What do you do?
I am a published poet, fictionist, essayist, book reviewer, photographer, painter, carpenter, guitarist, and amateur social scientist.
Tell us what it’s like to be your age?
Being sixty-eight years old is not the same as anything I have ever experienced before. After falling from my cabin roof twelve years ago my ongoing disabilities make everything I do harder, which takes more time. But my self-esteem would suffer immeasurably if I failed to complete any of these important projects.
What do you have now that you didn’t have at 25?
I am celebrating almost thirty-nine years of marriage with the love of my life. I met her at the age of seventeen, fell madly in love with her, but we did not get together for good until we were both twenty-nine years old and had children from other marriages. She not only saved me from my inevitable self-destruction but has grown with me exponentially along the way.
And what about sex?
Even after twenty years since our children left the nest and made their own lives our sex life has never been better, especially in the last year. We continually seek new ideas and options to enrich our already great sexual encounters. We experiment and discuss everything that comes to mind. Communication is critical to the enrichment of our lives.
My wife and I have a few people our age that we occasionally see out and about, but we generally keep to ourselves. Neither one of us wants real close friends as it requires too much of our time. We are private people and actually enjoy our time together.
How free do you feel?
We have downsized and live simply. However, due to us both being raised in a suppressive culture, and both being confirmed in the Lutheran Church, and then me growing up in the backwoods of northern Michigan, occasional feelings of frustration and despair surface which does offer opportunities for growth as unlearning lessons and indoctrination of the past still take front and center in our consciousness.
What are you proud of?
As a minor writer and amateur photographer I travel, compose literary reviews, and occasionally create a poetic artifact. Besides being a poet with four collections published, I have also written a book of shorter prose (Shorter Prose) and have a novel collection of lyrical fiction titled Stamped Against the Night as well as a fiction/literary criticism titled Ailene Nou. My latest book, a memoir, The Mad Habit centers on our long relationship with friend, mentor, editor, and teacher Gordon Lish.
I have also written, directed, and produced five short art films titled Gnoman’s Bois de Rose, Biscuits and Striola, The Tools of Migrant Hunters, My Father’s Kitchen, and Cropped Out 2010.
What keeps you inspired?
Good books, music, new ideas and sexual fantasies, nude photographs of my wife, and the occasional adventure traveling the country in our little RV.
When are you happiest?
Happiness is fleeting for me and not something I expect to hold on to forever. But in light of this, I continually do what is required of me to attain even a momentary happiness. The great French philosopher Gilles Deleuze claimed we are always in a state of becoming, which is good enough for me.
And where does your creativity go?
I am always writing whether it is poetry, fiction, essays, a travelog, or book review. I am also constantly reading, as well as researching whatever topic or sexual fantasy comes to mind or demands something of me. I also practice and learn new songs on my guitar when I am not building a porch or shed or repairing downed fences due to hurricanes and fallen trees. We publish five times per week on our website The Rogue Literary Society which is located at https://rogueliterarysociety.com/
What’s your philosophy of living?
First, I do what needs to be done. Second, I treat others as I wish to be treated. And third, I try to be the best version of myself I can be. I really do not wish to have regrets over what I failed to even try, and I am averse to feeling guilty for my past mistakes due to my upbringing and prior ignorance. It is what it is.
In the end I am not afraid of dying, but I am afraid of the unknown process leading up to it. I would like to ensure I have something to say about how I do go out. I don’t believe in eternal life and I’m not even sure I would want it anyway.
Are you still dreaming?
Of course I still dream. I will always dream. I admit to somewhat living in my own mind, and I prefer virtual relationships to the real thing, but never in matters regarding my wife.
What was a recent outrageous action of yours?
This past summer, during our nine-week trip out west and then on our return back home to Florida camping through the upper peninsula of Michigan, we conducted no less than seven amazing nude photo shoots in both natural and sometimes public settings focusing on my sixty-eight year old wife.