Recently I was invited to sit down with poetry editors Maureen Clifford and Loretta Leslie of The Australia Times Magazine of Queensland, Australia. The interview can be seen and read in the upcoming edition at their website; www.theaustraliatimes.com
As a sneak preview for our followers, we are posting the text of that interview here:
You were born in Osaka, Japan. What are your memories of living in that country?
None, as we were only there in my infant years. I was lucky however that my father was an avid photographer who recorded our time there on 8mm film. Watching those movies now accentuates the starkness of post war Japan of the late 1940’s.
You have travelled extensively growing up. How did that influence who you are?
The opportunity for exposure to varieties of cultures, peoples and places is priceless. Travel can both broaden and deepen an appreciation of the commonalities and differences we all share in one manner or another. I hope those experiences are identifiable in my works for many readers.
Branch Isole’s writing world is where Mana'o takes shape as short stories. What does Mana’o mean?
Mana’o (pronounced, Ma Na O) is Hawaiian for “Thoughts, Ideas and Opinions”.
Living on the island of Maui, Hawaii when I started writing, “Mana’o” aptly portrays the ‘Observation/Commentary’ style of my short story poetry.
Voyeurism Poetry has been used to describe your work. How did the title come about?
To be a ‘Voyeur’ is to be one who observes. My works are a process of ‘Looking Out, Seeing In’ and realizing we are not alone in our struggles. The best and the worse of what we observe globally lives embroiled within each of us. Our challenge is to change the world by changing ourselves for the better.
What does it mean to be a Voyeuristic Poet?
To be a ‘Voyeuristic Poet’ is to be a writer who observes commonly shared life themes and emotions, and then comments on its distillation to encourage reflective identity for and by the reader. Unlike most poets my works are not autobiographical. The focus on my story characters and emotions are those of my readers. My erotica pieces are written in first person (whether the main character is female or male). In this way the reader becomes the Voyeur.
Your recent blog post starts poetically: “The door to success hangs on two hinges. Insecurity and security.” What is your conclusion to this?
Insecurities are the bane of our existence as individuals. Each of us is plagued by doubts and issues concerning ourselves or our place in the world. We often magnify these to levels that hold us back like a closed, locked door hindering our growth opportunities. Overcoming insecurities by recognizing our true nature allows us to oil the hinges, open the door and move forward in life. My works are designed to aid the reader in this effort.
“Only poetry has the capacity to create with each line, a new fate.” How does this influence your writing?
Every line in poetry has power in its singularity and as part of the whole. Poetic versatility of changing a word, even a punctuation mark, can alter the tone or meaning of a poem. Each story line embodies an opportunity to express or change everything for the writer and for the reader. This writing power is untouched and unmatched by any other form of prose.
Barking Geckos is the name of one of your poetry books. Tell us why you are enamoured of the gecko.
Geckos are a prolific part of the Hawaiian environment and lifestyle. A symbol of good luck, their size and color renditions brighten and decorate many households. The geckos’ endearing presence in Hawaiian culture prompted its use as the cover art for my first book of short story poetic prose.
“As with life’s finer things, poetry is created to be savoured, not consumed.” How does this translate to your work?
Poetry offers unique opportunities to read ‘between the lines’ for meaning or nuance. As such, depending on the reader’s state of being, well written poetry can provide multiple impressions with subsequent readings. My works employ twists and turns of plots, scenarios and characters designed to leave the reader saying, “Wow” when they’re finished. If I’ve done my job, each time they come back to re-read, they may experience a new revelation, depth or emotion from the piece.
Who is your favourite poet? Please quote a verse.
While admiring many across the spectrum of poetry, my favourite poet is Anessa Blaine. This verse is from her poem; “i give him me”
wet and curled,
i toss and burn in placebo abandon
and lull myself into sleep. . . .
i embody, already, tomorrow’s memory
and yesterday's malady.
...and all my unknown life,
outside, [it rains
inside] without restraint.
i sw.allow certain indulgences
like my fingers silent tracing of mimicry panes.
My thanks to The Australia Times for recently publishing four of my poems and for the opportunity to speak with them and to their readers.
Questions or comments are always welcome from our readers and followers. Please use the contact link, Meet the Author.
All the best,
In the Hawaiian language, "Mana'o" (ma na o) is the word used to describe 'thoughts, ideas, and opinions'.
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Please be advised that works by Branch Isole are written for adults, containing adult material and language, some of which is sexual in nature. All works are
intended for mature audiences.