Welcome back! Today, I’m thrilled to spotlight author Maxwell I. Gold. I had the pleasure of meeting Maxwell at StokerCon in June, and one of the things I remember most about him is how we both repeatedly complimented each other’s fashion choices during the convention. The other thing I remember is how kind and helpful he was throughout StokerCon, which meant that I was quite happy to hear that he was going to be the Interim Executive Director for HWA. We’re lucky to have someone so dedicated at the helm of the organization.
Recently, Maxwell and I discussed his new book, Bleeding Rainbows and Other Broken Spectrums, along with his love of prose poetry and what he’s got planned next.
A couple icebreakers to start: when did you first decide to become a writer, and who are some of your favorite authors?
I’ve always loved to write, ever since I was little – well, younger, since I’ve always been on the shorter side. Actually, I had (still have) a small, velvet-bound spiral notebook with a bunch of poorly written short stories I penned when I was in 5th grade because I knew then I’d always wanted to be an author. You can imagine the mockery in the late 1990’s from a bunch of elementary kids. Some of the earliest writers I read were actually not horror, but I grew up reading J.R.R. Tolkien, Alexandre Dumas, Robert Louis Stevenson, and many classical writers.
Some of my favorite writers include Clark Ashton Smith, Algernon Blackwood, Robert Chambers, Comte de Lautreamont, and many contemporary authors including Lucy A. Synder, Paula D. Ashe, Michael Bailey, Matthew M. Bartlett and recently I’ve fallen in love with the work of Tom Cardamone.
Congratulations on your collection, Bleeding Rainbows and Other Broken Spectrums. What was the inspiration for the book, and what themes in particular do you feel are most important in Bleeding Rainbows?
The book arose out of a discussion with Hex Publisher founder, Josh Viola after agreeing to do a poetry collection for his publishing company. He asked if I might be interested in exploring homoerotic poetry, so, I began to wonder at the possibilities of combining both the weird and cosmic with homoerotic.
The collection follows a path through colors and feelings starting with the obvious crimson red desire, ending with dark uncertainty. It was my hope that the collection, while pulling at the erogenous (yes, you read that correctly), primal subconscious desires that lurk inside all of us – I wanted to tug at something darker and more urgent. The other. The fear that there’s something else on the other side of the closet door. I tried to touch on themes both historical and psychological including toxic masculinity, abusive relationships, and the gay civil rights movement.
There’s a lot packed into 66 poems.
I’m a huge fan of prose poetry, and your particular approach to it is both beautiful and horrifying in all the best ways. What inspires you to write prose poetry? Do you remember your earliest experience as a reader of prose poetry?
The musicality of prose poetry is something that I greatly enjoy, and I’m inspired by almost everything and anything I can find when it comes to crafting new poems. Dreams, random word associations, or even side conversation can spark the strangest line of poetry where I’m taken down a rabbit hole into a bizarre, twisted place. Oftentimes, whenever I wake from a vivid dream (or nightmare) I’ll write down the images or deranged sequence of events then revisit it later. There’s no one singular well as to which I draw inspiration from, though I feel that’s safe to say for many of us as writers.
Some of the earliest bits of prose poetry I recall reading were honestly some of the old myths such as Metamorphosis by Ovid which qualifies more in the realm of epic poetry, though at a young age I found myself reading Ovid, Hesiod, Blake because I was in love with the beautiful imagery and fantastical sounds and places these poets were conjuring. I’ll admit that I did not discover horror until much more recently.
What upcoming projects are you working on?
My chapbook another Mythology which explores old myths through a new lense with queer representation will be released by Interstellar Flight Press in September.
I will have a new prose poetry collection released next year. I’m afraid I cannot announce the publisher yet, but I promise you’ll know, soon!
And of course, you can find Bleeding Rainbows and Other Broken Spectrums on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and through Hex Publishers directly! If you order a hardback copy through the publisher you’ll receive a special bookmark (and that’s all I’ll say).
I’ve written a few poems for anthologies that are coming out this year including Back 2 OmniPark (ed. Ben Thomas and Alicia Hilton) from House Blackwood, Playlist for the Damned (ed. Willow Dawn Becker and Jess Landry) from Weird Little Worlds.
Where can we find you online?
Big thanks to Maxwell I. Gold for being part of this week’s author interview series!