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Welcome to the 4th Wolf Twin Review!

Introducing: Thomas L. Vaultonburg . . . a Haiku Poet, an observer of nature, and practitioner of Soto Zen.

Portrait by: Tré
Portrait by: Tré


The wild world only

Comes to embrace me as I

Am no longer me

Phoenix Persisted

My heart alive and

Thumping like Phoenix wings

In a tiny birdhouse

Tea Time

Before outside tea

My cup full of your giggles

And White Oak's shadow

X-Ray Binary Non-Binary System

After aeons we

Fall into each other for

One last dance—our first

Featured Poet Interview:

1. Do you recall the first poem you wrote?

Certainly. I think it was the third grade. We were asked to write a poem about what we would do when we grew up.

When I get older

I will drink all the pop

All the pop that I can drink

And when I am finished

I will almost sink

2. If you could have coffee with any three renowned poets throughout history, who would they be?

Shel Silverstein, Emily Dickinson, and Rod McKuen.

3. Is there a poetic form you haven't tried yet?

Tried? No. Mastered? That's another story.

4. How has Soto Zen Buddhism changed the way you write poetry?

Zen and haiku sort of happened simultaneously for me, so it's hard to distinguish which informs my other mindset more. The pandemic made it easier for us all to have much smaller lives, and since this is when I came to Zen and haiku, everything in my life became smaller, including my writing. In Zen, and especially Soto, enlightenment can come in a flash, and poetry is the same way, so for me being present and available for the haiku when it arrives is key.

5. How long did it take you to write your first published book?

My first book, Concave Buddha, was a surprise to me, because I was just submitting a few poems to The Press of the Third Mind, and the publisher, Bradley Lastname, told me he wanted to do a book, but I had only had enough poems for half a book I had written up until the age of twenty, so I wrote the other half of the book in two weeks. In comparison, Small Songs For Weary Travelers was a very fast process, too, because it's 175 poems that I wrote in roughly 18 months before we started Moonscape.

6. Tell us a poetry reading story you haven't shared before.

My first reading was at Café Esperanto in Rockford, and a heavily published poet (I won't name) gave me a dollar and asked me to go get him a 7up at the bar. I did, but this served as a constant reminder never to big time anyone. We're all in this together, and being humble and gracious is essential.

7. What is your favorite poetry fueling snack?

A plain Hershey bar and Tab Cola. If I could get away with it, and if Tab still existed, I feel like I could survive on those two alone.

7. If you were a tree, what would you be?

Oak. It's so Midwest. We had a huge Oak at the first house I remember living in, and it's the tree I learned to climb in. Oak feels like home to me.

To Thomas:

Thank you so much for being our Featured Poet, and congratulations on your latest book release, Wolf Twin!

Dearest Readers:

Greetings, fellow poetry lovers. Check back next month, or subscribe to our blog to see the moonstruck poets we have lined up. Owwwoooooo!

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1 comentário

Membro desconhecido
30 de abr.

Excellent interview, honest, open and real.

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