October 6, 2014

Hello, Poets and Poetry Lovers! I am excited to announce the release of my seventh book of poems and fourth poetry chapbook on October 6, 2014. It will initially be available on Lulu.com, and starting in November, on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. From now until the book’s release, I will be posting poem excerpts on this blog!

Here is the synopsis to the book, written by fellow poet Sonia Di Placido:

“Classic poetic forms combined with the modern confessional of free verse, these poems inhabit a succinctly woven rhymes, verses and stanzas while professing the profoundest faith in romantic love–entanglement, desire, erotic sharing and compulsion. This is a “hopeless confession” filled with the irony of hope in love. Soft, gentle, fearless and shameless admonitions of losing oneself in the other are no threat. The delusion and sacrifice towards the profession of love remain an insignificant pleasure. The confessions here return to Neruda’s erotic–loss of self parallels and postulates entirety. Love resonates as the opposite of self gratification and self preservation. There are no boundaries. A poet speaks in tandem with the ancient scribes of Egyptian Love Poems–sharing an exotic papyrus of altruistic love.”

*As written by Poet Sonia Di Placido.

 

© 2014 by Charles Banks, Jr. Writing as Curiosity ISBN: 978-1-312-46796-5 Published by Lulu.com and Spilt Ink Poetry.

© 2014 by Charles Banks, Jr.
Writing as Curiosity
ISBN: 978-1-312-46796-5
Published by Lulu.com and Spilt Ink Poetry.

My New Book Cover!

Check out my new book cover!

“Confessions of a Hopeless Romantic” (Writing as Curiosity) is coming soon! Stay tuned for details!

 

Confessions of a Hopeless Romantic

Burdens Q & A (with Charles Banks, Jr.)

Burdens Q and A
with Charles Banks, Jr. (Author of Burdens)
 
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1. What was the inspiration behind this particular project? There were a myriad of themes for Burdens. At its core, this chapbook of poetry is about loss—loss of identity, of naivety, of self. I think the speaker in this book is struggling to make sense of recent events. Black Angel is trying to use past experiences to make sense of his current frame of mind. For a lack of a better term, he’s become a zombie of sorts.
2. How did this particular project come to fruition? For the past five years, you have written primarily as Curiosity. In fact, your last three books have been penned as Curiosity. So why shift over to Black Angel for the first time since 2008 for an entire body of work? In hindsight, I wanted to explore who Black Angel’s voice was in poetry before I committed to another project. I was working on another piece of writing, and a couple of months into the process, the vision in my head did not match the writing. I was telling a different story than I wanted to. This particular writing told a far deeper story of lament and anxiety and discomfort.
3. Discomfort? In what way? Meaning a sense of being unsettled. It’s well chronicled now that I had cancer last year. I can’t think of anything else that would make one any more unsettled than a life-threatening disease. In the last year, I have tried to objectively, emphasis on ‘objectively’, analyze my life. I’ve learned some new things about myself. And I think some of those newfound realizations manifest themselves in Burdens.
4. How did you decide on the poem sequence for Burdens? Well, I like to focus on the beginning and end. Meaning, I like to choose the first and last poem initially, and work in the guts in between. I felt the most impressionable poems, the poems that wholly encompassed the book’s theme were “Bedside Vigil” and “Finale.” It’s interesting because “Bedside Vigil” was the last poem I wrote for the book, and “Finale” was the first poem I wrote.
5. How difficult is it to write about such an emotional, human moment in time like you did in “Bedside Vigil”? That was probably one of the easier poems to write. Though, it was difficult to determine how much detail was too much. I had a difference of opinions with my editor about specific details. She wanted more! But I wanted the focus of the poem on Tony, his fading grip on life, and the narrator and his early deterioration into regret.
6. How real is the moment you wrote about in “Finale”? It was very real to me. I’ve never spoken to someone who had contemplated suicide before about the experience. I can only reflect from my perspective. I wrote that during radiation treatment, which was the greatest test of wills in my life. I was mid-way through a 37 session treatment, and had lost a significant amount of weight. I went from 200 pounds to 126 altogether. I was depressed! The radiation had damaged my taste buds, so I stopped eating. I did not drink water either because it tasted like lead. So I ended up at the beach one night. I don’t remember how I got there. In my frailness, I walked two miles at 3 in the morning with a knife and a suicide note in tote, and I sat at an empty life guard’s post. And for that short window of time, I contemplated the idea of dying. At that moment in time, I did not want to live.
7. Why do you think you did live? The pros of living outweighed the cons. My life felt incomplete. I can say that because I was 24 at the time. I mean, whose life is really complete at 24? My narrative would be incomplete if I had died on that night. So I made a conscious decision, in the wake of the most unconscious moment of my life, to live. Sometimes, the act of living is a choice. I chose to live.
 
*Carla Westbrook
for Spilt Ink Poetry
 
Art by © 2014 by Fernando Gallegos
Art by © 2014 by Fernando Gallegos

Solace (Writing as Black Angel)

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Solace

To tune out the horrid sounds
of the outside world,
I will do anything!
It should be outlawed to openly discuss
celebrity tweets and political scandals.
Well, at least outside of coffee shops,
sports bars on Super Bowl Sunday,
and crowded Irish pubs on St. Patrick’s Day.
Such extraneous talk is not worth absorption.
I’ll settle for a dingy gray hoodie,
Beats headphones
blaring a symphony of Marshall Mathers
my encomium transmitters
of pertinent information
an outlet from impurity and bullshit.

© 2014 by Charles Banks, Jr.
Writing as Black Angel

The Pits (Writing as Black Angel)

 
Art by © 2014 by Fernando Gallegos

Art by © 2014 by Fernando Gallegos

THE PITS
 
I sink deep
into the nothing
into the meaningless.
 
Drenched…
in the bottomless wells
the unknown universes
the untamed jungles.
 
Trapped…
I deteriorate
into loathing of self
into torture of self.
 
Coerced…
into obvious depression
into blatant denial
I submerge myself.
 
Deeper…
I steer the sinking ship
into the treacherous waters
into submission.
 
I sink deeper
into isolation
into comfort
I immerse myself.
 
© 2014 by Charles Banks, Jr.
Writing as Black Angel
Excerpt from Burdens
Published by Spilt Ink Poetry

The Love I Desire (Writing as Curiosity)

 

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The Love I Desire

Boiled
Passionate
Unsolicited
Exposed to society
Unscripted kind of love.

Disobedient
Indisputable
Repulsive to others
Fourth of July kind of love.

Defiant
Eternal
Dangerous
Living-on-the-edge
Risky business kind of love.

Envious
Seductive
Unable to fathom
Soap opera kind of love.

© 2014 by Charles Banks, Jr.
Writing as Curiosity
All Rights Reserved

A Leaf Dried (Writing as Curiosity)

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A Leaf Dried
 
A leaf dried
Stepped on
Purposely
Scattered self.
 
Everything is dried
Parched goods
Loses life.
 
My heart
My trust
My reality.
 
Hope
Flutters by
Deserts…
 
A companion?
Another leaf dried?
 
Someone to share in the loneliness.
 
© 2014 by Charles Banks, Jr.
Writing as Curiosity
All Rights Reserved