Interview with Robert Zimmermann

Today on my blog, I have the wonderfully poetic Robert Zimmermann with me! Robert is a writer. Most of the time his thoughts will grace the pages in the form of poetry, but occasionally some short pieces of fiction will show their faces. His work mainly touches on experiences that shape who he is today and are emotionally engaging but easily accessible to those not familiar with much poetry. When Robert isn’t writing for himself, he’s writing to help others. In his blog, A Life Among The Pages, Robert posts numerous book reviews, interviews, and other book related posts to help out fellow writers in any way he can.

How qualified is Robert for all of this? Well, he holds and A.A. in Humanities and a B.A. in Creative Writing. Basically it boils down to him having a lot of downtime living at home. At least he has a cute puppy to keep him company while he’s busily at work on writing his first collection of poems.

 Hi Rob, it’s nice to have you here, welcome to my blog.

Thank you for having me here.

First off, a bit of randomness…do you always wear a hat?

The simple answer: Yes. For the most part I don’t wear hats when I’m sleeping. But once I wake up, I throw a hat on to walk the dog. Then when I’m cooking, I normally wear a hat.

Sometimes when I’m writing, I’ll wear a few different hats. Not at the same time, though, that’d be silly. I’ll be working on something and feel like the hat I’m wearing is uncomfortable, so I’ll throw that one off and grab another that fits differently.

I own many hats. Currently I have three hanging on the wall over my desk so they are easy to reach when needed.

 

You know what mother said kids, always have a hat handy! I love that you have different writing hats though. So first  real question, why did you decide to start writing poems? Was there a special reason?

I’m not sure if it was exactly a decision I made to start writing poems. There was a conscious thought of “I can totally write a poem.” But I think once that first one was out of the way, something just clicked inside of me. Poems became more a way to sort my thoughts out and discover more about myself, as unoriginal as that sounds.

In regards to writing poetry instead of another writing form, I think it’s because I feel I can put much more of “me” into a poem than a piece of fiction. Also, poetry comes much easier and more natural to me than prose. I do try my hand at it when a good idea comes.

 

So what do you normally base your poems on, is there a muse for them?

In my earlier poems, there are a few muses I could definitely name. Those were mainly centered around people I had a romantic relationship with. I have way too many of those poems, haha.

In the last few years I’ve slowed down my writing production, but I think the quality has drastically increased. With this change, the muses or points of inspiration have changed. No longer are my poems about a romantic encounter or fantasy situation. I’ve been reaching into my past; back into my years growing up and some recent tragic events as well. These muses have been the toughest for me to welcome, but the outcome has been very rewarding.

 

Your secret’s out now, if anyone has seen your earlier poems! 😉 It’s brilliant that you can use your poems to work out events from your past though, it must be very healing in a way. So on that note, would you ever consider writing a full novel?

Hmm….no? I don’t think I’ll ever say “No, I will never write such and such.” As I said earlier, I don’t really write prose. But at the same time, it’s something that I hope to explore eventually. I’ve had short story ideas, and I’ve had other ideas brewing in my head. I think some of them could work for a quick short story, if I sit down for long enough to develop my prose skills more. If one of those ideas warrants a book length effort, so be it. I don’t think anyone should ever shy away from something if that’s where an idea wants to go.

 

Sounds good, I’ll look out for your debut novel! 🙂 So where can we find your poems?

I have my poems up in a few places on the web. For my earlier pieces, the ones I’m more embarrassed about (but will still let your readers take a look at) they can be found on a website called Dreamers Reality. I have MANY poems here, but have in the last two years stopped posting them on that site. Since graduating college I want to keep my stuff to myself until I’m ready to either publish it myself or get it published in journals or magazines.
For more current work I have a section of my blog for the poems I have posted there.

Lastly, here is a site where I’ve had my first “official” publication. It’s an organization called Albany Poets. It’s a growing organization that helps bring poetry to my region of New York, but it’s spreading its reach rapidly. (http://albanypoets.com/2012/04/new-poetry-robert-zimmermann/)

I took at a look at your poems, and thought they were fantastic. My favourite one was ‘Behind The Mask’, quite a few things in that poem rang true with me as well. So go and take a look everyone. Go on, now! And then come back here. What can we expect to see from you in the future?

In the (hopefully) near future, I plan on publishing a collection of my poetry. It’ll be my first and will be sort of the culmination of all the hard work that went into developing my writing skills through years of practice and schooling.

This collection will be very personal, emotional, and has already proven that it’s very tough to write. I hope to speed up the writing process, but I need to keep the same amount of effort, so I can’t give a publication date as of yet. I’m aiming for something between now and the end of the year. So be on the lookout for more updates in the coming months.

 

We will definitely be keeping a sharp eye out for them, I’m sure you’re going to go from strength to strength. One last random question, who would win in a fight? A poet with a pen, or a novelist with a quill?

I think the poet has more of an advantage in that fight. His pen will be better to stab the novelist with. The quill could easily break. With that said, though, the novelist would probably have a knife with him in order to have a sharp quill. So he could just use the knife as a weapon, overpowering the pen. On the other hand, again, the poet probably has years of pent up anger and issues that he has been waiting for the right moment to release. This fight could easily be the right moment. He’d turn all Poet-Hulk on the novelist and win the fight hands down.

 

I just have a brilliant image of a ‘Poet-Hulk’ in my head now, bit scary! But cool. 😀  You can find out more about Rob Zimmermann on Facebook, Twitter, and on his blog. Thank you for being here, Rob, it’s been brilliant having you here, and I hope you can come back soon.

Also, here is one of Robert’s newest poems, just for you lucky folks to enjoy! Now don’t say we don’t spoil you!

“Benefit of a Morning Walk”

The sun rose up

the far side of the valley.

As each minute passed,

colors changed

the clouds; works of art.

The sky, a fresco

displayed on the world’s ceiling

with me, the only one,

to take it all in.

_____

The moment passed swiftly,

with the clouds parting

and the vibrant colors blending

into a monochromatic backdrop of blue.

_____

The sun now climbs higher

bringing a stifling heat

in its wake.

I am forced to seek shade.

_____

As I rest in the cooling

shadows of an oak,

the back of my eyelids

replay the morning’s masterpiece.

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6 thoughts on “Interview with Robert Zimmermann

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