James Giddings is the only poet I know who wore his stinky trainers so long his foot got infected. He’s also the only poet I know.
James is so good at poetry that at my book launch, where he read some of his poems, multiple people came up to him afterwards to ask if they could buy a copy of his book.
This was remarkable for a couple of reasons:
1) James hadn’t even said he had copies of the book for sale
2) These were people I know for a fact have never read poetry in their lives
James is so good at poetry that I read his new book, Everything Is Scripted, twice in an evening. And I’m a busy guy! I’ve got a lot to do! I’ve still not even watched The Sopranos. That’s how good James Giddings is at poems. Better than The Sopranos (maybe – like I said, I’ve still not seen it).
James Giddings is so good at poetry he could probably write a poem about me writing a post about how good he is at poetry. He would probably call it ‘The Things My Handsome and Cool Friend Jared Said About Me.’
Do you remember the time I was in the toilet and the handle broke off so I was locked in, and rather than getting help, you just stood outside laughing? Do you feel the public will still buy your book if they find out what a monster you are?
I’m expecting that’s the only reason they’ll buy it.
There’s a run of what I suppose could be categorised as ‘dad’ poems in everything is scripted. Were those poems written close together or is that a theme you’ve found yourself going back to at different times?
A bit of both really. I think the theme was something that I noticed as I looked back on the work I’d written. Initially they weren’t something that I set out consciously to write, but once I noticed there were a couple of these ‘dad’ poems it became more of a conscious process. Mainly because it was a good way to generate poems from an authentic place of feeling. It’s certainly something I’m still looking at, but I think now the book is out it’s given me the chance to think about how I can add to those poems by approaching the subject in different ways.
Between the dad poems, the work poems, some of the more cynical relationship lines, you seem to often write about the way things can seem quite hollow if you look at them from different angles. Do you think you tend to write more when you’re feeling dis-satisfied with something?
I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or not. I think if I wrote all the time I was feeling dissatisfied I’d be a lot more prolific than I am, but there’s probably some truth in that. I think it’s easier to write about the things that make you unhappy. That’s not to say I’m an unhappy person, but moments of happiness have a bubble effect – they’re experienced very quickly and when you’re in that moment it’s the only thing you care about or want to be a part of. There’s rarely a part of me that thinks, that was nice, I should really immortalise that feeling right now by leaving that bubble and writing about it. Those feelings of dissatisfaction linger around a lot longer than happiness, and writing is a way to use some of that negative energy that weighs upon you in a positive way.
On the release of your first pamphlet, do you have any goals for yourself as a poet? Is there anything else specific you know you would like to achieve, or be involved with, or work on?
I think short term I’ll just be happy if I keep writing. I’ve thought about retiring a few times, but realised perhaps I’m too young for that. In the meantime any good poem produced will be a victory for me.
But on the flip-side, being a very shallow person who draws motivation from suckling at the teat of other people’s love and affirmation, I’d love to clean up any and all accolades out there until I have enough of them to melt down into a big fat chain that hangs a medallion reading Best Poet Alive, just in case anyone who saw me didn’t know. And I’d want that medallion to made out of one of the rims of the Range Rover I’m going to own because my poems have brought me as much money as they have love and understanding to the general public.
Or I don’t know, sell a few copies of the book or something.
Finally, what was the last thing (poem, book, song, place etc) that you totally fell in love with?
Do your eyes count? I think the last thing I truly fell in love with was my girlfriend, but Waves by Jared A Carnie is a close second (reader, don’t trust him one bit, he has me hostage! send help!) I’ve never read such a likeable protagonist in my life as Alex. I’m also listening to a lot of Anderson .Paak at the minute. The guy is groovy.