Author Topic: Hopping around a Marsupial Man  (Read 9227 times)

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Offline Soft Words

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Hopping around a Marsupial Man
« on: September 14, 2008, 08:38 PM »
[float=left]3215-0[/float]Meet Paul McCormick aka Marsupial Man, our Splasher for the week. Stalking him through the halls, I found morsels of his image-rich poetry around in the halls. Paul hangs out in the Ax, offering suggestions and honest critique to poems that catch his eye. He has a wonderful heart and the courage to do a job a lot of us only want to do, and for that, Paul, you have my deepest respects. Here, he shares some of his thoughts and experiences.
 
SW: Why Marsupial Man? Is it an attraction to koalas, kangaroos or is it something else?
MM: (As I crack open my sixth beer.)
Oh, I must admit to a past, torrid relationship with a koala; they're very emotional creatures. Their passion in and outside the bedroom is legendary. However, koalas are very high maintenance. It didn't last long.
Marsupial Man came out of an alliteration game my friends and I played over twenty years ago. It involved ridiculous amounts of alcohol and the teasers for the 11 o'clock news. Stuff like, "A beautiful Brewster woman barricaded in a barn, more at eleven."  One night I blurted out, "Male, maggot, mother f'n' marsupial man." It stuck.
 
 
SW: What brought you to SplashHall?
MM: One day, I began a search for on-line poetry forums. I was drawn to SplashHall because of the diversity of writers and the passionate dialogue between people. I have a tendency to purposefully go places I think might initially reject me. I was accepted. However, I will always remember the 1st review of my initial postings. It brought a smile to my face and inspired me further. I'll give a shout out to Steve.

SW: What keeps you here?
MM: The constant exchange of ideas and honest critiques. It does get heated at times, but, hey, if words can't inspire passion and controversy what good are they?
 
SW: Any favorite forum(s) and/or Splashers?
MM: I pretty much dwell in the Ax, sado-masochism baby. As far as favorite writers, there're more than a handful here that I respect/admire. I don't want to name names because I'm afraid I'll leave someone out. Constantly, new people arrive who capture my interest. Oh, to heck with it. If I leave someone out, I apologize: T7L, Witt, Bill, EpylepticTrout, Kay, hcscable, (who I probably have irritated more than most but I respect her honesty), dublinsteve, champagne shoes, and cy street. Granted, I doubt that I understand a quarter of cy guy's stuff, but I keep goin' back for more. There're more, but that's a start.
 
SW: What inspired you to start writing?
MM: (As I light up a cheap cigar and open another beer.)
I just write. And, for as long as I can remember, my stuff tended to stray off to the darker side of things. My parents got more than one phone call from middle school informing them of my latest creation that concerned the teachers. Is your son suicidal? Homicidal? What the hell is his problem? He's a good kid, but his words have concerned the English teacher, again. Fortunately, my mother was an artist, a painter, and supported me without whisking me off to therapy. Fortunately, this was in the seventies. If I remember correctly, some of the stuff that I wrote about then would have caused a major issue today. School shootings weren't an issue then. I didn't write about school shootings, but I definitely wrote some stuff about cops finding a dismembered body. These days, it wouldn't have been tolerated without drugs and therapy being jammed down my throat.
I'm already seeing some of me in our child. When he describes his dreams, my wife looks at me and shakes her head.
Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I didn't write. More than not, writing interferes with my life, my sleep. But, it's such a part of me. I couldn't stop if I had to.
I also have a passion for spoken word performances. I feel so alive when I perform.
 
SW: What is your favorite kind of Poetry?
MM: I just look for honesty. I'm a visual person so I respond more strongly to poetry that is littered with images. I certainly prefer darker poetry, but I can emotionally respond to the lighter side of things. For me, poetry should be readily accessible to the reader without having to constantly pick up the dictionary or having to do research. But that's just me and what I like. Like most marsupials, I ain't no intellectual.
 
SW: What kind of writing holds your attention?
MM: Sometimes, it's prose in the form of books about physics. I read a lot about physics. Sometimes, it's tabloid magazines. I despise the worship of celebrities, but I admit that I follow their lives and enjoy their trials and tribulations. I'm rooting for their downfall. I'm evil that way. Overall, I'm very sporadic in my reading.  One of my most recent reads was "The World of the Autistic Child" by Bryna Siegal.
As far as what tweaks my interest in the realm of poetry, it's bands like Bauhaus, Joy Division, and Modest Mouse. Their lyrics are poetry.
There's an eighties punk band, Flipper, that just tears my soul apart, lyrically:
"I feel so numb/I feel so dead/just like someone's kicked my head/like someone knew/just what to do/poison the masses/catch the running few."
That's a verse from a song on their Generic Flipper album.

 
SW: Do you ever get earworms? Share some with us... Do they inspire verse?
MM:Fortunately, I'm at a city zoo that is well funded. I don't suffer from worms and the like. My handlers are very proactive in my care. I do have a tendency to play with my feces.
 
