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.
A LINK TO CHARLES’ POEM: A MOTHER’S ABANDON ON IN STEREO PRESS: THE AUDIO ZINE!