ego + alter = weird convo

Thought I would share this blast from a couple of years ago…. 

Happy New Year Bookworms!

When I started 366 poems twelve artists a.k.a. my year-long poetry venture, I never imagined that my inspiration would be excessively fuelled. To the point, that a desire grew in the name of artistic impressions, for me to execute a dialogue between my different persona\’s.

We all have various persona\’s that accompany us, through all of our lives, so when the opportunity presents itself we must lay down the gauntlet and allow our bravery to dominate, regardless of the positive adulation or criticism from the bowels of hatred. It is essential that one must proceed… caution or not… here we go…

Moreover, I\’m immensely ecstatic to also announce starting on July 1, 2016; I will commence my next versification endeavour based in all things confection, 365 days of anything-and-everything CANDY! 

Right, let\’s get on with it…

RMMW: What is the origin behind the name Cement Covered Ink Quills?

Rania: When I was in secondary school, I\’d written a poem called Cement Covered Cherries (which I\’ve included below)… I relished the concept of something soft being encased in a hard substance forever. Cement Covered Ink Quills is simply a variation of the original title used decades ago….

Cement Covered Cherries

The perfect curve
Red, similar to the heat of the Summer’s fire
The tip tenderly
Lays in the centre
Created from Mother Nature


In its disposition
Which reveals the benevolence
Display the cherry
In a small antique bowl
Permeated with cement
Quickly removed prior to being
Buried under time
Discarded in a pasture
Preserved, this once broken heart
Nothing can penetrate the concrete
An elegant cherry\’s
Delicate immortal essence
Caressing in the wrong fashion
Evolves into a foundation of destruction
In this sphere an authentic character
Of whimsical pure gold, ignored
A mind consumed by logic, praised
Can equal time be allocated dually?

On inside the luscious organ
The outer shell cement
Extremely bleak or luminescent
Collecting time, dust and corrosion

No matter how many:










These cement covered cherries
Will be bound to Mother Earth
Beneath time in lost space.

RMMW: The bio on your blog states that you started writing at the age of 13, what was the catalyst?

Rania: I was always the freak of my class, no one really understood me at all.. which meant I was left out a lot. There reached a point where I\’d been severely depressed… needless to say poetry, literally, no word of a lie saved my life. Not only that, growing up, I was not really afforded any privacy, which is why I took to writing codes within my poems. That way, I\’d ensure, I was the only one who understood the contents of my versification.

RMMW: Where does your inspiration come from?

Rania: It really comes from a number of different avenues, sometimes it is derived from life experience, other times it is art based… one thing for sure they\’re always steeped in raw emotion. The best facet of writing poetry is that any issue or subject can undergo a poetic metamorphosis. Sigh, I am indeed smitten with scribing poetry…

RMMW: What is the genesis of 366 poems twelve artists?

Rania: I knew, I wanted to do something that would, foster the inertia to fuel my desire to create throughout the summer… on June 25, when school had been let out for summer vacation.. I started to stare at the unusually LONG 10 week break, with 3 kids and probably no time to be able to pen anything at all — except the grocery list. Over the last few years, I\’ve written for a variety of blogs and knew I needed dive into my personal labyrinth and write my way out of it. Now, here I am in what may be the first middle, of many middles of a life infatuated with continuous poetic challenges. It\’s the only way for me to reach the level I yearn, to be at, as a poet.

So, the witching hour became my best friend, as that was the ideal time to write. When the house was completely silent and all my little monkeys slept… that way, we had tons of time to play at the water-park and I was afforded stolen pockets, not only to properly explore my writing but, also challenge myself by selecting a different image from an artist whose body of work I am unequivocally obsessed with.  

RMMW: Why did you select these 12 incredibly talented artists for your venture?

Rania: At first, I started with a list of 20 dead artists who\’ve inspired me throughout the years. Then I started to question my decision, as there are so many living/working artists that I altruistically desired to honour. I feel so incredibly fortunate that these lovely individuals trusted me, an obscure poet to post their body work directly on CCIQ along side my prose.

I\’ve received an overwhelming amount of support. It was also important for me, to involve the artists by, asking them to select their 5 or so favourite creations.  I found it to be a whimsical exercise,  to see what their favourites were compared to mine.   

Now, that being said, there is one artist that I\’ve selected who is deceased.  The last artist of this challenge in fact, is one I\’ve been infatuated with from the first day I learned of Frida Kahlo\’s body of work.  About 2 years ago, I\’d purchased a copy of her personal journal … I could barely bring my self to read her words, I felt as though I was being intrusive… seems only fitting to end 366 poems twelve artists, with Frida\’s paintings, especially since she was the first subject of my writing on CCIQ!  

… I know, that if I start writing as to why I\’ve selected each one of these incredibly talented human beings this interview — will literally never end… which is why I\’ve included the list with site below for you to explore…

366 poems twelve artists

Worth, Rebecca Belmore,  Inter-Disciplinary Artist, July 

Aura Portraits (Model: Courtenay Brandt) Stephanie Vovas, Photographer, August

Marcelo Suaznabar, Visual Artist/Painter, September

Can You See Me Now? Caroline Elizabeth Greene, Painter, October

Bounty, Installation, Chiko Chikonzero, Pamela Edmonds, Curator, November

Necklace, Charlotte Blanchard, Graphic Designer, December

you go girl, Danielle Krysa, Collage Artist, January

Megan Morgan, Photographer, February

Amy Winehouse, Horace Panter, Icon Inspired Painter/Musician, March

 Alice in Wonderland, Kiki Monstress, Make-Up Artist, April

Bekky Beukes, Artist, Painter, May

Amylee, Painter June 

RMMW: I noticed that there is one question that you repetitively ask everyone you interview; where did the “how do you contend with your creative block” question come from?

