengthy trips overseas, I've lived my entire life in & around New Mexico...& I do think it has effected my writing. I love it here, the skies, the desert, the Rio Grande. I think of New Mexico as a kind of gateway into Central and South American countries, and the Mexican and Spanish influence along with that of the native tribes, the fading remnants of that "Old West," all have made this a complex and sometimes tumultuous place. It's also a fairly poor state--in particular when you get out side the big cities...I think all of these things color my writing.
If you could live in any time period when would it be? Why?
HM: Well, if I can live, truly live--then I don't care what era it is. But to truly live means to have the opportunity to pursuit all our little dreams...and that's not an easy thing to do. Our lives are, too often, defined by the compromises we have to make, the concessions, the things we trade...& for what. It's such ugly commerce: giving away so much of ourselves for the little we get in return. I think it's too easy to be blinded by nostalgia--as if things were better in days past. As I've aged, I've grown less nostalgic instead of more...so, despite all my grumblings, my silly complaints...I am pleased to live here and now...& to try to find my way in this world.
Do you feel that life is just and righteous, sick and twisted, or unfair and arbitrary?
HM: I think it is none of these things. If we're lucky we're taught things like sharing, what's right, what's fair--and wisely so. These things make us decent people. We learn as we grow that the world is not as we've learned it should be--& that's heart-breaking. But the real lesson, if there is one, is that the world isn't this way so much as people are this way. Each culture, country, state, county, city, and even street where you live is full of people who've all learned very different things--value different things, believe in different things. Gods. Rules. Man-made nations. Things both just and unjust, sick, twisted, unfair, and arbitrary. The world without us is a hurtling rock, is majestic ecosystems full of all kinds of living, breathing things struggling, succeeding, failing, and dying. Add us to the mix, & it remains basically the same--only our ideas about ourselves complicate things. We'd do better, I think, to think of ourselves as just another herd animal...with shoes, very fragile shells, and the ability to grow and harvest corn. To think we're much more than that, much more than a caveman in an Armani prevents us from escaping these lofty notions of ourselves. So the world is none of those things--but us thinking & being makes them so.
What do you think of bankers and suits?
HM: I can't say I spend much time thinking about either. Unless I need a loan--or am attending a wedding or a funeral. I think more about the illusion of both earning and spending money. My paycheck is 'direct deposited' in my bank; my bank 'auto-pays' a bill or two; the rest of what I supposedly buy with the money I never see is either given to me when I hand over a piece of plastic or the balance owed evaporates when I fill out a check and sign it--provided I have enough imaginary money, in the bank I rarely set foot in, to cover the things stores gave me because I agreed to pay for them. This has to be the worst time ever to be homeless--as no one carries actual money anywhere anymore. Except drug dealers or high stakes gamblers. The rest of us beam imaginary sums and totals all over the globe with wires...& either we're in an imaginary hole, or we're not.
Are you currently working on your next book?
HM: I've submitted 2 manuscripts to Propaganda Press; my last 2 chapbooks, and fat book of letters are still available (from Bottle of Smoke Press, sunnyoutside press, and Orange Alert Press, respectively)...as is a really nice broadside from 10pt Press. I have things I am writing on--but I am not sure if any will ever see the light of day.
Why do you write?
HM: It helps me sleep. By that I mean, when I don't write or paint or do something creative, I feel like I am wasting my life lightly, and I worry about it. When I write, paint, do anything creative I worry less, and sleep much much better. It's just better for me, all around, if I do something like that--everyday if I can. It's a decent approach to health care, I think: stop fucking caring about so many pointless things, & figure out what makes you feel better, what makes you happy, what gives your life meaning. & to laughing, joyous hell with the rest!
What else can you tell me?
HM: Two things: First--thank you for your kind words about SUNLIGHT and for giving me a few moments to babble! And second: If your readers love books, but can't ever seem to find stuff to read in Borders or Barnes and Noble--please please please encourage them to look into the small press. The democratization of new technologies mean creative people everywhere are able to put out stuff they love and believe in (or, if they aren't--shame on them, they should be)...& it's pretty darn easy to support those artists, writers, painters, dreamers, fighters, believers...you'll find work you like somewhere--be it in poetry magazines, over at deviantart, or etsy...there is a vast, if struggling, small press world & you can get (in some places) gorgeous pieces of hand-made art full of things that can delight and surprise you. In fact, the last great barrier between artist and the art-starved masses is some simple means of showcasing, exchanging, and distributing these wonderful things. Artists--ask for fair & decent prices for the things you create; & those who love art--support those whose work speaks to you. Hosho McCreesh
Author Hosho McCreesh self portrait
And the dogs of Christopher Cunningham (in lieu of self portrait)
You can get a copy of "Sunlight at Midnight, Darkness at Noon" from Orange Alert. It is well worth the read - and the support is appreciated.