Book Name and Description: Poetry for the Neon Apocalypse, a poetry book for the endtimes, about witch covens, punk rock intimacies, and the occasional omnicide.
What gave you the idea for Poetry for the Neon Apocalypse?
Well, I had been writing poetry for five years, and editors liked my work enough to place my pieces in a good number of journals. One of my first poems was titled “(no) fur”, in which I killed a small woodland creature. Flush with this newfound power, I began killing off humans in some of my poems, and then destroying cities, and eventually eviscerating whole civilizations. Eventually, I had enough of these apocalyptic poems that I was able to put together this 70-page book.
What got you into writing in this genre?
I am from New England. I cannot stand to read another poem about a tree or a stream or a goddamned lilypad. I began writing in rebellion.
How long have you been writing?
I learned to read and write and really appreciate poetry in college. Then I took twenty years to live life, and I was basically a consumer. For the past five years, I’ve been making friends with more and more artists, and I felt like producing something, rather than consuming everything. As an artist friend told me last week – let’s make things that weren’t.
What is the writing process like for you? What is your writing day like? What have been the biggest influences on your writing?
I run restaurants and bars, and usually there’s not much to do between 10 pm and midnight, so I get into my writing process in those late nights. I also do a lot of writing while taking the T – the train in Boston – as it jolts underground from stop to stop.
What is your favorite book (other than your own book, of course) and why? What book disappointed you and why?
Necromancer by William Gibson is my favorite book.
There are a lot of disappointing books. The most recent book reading that disappointing was Seveneves by Neal Stephenson – loved the apocalyptic bits, and then the second half falls off of a cliff by being too ambitious.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Anything – ANYTHING – to take notes. I continue to carry scrap paper everywhere, and write down quotes, inspiration for new work, or a new rock band I need to research.
Also: backup software. Backup your work!
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
My friend Slimedog does punk music reviews in Boston. He told me “Always write like you are being punched in the face.”
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I’ve reached out to local magazines, journals, and websites that have previously published information on poetry. I also reached out to a lot book reviewers on the internet. Finally, I reached out to all of the editors that had previously published my work.
For my book release party, I booked five female-fronted punk bands to play at a local music venue.
In truth, this is a poetry book from a first-time author, and it will probably sell 30 to 50 copies. If I could get it Banned in Boston, or if I could get some puritanical group to start burning copies, then I might double my sales.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
“inside a salem parlor” is a poem I wrote for a friend of mine in Salem. Britt Whitman is a tattoo artist in Salem, and I wrote this piece thinking about her, and it has been published in a few literary journals..
What are you doing next?
I am writing a poetry book called “The Language of Martians”. I would like to tell poetry that Martians will enjoy, once we get there as a species.
After living in Los Angeles for many years, Jake is now back in his home city of Boston. Runs rad restaurants. Thrives in a habitat of bars, punk rock shows, and late-night adventures.
Jake writes about the edges of society, and frequently about the things we no longer see, such as the hidden letters of the alphabet (“recanted”). With a strong background in cyberpunk and the hard sciences, he has a focus on the intersection of technology and human interaction. The reader will find him equally comfortable inside a mosh pit, or enjoying a 12-course dinner service.