SW: How much does Life intrude/influence your work?
MM:My job is the influence/inspiration for my words.
I'm a law enforcement investigator whose primary focus is child sex crimes. I'm a hostage/crisis negotiator. I'm a polygraph examiner. Prior to law enforcement, I worked as a lowly counselor in an adolescent psychiatric hospital with a brief stint in a domestic violence shelter. I just got to the point where I was tired of trying to fix the seemingly broken children and just go ahead and arrest those that commit these heinous crimes against them.
My wife is the strong one here. My work demands a lot of patience from her. Then you throw in my manic phases of writing. Oh, she is an amazing woman to put up with me, my career, my writing, and my occasional fling with an attractive Koala.
I ramble further, but my work involves a lot of interviewing and interrogating. And, interrogations aren't about yelling and screaming, there're about being able to crawl inside that person's head and think like them/empathize with them. I am rather good at thinking like a pedophile or a violent criminal. Often times, it sickens me that I can do that. But, it's necessary in order to successfully prosecute. A truthful confession goes a long way in sparing a six year old victim from having to testify in court.
 
SW: Do you dabble in prose? Why?
MM: I certainly dabble in prose. I've written one novella and am in the process of writing a second one.
I just write what I write when it comes to me. The first novella is aptly titled, "Marsupial Man." The second one is currently titled, "The Physics of Madness."
I've posted a couple prose pieces on SplashHall. Oddly enough, for those who are familiar with my writings, I often explore the world of sociopaths/antisocial personalities.
I doubt that I'll ever write anything much beyond sixty pages. My attention span just won't allow for it. Rest assured though, in those few pages, I cover a lot of territory.
I'm still proud of a Kirkus review of "Marsupial Man." It was scathing. Damn, I was torn a new one there -- not for the writing so much but for the subject matter. It made me smile.
 
SW: Any suggestions you might have for Rg to improve on your Splashing experience?
MM:Absolutely not. I must thank Rg for not having sent me to the dungeon. I think I've pushed my luck a few times. When I step out of line, I try to marsoop up and apologize. But, I know, like in real life, I have a tendency to see how far I can push things before shocking/offending someone.
I'm ramblin' a bit, but I don't write to offend; however, I'm acutely aware that some of the things I write about have the potential to offend. And to that, I say, "Oh well. My words, given the perspective from which I'm writing, are honest."
Life isn't about waiting for the storms to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

Offline Kay

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Re: Hopping around a Marsupial Man
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2008, 08:44 PM »
Paul,

Was just signing off and spotted this. What a great interview.
I for one, have never known you to be anything but courteous.
It's nice to learn a bit more about you, your thoughts
on writing and your life in general.  :rose

Offline champagne_shoes

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Re: Hopping around a Marsupial Man
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2008, 09:25 PM »
Arti, once again you nail a gorgeous interview. Paul, I am intrigued. ( By the way, thank you for the mention ). I take it you were hapless enough to be axed by the Dublin Terror upon your first posting? Trial by fire. I have a copy of Vanity Fair by my side, so I'm going to pop you with a few additional questions. Only respond if you are so inclined.

Who is your favourite hero or heroine in fiction?
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
What is your motto of the moment?

Post something in the ax(e) soon, my friend. I am feeling very reckless.

shoes
"A community of poets is like a community of cats." joey

witt

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Re: Hopping around a Marsupial Man
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2008, 04:30 AM »
How enlightening was this interview! I remember when you first arrived in the halls and your self-introduction. I thought to myself, "Here comes trouble." Boy, was I wrong. You have been a great asset to the community, and I have admired your work. Oh, how I wish that I had been YOUR English teacher. You would have been the spark in my day!

Offline Marsupial Man

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Re: Hopping around a Marsupial Man
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2008, 07:46 AM »
Thank you for stopping by Kay, Champagne, and Witt. Also, thank you, again, for your kind words.

Let's see Champagne:

One of my favorite heroes from the fiction world is Dirk Pitt from the Clive Cussler series of books. It ain't intellectual; but, I have to be honest -- a man flying solo who saves the world over and over, and he always gets the hot woman in the end. Maybe, I should rephrase that. Oh well.

I thought about the historical figure overnight. My intial reaction surprised me, but I'll go with Sid Vicious from the Sex Pistols. By no means do I think the Sex Pistols are one of the best punk bands; however, what he did was a hoot. He's certainly not someone to emulate, but he did shake things up. One could successfully argue that Sid and the Sex Pistols put punk onto the international map.

My motto is: respect self and others. be honest with self and others.

Take care everyone,

Paul


Offline Marsupial Man

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Re: Hopping around a Marsupial Man
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2008, 10:15 AM »
Soft Words,

I've been bad. Thank you for the interview.

Take care,

Paul

Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Hopping around a Marsupial Man
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2008, 12:21 PM »
Nice to meet you Paul. I find you to be an interesting open minded individual.
As far as rejection goes, if they keep me around here, you're a shoe in.
Stop looking at the light. Instead, look at what is being illuminated by the light.