Rania: A little over almost two years ago, I\’d been introduced to the incredible curatorial work of Danielle Krysa aka The Jealous Curator. (Who also happens to be the subject of this months poetry, not her curatorial vision but the art that she\’s created — in case you did not know, Danielle is also a Collage Artist.) 

Now, having said that… Danielle\’s first book Creative Block had within it\’s pages interviews with 50 global Artists of various mediums. The one question that I found to be delightful, was to ask these beautiful artists for an activity as to how they over come their cobweb riddled blocks. I thought it to be curiosity inducing, not everyone will have the same method/s to open up the floodgates to their personal muses. I believe, this query to be essential, it also affords the patrons of these artist an opportunity to see them on a human level… where their vulnerabilities are exposed, ingrained in their desire to become stronger virtuoso\’s… personally, I do not only find that extremely empowering but tremendously inspirational and awe-inducing.

RMMW: Referring back to the previous question, do you ever get blocked? How do you contend with yours?

Rania: Funny thing, I mentioned it to Danielle once, I was almost scared to tell her that I\’ve NEVER been blocked (hope I\’ve not jinxed myself now… oh well) I find that if the words don\’t come, to keep writing until I find a groove that works for me. Once, the thoughts solidify themselves, I go back to the original piece to sort the rubbish from the usable writing then start to polish it…

RMMW: Do you have any artists rituals before you write a piece?

Rania: The only ritual I have in relation to my writing is music. I can go from Classical to Alternative Rock to Punk in a heartbeat while writing, normally what I listen to sets the tone of the poem I am working on at the time.

RMMW: Why did you leave the SSW (Social Service Worker) field?

Rania: To completely understand this question, one must comprehend a bit of my heritage. I am a direct descendant of the Levi tribe, more specifically from the house of Mahli. My ancestors were the Temple Keepers and Builders. Anything related to church and lineage always has certain pressures associated to it. But, not in the manner one might think, there is always this overwhelming call to constantly serve. I would love to say that I completely sucked as an SSW and quit but that was not the case; I just couldn\’t handle the heart ache anymore. 

It takes a special person to be able to give of themselves unconditionally to an employment post and there should be nothing half-assed about tending to those who need help. Now, I counsel by universe, (a phrase coined by my old mentor)  to the point that I am constantly bumping into people, who either need someone to listen or distract them from whatever issue currently haunts their spirit. I know, it sounds weird… But such is life, well, mine anyways…

RMMW: What poets dead or a live would you like to collaborate with and why?

Rania: It took me a while but, I`ve finally settled on 3 amazing poets: 

The first is Walt Whitman, I constantly use his pieces from The Leaves of Grass more specifically Song of Myself as inspirational quotes. Walt Whitman had such respect for the environment and the power to harness the elements — he was exposed to within his prose. His subjects…the grass, sun, sky and even the trees appeared to have their own idiosyncratic characters, as though they were humans. 

The second, is also one that no longer resides on our earth, Jane Kenyon… her poem Otherwise has moved me to tears upon my first reading. From that moment, anytime I hear the word \”otherwise\” I ALWAYS start to get a little teary… For a writer to move someone to the point of whenever they hear one specific word…not, even a sentence or paragraph but ONE BLOODY word…remarkable… Read the poem for yourself and you will see. Her poems are very human, to the point of not taking anything for granted. 

The final poet, unlike the previous two is alive and happens to be a friend of mine… his name is Scott Laudati, I reviewed Scott`s work last year for The Punk Archive (UK based music blog that is completely brilliant) and was automatically hooked from the first word…I\’ve said this many times but, it\’s so true… I still have Hawaiian Shirts in the Electric Chair on both my desktop and phone…Scott`s pieces are extremely raw and so immensely compelling… Check out Hawaiian Shirts in the Electric Chair, believe me it is brilliant..

RMMW: Of all the poems you\’ve written which ones are your favourites and why?

Rania: The Labyrinth chapter of my CCIQ book, more specifically The Breakable~Un & Frankenstein\’s Pheomedu. Simply because when I was about 14 or 15 I\’d started a story but, wasn\’t able to properly write it as a novella. The thoughts never came together, as it always seemed disjointed in any format other than a poetic one. Once I broke each of the sections down with, poems it came together quite nicely as a number of prose pieces.
And, another poem called Emancipation.. which I\’d written during probably one of the most turbulent times of my life… 


I have no idea how I got here. Standing alone,
Where do I go? There had been a point in my life
when I had permitted myself to fear my cowardly
shadow. Never had I been self-sufficient: my body,
broken twigs stacked to build a pyre; my essence,
desperate to grasp the edge of independence.
I contemplated a myriad of perspectives and images,
a void that remained heavy-hearted. Until one arbitrary,
run-of-the-mill day changed everything, brought
me to a new level of consciousness.

While it struggled, a poor little butterfly caught
my eye during a cigarette break at work. This brave
creature tried to crack the glass, to break away from
its constraints. My mind-whip snapped! I am that
butterfly, trapped with a desire to feel the breeze
flow through my wings. Prior to this moment, I truly
lacked the comprehension to appreciate how one single
event could change everything. I did not want to damage
this magical creature; I carefully held the delicate
rice paper wings with my tar-stained fingers, brought
Crystal out to the wild and wished her well.

RMMW: Is there a symbiotic relationship between your writing and speaking voices?

Rania: No not at all, my speaking voice is normally quick and unorganized… my writing voice unless I am trying to a evoke a certain expression, for the most part is calm and well thought out.

RMMW: If you had your choice of a super power, what would would it be?

Rania: I would have to say flight. I am more comfortable in the air more than water or earth. I can so imagine these huge wings piercing through my skin every time I wanted to fly. 

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