Concrete Promises Q and A
with Charles Banks, Jr.
(Poet, Editor, Self-Publisher)
July 6, 2013
1. The cover of your book, Concrete Promises is a beautiful drawing of two hands intertwined. Who drew it? An old Facebook friend a couple of years ago. I remember connecting with her through our affinities for poetry, and I told her that I was looking for an artist to design the front cover to my book. She told me about some of the sketches she’d been working on and emailed that particular one. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it!
2. What inspired Concrete Promises? I wanted to write a chapbook of love poems. That’s what I began writing at age twelve. It’s my return to that hopeless, innocent time in my life. When everything seemed to be simple. Adulthood accompanies drama! Love should not involve theatrics.
3. What is meant by ‘Concrete Promises?’ It’s a promise that’s set in stone; it cannot be penetrated by doubt or skepticism. Even though those detriments are often present, attempting to create a tug of war, love prevails. It always will, in my opinion.
4. What’s your favorite poem in Concrete Promises? Timid Lips. That particular poem took two years and ten drafts to complete. It describes vulnerability from the male perspective, a rare thing in today’s society. I wanted to show Curiosity’s vulnerable side. He’s timid to give in to this very new feeling inside of him. He definitely cares deeply about his significant other, but he wonders just how real it is. He eventually succumbs to his emotions and learns to trust.
5. Do you see yourself one day finding this simplistic love that you so eloquently write about in Concrete Promises? I am not sure. Only time will tell, I assume. But I do aspire for as much. My heart does yearn to be loved by someone… genuine love, not the fake stuff that’s bombarded by television and music today. I am also aware of a few personal defects that tend to get in the way at times. Maybe when I become a better man, I’ll find the right woman to grow really old and gray and wrinkly with.