PHOTOGRAPHED BY PETER STANGLMAYR
Suffering in the chains of guilt
Hoping for a release from pain
I nourish the rose that never wilts
Forever winning a hopeless gain
Either my eyes have stopped moving
Or my world has stood still
I can’t feel my heart beating
Nor do I think I ever will.
I wrote that poem when I was twelve, I felt locked into my mind with no escape. Being raised in the church made me feel like everything I was doing was wrong and I would be condemned. So a lot of the poetry from my early work is very torn and broken. I had a big breakdown at eighteen, which took years to recover from, and during that time I kept a journal. It’s compiled mostly of a poetic random stream of consciousness. Years later I put it on my computer and took my poetry from the past twelve years and hand-wrote the entire book, inserting poems from my life into the areas that made the most sense. It’s called “Selective Hearing.”
ERNEST BLUE: What was your childhood like?
Well, I was home-schooled, so it was in my power to correct my own work. I would get done early, then go out for the rest of the day taking pictures and meeting people.
ERNEST BLUE: Was it hard to meet people?
I am quite the social person, but I used my photography to break the ice. Being home-schooled I was only exposed to other Christian home-schooled kids. I was in a home-school choir as well. But I found ways to meet people outside of the community.
DOWN 2 JOE: Can you give an example of how different some of your poetry can be?
The following is a preface and a poem following. The beginning is a collected peace of mind, and the latter is a direct contrast. Coming from a very scrambled state of mind.
“Escape is an imaginary idea, although everyone seeks it, no one truly finds it. The reason being? The only escape...is to realize there’s nothing to escape from”
So doubt the hat as it rolls sideways
For if you split the tongue your voice will feel!
More bread I cry with a scream of fear
For only if the Wendy my life
My rainbow may hear
PANIC I ran my darling!
In the pathway of light
Get out of the tunnel! He said
We all know why...
Look at it
Not only did the penguin squish my “arrrrg”
But out of nowhere she cries, “harmony?”
Oh yeah it’s that black stuff right?
DOWN 2 JOE: What does it mean?
It’s written from a Peter Pan complex after a near-death experience. “More bread” life, food, health. “Wendy, rainbow voice” there is always a rainbow in Neverland, Wendy is the girl. “Panic I ran, pathway of light” running from my fear, risking death. “Get out of the tunnel” you’re going too far, stop! Before you get hit like a deer. “Penguin squished my arrrrg” pirates say arrrrg, and there are four seasons always in Neverland. “Harmony? That black stuff right?” the illusion that drugs create peace and tranquility isn’t true. That black stuff is the poison, the cause of almost dying.
BILLIE ROCK: You work with so many mediums.
Why don’t you choose the most important one?
It’s not that I don’t love one more than the other. It’s that there are things that can only be expressed through different mediums. I’m a photographer first and foremost. A singer from age eight, classically trained. I can sing bass to tenor. And a self-proclaimed poet. Although I feel poetry was just necessary to cycle through my feelings.
BILLIE ROCK: What kind of music do you want to make?
Well I am a big fan of Antony and the Johnsons, he has a beautiful voice, and I have a
deep love for classical music. I feel that some of my songs will be different kinds of songs. Different genres, I’m aiming high, I know. But next year I want to devote more time to it. And grab my keyboard from Portland back to here. Then I am going to get on Ellen’s
new record label. She’s one of my biggest inspirations. If there is a talk show to be
on it’s hers baby.
PAN MAN: Are you a spiritual person? Religious?
I don’t believe in anything. I’m real, you’re real, and we are but a speck in several universes. I really just don’t care to think about things I can’t prove. When I am afraid I don’t feel a spirit helping me. I have lost my life completely, everything, I couldn’t think straight. My family helped, my friends helped, and I did it. I am not supposed to think about things that aren’t real, because I have to fight anything not real or delusions. I put religion in the same category. Last thing though, that’s just me, I fully support that anyone else can believe what they want. Live your life. Love who you love.
PAUL URBAN: You have a soft side and a tough side.
Well I don’t get along with most guys, especially the “bro.” I’m a feminist, soft-spoken, artistic, and mellow. But I’ve done hard work, manual labor, bike messenger, production rooms, and warehouses. So I’ve had to have a tough side. As a messenger in New York, I had to really hold my own and act tough. I used a New York accent of my own creation. But I’ve never been in a fight, and hope I don’t have to. I do a couple hundred pushups and crunches everyday. I had to get in shape for this gig this May, and started working from September. At the height of my routine, I was doing nine hundred crunches a day at one hundred and fifty a set, four hundred pushups a day at fifty a set. I still don’t think I’d win a fight though.
FEMININE JAMES: You have quite the wardrobe. Can you touch on that?
Well I am a thrift junkie, I can’t resist. I am good at finding stuff...the little letter Levi’s bellbottom cords that I wore in Elephant I found at the bins for a dollar a pound. I love clothes; I enjoy winter the most because of the layers and options you have. But honestly I love being naked, the moment I get home I strip down to my briefs, no joke or lie, as I am typing the answer to this question I’m in my briefs. Get help if I’m modeling nude,
I have no fear.
SPECIAL THANKS TO BODA AT SEE MGMT.