My favorite poet is Arthur Rimbaud. His work Illuminations left a profound mark in my soul. I recently found a blog in The Guardian written years ago and entitled: “Rimbaud was no genius: The vagabond prodigy promised greatness but never delivered.” I beg to differ...
NY Glam: What three social topics/theme do you care mostly about and why?
Discrimination, abuses of power, and climate change. To some extent they overlap. I despise discrimination with its claim to primordial identities…
NY Glam: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Read. Write. Do not compare yourself with others. Stay close to people who inspire and help. Stay true to your heart… Forget about social constraints. Social constraints are put in place by structures of power that fear talent of any kind. They fear progress because…. Greatness always encounters resistance.
I would be very grateful to you if you could read the entire interview HERE.
There is a new poem by Merry Maiden up at MasticadoresUSA. There are other great features coming up this week so please stay tuned.
Thank you to everyone you follows MasticadoresUSA. Building a community is a very difficult endeavor. I deeply appreciate your visits and your likes.
Free Verse Revolution Issue II (hermes) is out. Congratulations to the contributors, and thank you to Kristiana Reed, its wonderful editor, for featuring an interview with me and two pieces of my poetic prose.
Below please find the interview. I will feature my published pieces in future posts.
Free Verse Revolution Issue II Interview with Gabriela Marie Milton
KRISTIANA: We would love for you to introduce yourself and share when you began writing and why you decided to share your work with others?
GABRIELA: I may have scribbled some poetry in high school, but basically, I started writing in the period between my undergraduate studies and my graduate ones. Now, I write poetry and short prose under the name Gabriela Marie Milton. Three or four years ago, I published my first poems under Gabriela M. Today, my standard introduction is: Hello My Dear Readers, I am Gabriela Marie Milton, 2019 Author of the Year at Spillwords Press NYC, author of Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, editor of MasticadoresUSA, and author of the forthcoming collection of poems and poetic prose entitled Woman: Splendor and Sorrow to be published by Vita Brevis Press this summer. My favorite poet is Arthur Rimbaud. My all-time favorite novelist is Lawrence Durrell. My heart trembles at Salvador Dali’s surrealism, and it is stolen by Chopin every other week. To enchant some readers who may find such an introduction boring, here is a little more about me: I love Italian food, narrow cobbled streets, cats, and oceans. My favorite color is mauve. I was born in Europe, and I live in the USA. Honestly, initially it was not my decision to share my work, as intriguing as it may sound. Yet, things happened. I will leave it at that.
KRISTIANA: How would you describe your collection, Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, to those new to your work?
GABRIELA: To me the collective unconscious– as conceptualized by Jung – represents another level of existence that we, as humans, share. In Passions I tried to penetrate that level and bring out perhaps its most important element: memories. Passions is a book of vivid and lush images brought to light using symbolist, surrealist, and romantic techniques. It is a book for everyone. It is a call to immortality. It is a journey through the corridors of our collective unconscious. I wrote Passions – like all my other writings – almost in a trance. Passions is that which I feel, not necessarily that which I know. Some pieces included in Passions are influenced by Gnosticism with which I first became acquainted by reading Umberto Eco, Jorge Luis Borges, Lawrence Durrell, and others. To wrap it up, Passions is what Christina Schwarz, the author of the New York Times Bestseller “Drowning Ruth,” described as “a fantastic world ripe with emotion.” I am deeply grateful to her for that description.
KRISTIANA: Your prose pieces often have dominant themes of love and heartache, what draws you to romantic storytelling?
GABRIELA: Mama used to say that I am a romantic story. I, the subject, am the same with the object (i.e. my story). The object does not exist independent from me. Something similar to the concept of endopathy anticipated by Dante: “he who would paint a figure, if he cannot become that figure, cannot portray it.” Yet, when mama said what she said she was not thinking of Dante. She was thinking of Kant’s transcendental idealism. She made me read Kant when I was in high school. I did it with packs of ice on my head. On every page there were about 10 to15 words that I did not understand. It was an interesting experience to say the least.
KRISTIANA: What are your inspirations? Are they musical, literary, ekphrastic, or all three?
GABRIELA: Something more than all three together: the plan of the unconscious. From there my inspiration flows like a river. In there, I find light and darkness, the whole and its parts, sonorous images with their unmistakable language, memories of the future and of the past, the sound of germinating wheat, the entire world.
KRISTIANA: You recently announced your next collection is coming soon, can you give us a synopsis and explain the impact you hope this collection will have on your readers?
GABRIELA: Woman: Splendor and Sorrow, is a collection of love poems and poetic prose. I hope my readers will be interested in this collection. It will be published by Vita Brevis Press at the end of July. Here is part of what I wrote in the dedication in an attempt to describe my own book:
My Dear Readers, My favorite novelist, Lawrence Durrell, once asked:
“Who invented the human heart, I wonder? Tell me, and then show me the place where he was hanged.” If you read this book, you will find that place. Yet make no mistake. It is not a sad place. In the pages you are about to read, I resurrect the one who invented the human heart. The splendors of candlelight and roses and the taste of gingerbread dwell in this book. Partake in them. The core of this book is love. Yet you will also find in it philosophical thoughts on literature, on winning and losing, on hate, on feminism, and on life in general. My dear reader, from wherever you are in this world, walk with me on the beautiful path of the human heart. I promise you will not regret doing so. On this road you will find love and the symbols that define us as humans.
KRISTIANA: Issue II draws upon Hermes from the Olympic pantheon, why do you think we continue to reinvent and rejuvenate myths and stories of old? Do you have a particular myth/story you remember fondly?
GABRIELA: Oh, myths, none of our civilizations have ever survived without them. We all have a mythical part so to speak. Myths express ontological and moral ideas. Their splendid supernaturality reflects our desire to transcend the materiality of the world, to find our beginnings, and to anticipate the future. Codes, symbols. Their faces may change in time, but they never become old.
I have many stories I remember fondly. However, in myths, as well as in most major religions, there is one thing that fascinates me the most: the fall. Something goes wrong with our world because somebody errs. In most cases that somebody is a woman. Certain Gnostics believe that our material world is not the creation of the real God. The world is the creation of the demiurge (a lesser God) who came into being because of Sophia’s fall. I remember when I first visited Santorini. One early morning, caught between its breathtaking views and the blue of the Mediterranean, I realized that nobody could have ever lived in Greece without concocting myths. The beauty of that place refuses itself to rationality. One needs an entire mythology to absorb it.
KRISTIANA: Would you describe yourself as multifaceted like Hermes? Could you use three words to describe yourself?
GABRIELA: Hermes is a fascinating figure. He is the messenger of Gods. Some see him as the Logos itself. However, Hermes is also the god of thieves and liars. The Greeks did not leave one single human trait without a God. You must hand it to them. To answer your question, I do not think of myself as multifaceted. Three words to describe myself: I am mystery. Why? Because I am like anyone else. We all have a sight that we do not understand. Perhaps we are not supposed to.
KRISTIANA: You are a long time, and very appreciated, supporter of FVR and other online platforms, what do you feel the online community has brought to the traditional world of writing and publishing?
GABRIELA: The online community allows people to express their talents without having to go through more cumbersome conventional processes. It gives voice to the poor, and to the misunderstood. It gives voice to those who are unconventional. It allows us to dwell in a multiplicity of talents. It forces us to rediscover ourselves.
Thank you for reading. Please download the entire issue here.
There are two beautiful poems up at MasticadoresUSA.