Artist: Bucky Sinister
Section: Interview
Importance: An excellent writer that few have heard of.
The Plug: Read his book King of the Roadkills.

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 lost it?
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.