Offline Marsupial Man

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Re: Hopping around a Marsupial Man
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2008, 01:45 PM »
Thank you A-Friend. I'm sure you and I will be exchanging more thoughts someday on other topics. I recently had a brief exchange with you about racism. I had always heard the term, card carrying KKK. I finally held a membership card for the KKK. It surprised me. I chuckled. I was dismayed. At least, I now know that term is legit. You're probably a better person than I, with patience, but I just wanted to go off on the guy. I didn't, but the thoughts were there. I haven't had to interrogate a racist for a racist crime; I don't know if I could crawl into that head.

Take care,

Paul

Offline champagne_shoes

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Re: Hopping around a Marsupial Man
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2008, 05:07 PM »
Thank you kindly for indulging me by reflecting and responding, Paul Marsupial. I've never heard of Dirk Pitt.  Sid Vicious, ah now that surprised me. As for your motto, it speaks for itself.
"A community of poets is like a community of cats." joey

Offline Kay

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Re: Hopping around a Marsupial Man
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2008, 06:02 PM »
Quote
My parents got more than one phone call from middle school informing them of my latest creation that concerned the teachers. Is your son suicidal? Homicidal? What the hell is his problem? He's a good kid, but his words have concerned the English teacher, again. Fortunately, my mother was an artist, a painter, and supported me without whisking me off to therapy. Fortunately, this was in the seventies. If I remember correctly, some of the stuff that I wrote about then would have caused a major issue today. School shootings weren't an issue then.


Paul, I wanted to get this in earlier and wondered if I should.
I had to smile. When my daughter was in 2nd grade she
had a hobby of art which is nothing unusual but she would
draw graveyards! Oh, bright and bold graveyards with tombstones!
Each one a name of a member of the family. Well, one day
one of the teachers called and said, uh, we need to talk.
I went in and the teacher began showing me each purple and yellow
and green and colorful grave! One said "Mom" another "Grandpa"
and another "brother" you get the idea!

Long story short, she grew up to be an amazing independent
lovely (I'm bias of course) woman who achieved a degree in forensics and we all survived.
Sometimes that creativity is there for a reason!!

I had to share that.

Offline Marsupial Man

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Re: Hopping around a Marsupial Man
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2008, 06:05 PM »
Well Champagne,

I'm surprised about Sid, too. I just went with it because I couldn't fully dismiss him; however, Stephen Hawking was a tremendous mind that contributed to the world of physics. His book, "A Brief History of Time," is one of my favorites that I try to re-read every now and then.

I must dwell again on Sid and the Sex Pistols. I just believe that seventies/early eaighties punk did conribute a lot to this world. I'm a huge fan of that music.

Crass, Flipper, The Dead Kennedy's, Flux of Pink Indians, The Adolescents, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Bad Brains, Black Flag, UK Subs, The Germs, The Circle Jerks, The New York Dolls, the Butthole Surfers...the list goes on.

Certainly, Lou Reed has a special place in my heart. His album, "Berlin," was groundbreaking, in my humble opinion. I have attempted to argue that he was punk. Just as Patti Smith was dangerous and punk in her own right.

As much as I live and breath music, I'm not a musician. Oh, how I envy those people who can play an instrument well.

But Sid and and the Pistols, even though they were more of a money making gimmick than anything else, did bring the spotlight onto this culture that was Punk. I think punk is dead. The new bands just lack the rawness. The previous bands lived a lifestyle. They riled against those things that pissed them off. Today, not so much.

Maybe, that's my hope with poetry. Can poetry be punk? Counter-culture? Dangerous?

That's why I get so excited when I see some of the poets here at SplashHall. There's something goin' on. I'll always remember one of your poems that ended with a line about a guy's penis not tasting as good. I'm know I'm brutalizing your words, but the effect was tremendous. Your words held me, transported me, then shocked me. It was gorgeous. That's exciting when one can experience that through someone else's words.

Lordy, I ramble.

Take care Champagne,

Paul

Oh, I've got the spotlight for a moment:

Is poetry one of the few areas left that can potentially be dangerous?

In the seventies, no one started a punk band with any hope of making money. The bands were started because individuals were pissed off/disgruntled and wanted to lash out. Today, as much as I may enjoy Green Day and Offspring, the door was already open for a punk type band to make money -- as long as they weren't too dangerous which neither one is or was. There's no money in poetry. There never has been and never will be. So, you just got a small audience. You find those places that have spoken word nights. You have to have a passion  -- a drive that is far beyond the hope for fame or money. It's a free-for-all.

It's beautiful,
is it potentially dangerous?

Paul

Offline Marsupial Man

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Re: Hopping around a Marsupial Man
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2008, 06:06 PM »
That's a cute and funny story Kay. Thank you for sharing that.

Take care,

Paul

Offline Soft Words

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Re: Hopping around a Marsupial Man
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2008, 08:49 PM »
Paul,

You were a pleasure to work with.
Thanks for making it so easy...
Have fun, and take care!

Arti.

Soft Words,

I've been bad. Thank you for the interview.

Take care,

Paul
Life isn't about waiting for the storms to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

Offline WordFaery

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Re: Hopping around a Marsupial Man
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2008, 10:22 PM »
(uncaps a Labatt's Blue)

It's always great to meet the people behind the avatars.    I enjoy your writing and commentary.


Cheers!



WordFaery
"Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame."      W.B. Yeats



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