Monday, May 24, 2010

Chris Masson by Way of Planet 10!

To prepare Chris Masson for his upcoming feature at the final show of the ToF season, we subjected him to the usual drill...

Not sure what the "ToF drill" you are referring to is... sounds like the reason I avoid dentists.
Great questions! Here goes...

Rumour has it that you recently proposed marriage at the Van Slam Finals! Let us just say: that's some poetic stones you've got there! What was that experience like for you? And what did she say?

I don't remember ever being so nervous before a poem. Intense waves of negative self talk like "What are you thinking?! Who cares! You should have just written a GOOD poem and done this private act in PRIVATE." Add to that the usual jitters of debuting a very freshly written poem... And I was the last poet in the last round. I had all that time to sit and freak out. But it all went as well as I could have hoped it to. Better, actually. I'm surprised when I watch the video of it on youtube; I look mostly composed!

Let's slap a label on you: Poet? Performer? Spoken Word Artist? Slam Poet?

Slam poet is alright, but feels a bit limiting. Spoken word artist works too, though is a tad vague and even pretentious to some people. Poet is too navel gazing for me, and doesn't describe a whole other set of skills I utilize. So I like "Performance Poet". Though sometimes I feel like I have too many interests and pursuits to fill the potential of any giving discipline. I 've always got one foot in another arena and an eye on the next project.

And let's take that label off (cuz labels aren't nice): now who are you? How do you see yourself in the world?

I bring light. I stimulate. I educate. I heal. I learn. I create; I share; I inspire (I hope).

How'd ya get so funny? Something in the water when you were growing up, maybe?

Who knows. Youngest of four kids growing up in the country, maybe? Good water, yes. Helps brain work.
Funny mom. Punny dad. People listen more when you can make them laugh though. Spoonful of sugar and all that.

How did you feel the first time you stepped up a mic to read what you had written? How long ago was that?

Grade 5. I asked the principal if I could read a poem about war that I wrote at The Remembrance Day assembly. The first lines went "Sometimes the pink/ Really makes me think/ About our lives/ And about our wives/ Who we leave behind/ When we give in to war." 16 years later, and now you are finally publishing that poem. I think a lot of my poems from that period had the words "pink" in them. I think I was heavily influenced by my older brother who was heavily influenced by getting high and watching The Wall.

What's the next poetry-related goal you want to fulfill?

To debut parts of my new long poem, "When the Shift Hits the Fan" at ToF. I'm writing it now. Hopefully I'll have a new chapbook to go with it.

Can you tell us about the poem you haven't written yet?

As a general rule, no. But that is a rule that I generally break. The Shift piece is a work of poetic fiction about how one guy loses himself and eventually finds inner peace after being convinced that the Earth is going to tilt on its axis in the next couple of years. Which it is, so it's a timely piece! I hope. I mean, I don't hope. But I believe.

What are the subjects that really engage you? Other than cosmic disaster as predicted by the Mayans...

Health and healing, geopolitics, being good to each other, the way we speak to each other, harmony, cat videos on youtube. And lately, the giant planet that is transiting our solar system, causing earthquakes and electromagnetic disturbances of all sorts, making the Earth wobble on its axis, and will eventually turn our planet on its side. And the cover up in place to distort the facts... Who doesn't love a good conspiracy? It's something that we need to be able to laugh at. That's sort of the point of the piece: if we can laugh at impending disaster, accept our place within it, we'll be at peace.

You've got Niburu on the brain and we like it! But let's say we run your poetry through the ice-cream maker: what flavour do we get at the business end?

Butter chicken in a naan bread cone!

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