Interview with Poet, Zola Cate Picone

You know every single individual interview that I conduct, I learn more about writers who are willing to pour their heart out, just like that of Poet Zola Cate Picone.  Writing is such a precious gift and to be able to share various views of writers across the globe is incredibly fulfilling.  Zola’s work is indeed strong, honest and very compelling.  Zola has penned two chapbooks for your reading pleasure; Heirloom Dog & Obey the Unborn; The Natasha Hook Conspiracies. For more information on Zola I suggest you follow her on Instagram @zcp_poetry  or check out the Analog Press Site at this link.
RMMW: Have you ever been creatively blocked? If yes, how did you overcome it?
ZCP: Yes, I try to breakdown what I am feeling when I\’m blocked, because it\’s usually something in my subconscious, and I am the best at ignoring my real problems™. It\’s also helpful to know when I need some mental rest, then I go bask in someone else\’s art; a novel, a film, a webcomic (I use the Webtoon app, religiously), music, poetry, drawings (on Pinterest, obviously). Art just breeds more art.
RMMW: We all have an inner critic, how do you contend with yours?
ZCP: My inner critic is mercilessly cruel. She has no tact, no conscience, and I have to tell her to kindly *gtfo* a lot of the time. However, she is also there to push me forward, past yesterday\’s questionable hang-ups. We have a love/hate relationship, and it works.
RMMW: Do you have any artist rituals before starting a new piece?
ZCP: Usually, new poetry tends to sneak up on me, but when I am planning to write, it\’s all about the candles; just tiny fires everywhere, and a yummy beverage.
RMMW: Where does your inspiration come from?
ZCP: It can be a strange feeling I have, a random scene happening in the parking lot I\’m driving through, or a single word that peeks my interest. Childhood memories, and reconnecting with how my mind worked as a kid brings a lot of inspiration as well.
RMMW: What is your first writing memory?
ZCP: I was probably around seven year\’s old. Whenever I looked at a black, empty piece of paper it would make me anxious (it still does to be honest). It just needed some lead to fill it up, so I grabbed a pencil, even though my spelling was awful, and I settled down on the ground outside, looked up at the clouds, and wrote a terrible, terrible poem about chocolate chip ice cream.
RMMW: What is your favourite genre to write?
ZCP: I don\’t know if I have a favorite genre, I prefer a mixture of emotions and genres. I write a lot of narrative poetry, and I think I utilize romance, drama, and bits of supernatural horror the most.
RMMW: What do you think good poetry ought do?
ZCP: Good poetry should transport not only the reader, but the writer as well. That\’s how you know it\’s good poetry. It should push the writer into a brand-new thought space. The reader can then experience this process, traveling to a familiar sense of joy and pain. But the reader can also feel nostalgic, without ever needing to experience the written sensation first-hand. I like to call it phantom poetry; when the mind connects intimately with another mind, that\’s when the magic happens.
RMMW: What do you feel are some of the challenges contemporary poets face?
ZCP: The general public tends to group poets into the same old categories: Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, etc. Both great writers and poets in their own right, but poetry is experimental at its core, it should not be limited to one or two specific styles.
RMMW: What is your writing process. Do you write long hand or go right to the computer?
ZCP: All of the above. I know only chaos. I also like to use my typewriter, or write on the notes in my phone, but my favorite way of recording poetry is probably scribbling on old receipts.
RMMW: What attracted you to poetry?
ZCP: The lack of rules; rhyme, don\’t rhyme, tell a story, kill an ancient custom, create a new promise, question a feeling, relish in yearning, while grammar itself is often forced to take a backseat. Poetry can be morbidly romantic, spiritually gratifying, and boundless.
RMMW: How do you feel you\’ve evolved as a writer over the years?
ZCP: I think I\’ve just come to accept that change is forever constant in all things, and I can just let myself go quiet and try to listen and understand how elusive, malleable, mesmerizing, and powerful language can truly be.
RMMW: Why is poetry important?
ZCP: I wouldn\’t say it necessarily has to be important. You could also say dessert after a good, filling meal isn\’t the important part, but I think most of us feel there isn\’t complete satisfaction without it. Poetry can often be that pit of our stomach where the sickly sweet, guilty sway of our decadent emotions and immodest cravings have the ability to digest together and fully exist.
RMMW: If you had a superpower what would it be?
ZCP: I\’d like to be a shapeshifter. No one would know what I actually looked like, hiding in plain sight.

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