When I think about what kind of cool I want
to be, I'd
want to be cool like Bucky. But then Bucky would give me some
rap about being my own person, and then I'd feel bad. But he's still
really cool, and the author of King
of the Roadkills. It's a collection of short stories, poems,
and very disturbing cartoons.
Where did the name Bucky Sinister come from?
I'd been called Bucky for some time. When I started writing I didn't
want to use my real last name, so I picked an adjective that would
give it that Johnny Rotten or Sid Vicious type of feel: a totally
silly, non threatening first name, with a supervillain type adjective
for the second. I used it for the first time at an open mike in
Little Rock Arkansas. It stuck, obviously.
I met you at San Francisco State in some piece
of crap General Education Class. But when you weren't doing that,
you were involved in many poetry readings. How much thought do you
put into what your body does when you read your poetry, or does
it just come out?
it's pretty natural. I was in preacher training programs from the
age of 12, so I'm very comfortable with public speaking.
After S.F. State you said you sold out to
the man and worked for Sony?!? How was it, going from free wheeling
bohemia, to working for a Corporate Power House like Sony?
Great. Finally I had enough money to pay my rent. I wouldn't call
making $11 per hour selling out to the man, really. It sure beat
the $200 per week I was bringing home from the cafes. My rent then
was $400 per month. The only problem was they kept me as a temp
for two years. No bennys.
When I saw you at a recent poetry reading,
I noticed that you attract a lot of different kinds of people, and
you're able to speak to them all in their own style. Is it tough
for you to straddle the many worlds of corporate dude and indie
facial piercing guy? Provided that they're not the same guy.
See, you seem to have a
hangup on appearance. You've talked to me about this before.
I change my looks drastically on a regular basis. It's not about
that. All those people I attract, it's not a look, or a style, it's
an emotion. If you've lost everything you knew was true, if you
had your most trusted ally sell you out, if you were one of the
little children whom god hated, you'll dig my stuff.
Any advice for young writers/poets who are
looking to get published?
Be a writer first, a published writer second. So many people ask
me how they can get a book published when they haven't even written
one first. I have three manuscripts in the can and another really
bad novel I'm only keeping for shits and giggles. I've submitted
them all over the place and no one wants them. So what do I know?
If at all possible, keep your work off the slush pile. If it's listed
in the Writer's Market or the Poet's Market, and you don't have
a name for yourself yet, I would say get your work to the editor
of the desired publication through a back door.
Start small. Try the school magazine before the Paris Review.
In your book, King
of the Roadkills, you talk a lot about losing the American
Dream. What was your American Dream, and how old were you when you
I was brought up in a religious environment. That was my world.
We didn't just go to church, we lived it. Our plan was to save the
world. We were going to make the world a place without hunger, poverty,
and sickness. The American Dream is that if you work hard enough,
you can succeed at your goals. For me, that meant training and Bible
study, and lots of evangelizing. I gave my whole life to the cause
and it dumped me. See the poem in the book, The Crime of Dogma.
That's what it's all about. I've yet to find a revolution that will
die for me.
The reviews of
your book that I've read recommend it heavily for teenagers.
Would you be more or less screwed up now if you had read this book
as a teenager?
I would've been much better off. I wrote some of the book as a teenager,
actually. You're looking at a cherry picked version of my strongest
work from the ages of 17-24. That's why younger people are plugging
in so intensely.
I've met you just enough to know things about
your past, but not well enough to really know what kind of person
you are. So how autobiographical is this book. (Mostly I'm curious
about the human pin cushion story.)
The poems are generally word for word true to life. The fiction...well,
some of it is purely weird made up, I don't know where it came from
stuff. Other pieces are strangely close to home.
The Pegboard story comes from my religious experiences. There's
another influence that I'm not free to discuss in this forum about
some alleged events that may or may not have happened within a certain
group that will, of course, remain nameless. Basically, the main
character gave his life to a cause that used him up and threw him
away. The point of the story to me is that there are mistakes one
can make that are irreversible, but one must find a way to continue
one's life. I've done things in my life that I still find myself
retributing almost two decades later. That's how it is.
Read Bucky's Poem that's not in the book, MY
GIRLFRIEND IS WAY COOLER THAN WAYNE GRETZKY'S HELMET or buy
his book King
of the Roadkills.