@Stoop Kid, a well known member of the LanaBoards community (AKA Vinny Vidi Vici, SUNÐÅNCE KIÐ, SUNDANCEKID, SOFTSERVEKID, Daji and indianlovecall) is a New York born and raised poet. From the age of 11, he's felt a calling towards poetry. Since them, he has spent the past 13 years charming people around the world with his exquisitely crafted words and has recently been a featured poet on AllPoetry. Today I'm here to discover the man behind the Stoop...
Let's start at the beginning. What was the first poem you remember writing on your own?
Oh, fuck. You know what? I don't remember how it goes, really, but I do remember writing my first poem in third grade for some handbook assignment. For the record, it was a fucking terrible poem.
Was there a moment when you realized that writing was something you had the ability to do well?
I think I started to notice it when I began role-playing at a literate level on GaiaOnline, honestly. So that was probably back in my Junior year of high school. I didn't have my own account at that time because I had lost access to my older accounts, but I had a friend who also used Gaia that would ask me to keep up with some roleplays she would partake in if she got too busy to follow up with them. I would get involved in a few role-plays with a group of people, and we would all come together and challenge each other to grow as writers while creating stimulating, entertaining stories. I like to look back on a lot of them every once in a while. They were fucking awesome. I had come back into the community since then, though I haven't really found too many roleplays I'd enjoy.
Do you carefully choose the next words of your poems or do you let the words flow freely? Do you often edit your poems, or do you keep them in more of a raw state?
I have edited only maybe one or two of my poems since I started writing again two years ago. I find that I run into a problem editing where, eventually, I lose touch with the poem because it becomes stripped of its original sentiments. Back in high school, I didn't really have a voice as a poet; I became so focused on trying to fit standard structure and trying to be very Shakespearean-as-fuck with my words, that my poetry was just so false. I only wrote two poems back then, notwithstanding some lyrics that I had written around those years. They sucked. All of it did, haha. So now when I write, I let the words come to me as they do, I feel more honest to my work in that way.
Do you have a routine you follow?
When I write, I usually try to limit my time on a poem between fifteen-to-thirty minutes. For me, my reaction to the muse is the most raw in that time-frame. I never create the title util after the poem; very seldom will my titles be intended as the beginning of the poem, rather serving as an afterthought.
Do you feel that inspiration comes to you naturally or do you seek it out?
I never really seek out my inspiration, only because I start to idealize how I'd like to come upon it. So I let it come to me naturally.
Sometimes, I'll just experience a stream of consciousness, and a thought or sentiment I am having, will strongly stand out to me. That's often the place where most of my work manifests. I'll throw the line in the first draft, and in no particular order, build the poem around it, letting it fall wherever it seems right for it to.
We first met as Lana Del Rey fans. Do you feel her music, or music in general, has impacted your creativity?
Absolutely. In music and literature, especially, my creativity has always been really impressionable in regards to the artists and writers that inspire me. Twain, Lana, Nicole Dollanganger, Dear Euphoria, Sucré, Oscar & the Wolf, Mogwai, and Angus Stone, to name a few artists/bands, have helped me find my own voice as a writer. The works of Frank O'Hara, and Robert Plath, especially, impacted me.
Robert was actually a student of Allen Ginsberg's, and I took Robert's Creative Writing course in college two years ago. The man's work is fucking phenomenal. Very honest and beautifully unsettling. Had it not been for studying under him, I do not think I would have become so involved in writing again after high school. I am so grateful to know that guy.
What do you consider to be your greatest poem?
I love and take pride in pretty much all the poems I have written in the past few years, for so many reasons. However, if there is one poem I am the most proud of, it has to be 'Zombies in Snapbacks'.
What was the inspiration behind it?
I have this friend that I have been fond of for a few years now. Two years ago, he had came over for a Halloween party I was throwing. I dressed him up like a zombie; I went all out with the make-up and fake blood, I even let him wear my favorite Tom & Jerry snapback to add the finishing touch. He looked adorably fucking disgusting.
That whole night, I just really couldn't get over him. He is such a calm, easygoing, warm person. Not to mention really fucking handsome. So every time I would look at him, I was just buckling at my fucking knees and hiding my face.
It really became apparent to me back then how much I liked him. That was around the same time I was taking Robert's class, and one day, I was just thinking about my friend, and it just struck me on such an emotional level, that I just had to write about him. Next thing I knew, 'Zombies in Snapbacks' happened. That poem is actually the poem that started all of this.
I have written about other men in my life from time to time, but he is such an exception from them; he is still one of my greatest muses, though I never told him that, let alone told him how I felt. He still doesn't know this poem exists, and as much as I want to, I don't have the moxie to.
