The End of the Road Interview (Part Three)

The End of the Road Interview

With Charles Banks, Jr.

Part Three



What is next from you? Can we expect more poetry from you soon? Or will you punish us all by waiting two more years to publish another project?


Charles: (laughs) I have a couple of other things I am working on at the moment. I have a chapbook in the works now where I write as Black Angel. At this time, the running title is Sinking into Unsettled Waters. I have a smaller piece of work as Black Angel as well.

Will you be self-publishing with

Charles: I have not made up my mind yet. Lulu is very user-friendly, and I’ve been acquainted with the site since 2007. But I’d like to explore my options. Amazon has some attributes that I like. I would love for my next book to go directly to the Kindle.

–         Dave Morgan for

Caution Tape Poetry


“Step beyond the caution tape at your own peril!

Just remember, you were forewarned.”

For more information about Charles’ new collection of poetry, END OF THE ROAD, please visit his blog at or now!

The END OF THE ROAD Interview (Part Two)


The End of the Road Interview

With Charles Banks, Jr.





You mentioned Curiosity’s issues with abandonment. Are they still unresolved?

Charles: Did you read the book? I’d say that they are unresolved. Even if you become accustomed to the feeling, the reactions may be very different.

It is fair to note that your mother left you when you were two years old. How has this affected you personally and in your writing?

Charles: Good question. I remember as a child going through various feelings. I remember being mad at the world. And then around age eight or so, I began blaming myself. You know, I questioned if my birth somehow triggered some kind of cosmic plan to go into fruition (laughs). In my writing, I’ve captured my childhood emotions in poems.

Have those emotions calmed over the years? I mean, that was twenty-one years ago?

Charles: They have. You know, luckily for me. I’ve had some great people in my life, who have (pause). I don’t want to say have taken that spot, or filled that necessary void—because that void can never be totally filled. But certain people have come into my life and taught me certain lessons. I have a step-mother who loves me in spite of our bumpy road. I have numerous aunts who offer “motherly” advice.

Your poem “A Mother’s Abandon” was published last October, and the reader is placed into the mind of a mother who is contemplating abandoning her infant child. Would you have been able to write that poem ten four years ago? Two years ago?

Charles: I actually began writing that poem three years ago (2009). It wasn’t until September of last year that I finished writing a draft of it that I felt comfortable with submitting to a contest. But to answer your question, no, I don’t think so. There was a great deal of objectivity that went into that piece, which is why it took so long to finish the poem. I tried to put myself into the shoes of a mother with that kind of thought process. I tried to examine the situation from her perspective. It was unnerving. I don’t judge my mother as harshly as I once did. I’m just honored that The Audio Zine published it on their website.



The END OF THE ROAD Interview (Part One)

The End of the Road Interview

With Charles Banks, Jr.

Part One

What has driven CURIOSITY to the end of the road?

Charles: The book was set on the premise of Sophia, who is Curiosity’s love interest, breaking up with him abruptly; and the emotional aftermath from his perspective. He isn’t sure why she has decided to leave. He experiences anger, guilt, sorrow, and understanding while trying to make sense of what has happened. In essence, he really tackles his unresolved issues with abandonment.


The reader will notice that CURIOSITY goes back and forth between writing what seems to be very autobiographical accounts and generalized statements to depict a story of heartbreak and loss. How did you balance this?

Charles: At some points it was difficult to balance. On one end, I think it is in a writer’s nature to draw from his/her own experiences. But I wanted this project to be accessible to a diverse range of readers. So I worked with very concrete ideas that I knew were relatable to the average person. In the first portion of the book, the poetry is very compact, short, with generalized references and thoughts. Purposely, I did this because I wanted the reader to recollect on their own accounts (if any) with break-ups. As the book reads on, it becomes more and more autobiographical; probably beginning with the poem From Afar. There are other poems like America’s Next Top Model and Rich Girl that also make reference to my own personal experiences. It just so happens that those are some of the more impressionable pieces in the book.


Does the book have a deeper, more hidden meaning?

Charles: Yes, I think it does. On the surface, the book deals with an abrupt break-up and the emotional fall-out. But when one examines deeper, I think this book deals with the loss of inspiration, the loss of hope. As I read through the finished version of this project, I started thinking about it. I really think Curiosity doesn’t quite know how to react to this disturbance in his life.



Charles: Yes, it’s like being used to a certain routine, or used to certain people being around, and all of a sudden, they’re gone, without reason. They just leave. I think it’s a very real way to react.

Rich Girl (Curiosity) Excerpt from End of the Road Chapbook

Photo Taken from the WEB


Oh, now she is a rich girl!

Rockin’ those Dolce & Gabbana shades

in the California summer to disguise

the imperfections behind her slutty hazel gaze.

Chanel Number 5 is the scent that remains;

it stalks as I get drunk off cheap liquor store wine and

down pills in this suffocating, sun-deprived apartment.

She parades down Rodeo Drive with a knock-off

Gucci bag and a papparazi mob all around.

I swear, telling by all these fuckin’ piranhas with cameras,

you would think she was someone important.




I could never get her off that damned Blackberry!

She wore it like a third earring.

And now they have these bluetooth thingies where

you don’t even have to hold the phone anymore—

Like she needs incentive to be any lazier.

Oh, she’s such a rich girl now!

Rockin’ that California girl swagger;

UGGS and blue jeans in the summertime,

flip flops and daisy dukes in the wintertime.

She’s become a slave to superficial items,

caught up in the hype of Hollywood,

forgetting how life was before all the fame and fortune.

© 2012 by Charles Banks, Jr.

Writing as CURIOSITY

Excerpt from “End of the Road”

Published by and Caution Tape Poetry

© 2012 by Charles Banks, Jr. Writing as CURIOSITY; Art by Selena Howard