Interview/English : Poetry from the Subconscious

Interview of poet Stefan Bohdan

 
Vatsala Radhakeesoon :  Stefan Bohdan, welcome to Poetry and Creativity blog! Please tell us about your background, earlier life and actual life?

 

Stefan Bohdan:  I am 52 years old. I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, lived in Jamaica and Iran, traveled the world, and currently live in Central Florida. I am married to my beautiful wife Margaret, have 5 adult children, 2 (so far) grandchildren and 3 dogs.
I have an AA Degree and I am a university dropout (a former student of Computer Engineering). I have been a licensed building contractor, a custom home designer, and I am retired from the architectural/ engineering/ construction world. I now spend my time writing poems and novels. I also enjoy drawing, painting, drafting, sculpting and taking photographs.

 

V.R:  What has been your initial source of inspiration for poetry-writing?

 

S.B: That’s a tough question. I started a notebook of poems and philosophical insights at the age of 13. I had no idea what I was doing and that that would be the beginning of a lifetime of nonstop writing. At that time there was no source of inspiration (maybe song lyrics), more of an overwhelming urge to write down what I was seeing and feeling and thinking. And, there were always these odd thoughts that would just pop into my head, still happening today, that I felt were important enough to write down. I kept this orange notebook full of poems, philosophical insights and drawings hidden from family and friends for fear of being laughed at. It was weird, I felt like I was doing something wrong and did not want to be discovered. I kept all of my poems a secret until I was in my late thirties. So, to answer the question, no initial inspiration, more of an overwhelming urge to write poetry.

 

V.R: How does the creative writing process work for you, from initial inspiration stage to final production of a piece of writing?

 

S.B : For poetry, it depends. If I am writing a poem to accompany a piece of artwork, I will put on some music, usually The Cure or Pink Floyd, get into a meditative state, and study the piece until a poem develops inside my head. For poems without artwork, it’s a long process of writing and rewriting until I feel the poem is perfect.

 

 

V.R : Who are your favorite authors/poets and how have they influenced your writing style?

 

S.B : Authors: Dostoevsky, Rand, Zamyatin, Orwell and Huxley.

Poets: Saadi, Shams, Hafez and Rumi. Hafez is my favorite.

Books: The Tanakh, Bible and Koran.

All one needs to do is read my dystopian novels, or volumes of poetry, to see I have been heavily influenced by all of the above.

 

V.R :   Your poems reflect open confessions from the subconscious. Please tell us how this is beneficial for the growth of a writer?

 

S.B : Yes, my poems reveal subconscious and conscious confessions. This is just my style, the only way I know how to write. But, I believe this makes for more relatable and more powerful poems. They ring true to the ear.

 

V.R :  Please can you tell us briefly about your latest book ?

 

S.B : God’s Silence a Lion’s Roar by Stefan Bohdan

ALIEN BUDDHA PRESS. 2018.

140 pages (color).

Now available on Amazon.

Poems are in English.  It includes Urdu (Aamir Abdullah), Arabic (Fethi Sassi), Nepali (Bam Dev Sharma) & French (Vatsala Radhakeesoon) translations as well. Cover Art by genius Marcel Herms of the Netherlands. Interior art by Pseudonym Lastname (Ammi Romero and Red Focks).

All of my novels, poetry anthologies and volumes of poetry can be found on my Amazon author page:

https://www.amazon.com/Stefan-Bohdan/e/B0768ZYF7X

 

 

V.R: What advice would you give to young and emerging authors/poets?

 

S.B: Never give up! Keep writing until you are published.

 

V.R :  Any message for the world?

 

S.B : Love thy neighbor as thyself.

 

V.R :  We end up this interesting conversation with some of your poems

 

ON MY LAST DAY

 

The angel of death

patiently awaits

for my last breath

patiently awaits

on his pale horse

to drag me down

into the mystery

of darkness

into the unseen world

of hellfire

whose fuel is

unbelievers

the mouth of Satan

I fall into

jinn and firebirds and scythe

and the inhabitants of fire

attack my God-fearing soul

attack the prayers behind my eyes

attack the scriptures in my heart

behind this curtain of fire

my day of doom

a sign to the infidel

a sign to the hypocrite

oblivion cometh

in a blink of the eye

we are dust and bones

in this place

remote of God

I pray

my soul light will divide

me from the sea of darkness

in this place

remote of God

I pray

the fire shall not touch me

and I will take the form of

Resurrection

O Merciful One

defend me

on my last day

the angel of death

patiently awaits

for my last breath

 

 

PROPHET

 

As a child

in the days of the Lion and Sun

I lived on the streets

of Tehran, Isfahan and Shiraz

I played in the ruins

of Persepolis

had a winged disc

visit me in my dreams

had a fireball

visit me in reality

now an old man far from my childhood

a hundred veiled beauties

cannot untangle

the visions from my hair

now a thousand wise men

cannot interpret

the poems from my pen

I remember the child angel

gifting me two books of Love

one of the Cross and one of the Dome

for returning the ancient coin

to the disturbed stones

I remember the child angel

who brought me inside

a mountain cave

filled with Sunlight from above

overflowing with a Freshwater Spring

I remember when my lips kissed

their reflection on the still waters

I became drunk on enlightenment

and was born the long-haired lover

with a wild heart and wailing soul

the future suddenly visible in my wine cup

I could now see

zero distance between heart and soul

I could now see

both sides of the veil

I could now see

the visible and invisible worlds

I could now see

outside space and time

I could now see

the Light surrounded by shadow

I could now see

the Pearl of the third heaven

whose name is God

I could now see

I must fight the fire

consuming all faith

I could now see

when I am under the earth

you will dig me up

and drink the wine of the forbidden fruit

from the skull of Bohdan

to open your eyes

 

 

GOD’S SILENCE A LION’S ROAR

 

I have one foot in both worlds

a madman touched by fire

drunk on wine

my aching bones

full of honey

the kingdom of God

in every atom

an ocean of fire

inside my clay heart

God’s silence a lion’s roar

in the rose garden

the peacocks bloom

colorful feathers

gentle as sunlight

the breath of the Lion

hot wind on my skin

like the flickering flames of a thousand candles

caressing our mystical union

Love’s fire

in my wine cup

sweetness

from the other side of the veil

my soul

filled with God’s light

my soul

Filled with God’s silence

Note: To be read from top to bottom and bottom to top.

V.R : Thank you Stefan Bohdan for joining us on Poetry and Creativity blog!


S. B :
  You are welcome.

 

Stefan Bohdan 1

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