Fuck it, though. I had to answer this question honestly, because I don't really talk about that piece as much as I would like to. It deserves to be read.
Come 7:15, we bedecked your body
with stripped and frayed Armani
in tribute to the Walkers we've seen;
cool-white fluorescence drew emphasis
on the harmony between your ivory simper
and each cobalt marble that rolled
and flicked beneath your tuckered eyelids
by some sort of beatnik artistry
What do you consider to be your greatest failure?
I think my greatest failure probably has to be being too timid to challenge the fears that keep me from doing the things I want to most, especially in romance. I was always worried the worst thing could happen, so I found safety in silence.
How has that changed your writing?
It has made writing become a means to, I suppose, give myself that second chance to redeem myself for my lack of speaking upon my affections. I get to give these untold love stories a shot at being heard. I get to give myself a shot at being heard.
Has there been one heartbreak or death that's changed you as, not only a writer, but a person?
I mean, there have been many experiences of death and heartbreak that have shaped me as a person. I don't know if I can weigh the significance of one over the other. Both death and heartbreak taught me, to quote a video game I played quite a few years ago, that "it is the impermanence of things that makes them truly beautiful." I have come to accept the mortal nature of our existence, while remembering that the finite things, the finite lovers, are often immortalized as soon as they struck us in such a way that, even after they are long gone, they still pass our minds and stir up that warm feeling again.
You know, I never really figured out why I got so invested in painting my world through poetry rather than, say, in memoirs or other forms or literature. It just kind of happened, and before I knew it, I was collecting all these memories and sentiments in more and more poetry.
Comparisons to others comes easy, but do you ever compare your new works to past works?
Personally, everything I wrote before high school, I try to forget about just because it is all so fucking embarrassing, haha. In that way, I compare my work then-and-now.
But as far as the work I have done in the past two years go, I don't really compare them to each other. Even though a lot of them share the same emotions, each poem is as unique as a fingerprint in how they can translate that feeling.
What was the most difficult thing you've written - poetry or otherwise?
The most difficult thing I have written... Honestly, the roleplays on GaiaOnline have always been the most challenging. When you work with a community of writers with whom you share a level of literary prowess with, especially writers who are much more advanced than you, you challenge yourself to meet that consistency when telling a story while ensuring that you do not forget your own style.
In your opinion, what makes a poem "good"?
To me, what makes a poem "good," is that the poet sees it as good. When I was in night school my senior year, my class was given a project: to build benches for the courtyard of the school. I forgot his name, but a volunteer artist/carpenter mentored us. I wish I hadn't forgotten his name, because he had been such an influence on me as well.
Anyway, our first workshop with him, he said that the first rule of art, is that there are no rules in art. Nothing validates or invalidates the quality of art, because art is subjective. I love all my poems, but I am sure I have made people roll their eyes a few times with my work. Even so, I never think much about my audience when I write. It is amazing and overwhelmingly touching when people relate to my poems and love them strongly, but I write because I have to.
Is there creative medium you would like to pursue but haven't tried yet?
I have always wanted to get more involved in photography, but I have no idea where to start, haha. One day, I want to develop a video game. I already have a few series in mind, all I need is a team, haha.
Describe your writing in three words.
Corny and honest.
Where do you see your poetry five, ten and twenty years from now?
I never was one to think about the future, but if I had to give at least an idea, I'd want my poetry to be in a good place; still honest to who I am as a person. Getting a few books published would be fucking gnarly.
Stoop Kid After Dark
Here are some questions submitted by PHF users.
I am already scared.
Top or bottom?
OH MY GOD...
How many times do you masturbate in a day?
Where do you like to cum?
Wherever requires the least cleaning up.
Did you buy Cum Cake on iTunes?
Condom or bareback?
Depends on the person.
Daddies or twinks?
Speed Round: This or That?
Madonna or Gaga?
You can't ask me, "'Like a Virgin' or 'Summerboy'?" I am not a really big fan of either of them, but I do love quite a few of their songs.
Shania or Taylor?
George Strait or Hank Williams?
Heavy Metal or Blues?
Modern or Classic Country?
Depends on the artist.
Dolly or Reba?
THAT IS NOT A FAIR QUESTION. NOT ANSWERING.
Northern or Southern?
I do love Southern Hospitality.
Sweet Tea or Lemonade?
Lemonade, are you kidding?
Sunrise or Sunset?
#PopHatesFlops or Google?
Thank you so much for doing this interview. Are there any final words you'd like to say to our readers?
Take a bath every once in a while. You are all filthy. Do the best you know how. If you have a beard, call me.