Monkey Bicycle Interviews Ori Fienberg

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Today J.A. Taylor from the literary journal Monkeybicycle interviewed poet and Phreelance Writer contributor Ori Fienberg about his piece ‘Clockwork Dog’ which appears in their latest issue. Here is an excerpt from the interview:

‘Clockwork Dog’ is built on a disparity of terms – ‘friendly friction’ / ‘retrieving discarded’ / etc. – how important is this discord to your poetry (or this poem)?

In poetry, and contemporary poetry in particular, I think that the
pairing of disparate words and contrasting language is a common
strategy. The goal, I’m pretty sure is to be evocative, but often it
results in obfuscation. You could say the same about the very title
and subject of this poem.  I understand that an initial reaction may
be something along the lines of, what the hell is a “clockwork dog”
anyway? Well, I don’t want my reader surrounded by a jangle of words,
so while the exact form of the dog is left to the reader, by the end
they have an idea of this dog’s motivations, and I think would agree
that he is a “good dog.” So rather than discord, in this and other
pieces I work to create chords from unlikely notes.

There is also an aggressive use of range in this piece –
running the reader from a ‘tornado’ to a ‘merry-go-round’ – can you talk to us about what you hope this scaled-variation will do to

Simply, the range makes the poem livelier and more engaging. The
reader has the opportunity to fit their own rotations and clocks
somewhere between bottle caps and planets, and make their own personal
connections to time with the Clockwork Dog as a guide. . .

For the full interview visit the Monkeybicycle blog and and to read more by Ori Fienberg check out our reprint of his sequence “Collectors


Happy Holidays

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Have a wonderful and safe holiday from all of us at Phreelance Writers!


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We’re thankful for you, dear reader. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Phreelance Writers.



Yesterday, in an effort to take our minds off the cold wind during our walk through the Fenway, my girlfriend and I came up with a fun word game:

The players take turns working their way through the alphabet, coming up with words that start with each letter.  The first word is a noun, the second is a verb, the third is an adjective, and then you just repeat the cycle.  It’s not a competitive game with scoring or anything, but it’s fun to try to come up with little-used pieces of your vocabulary, and to see what your partner will come up with.

We had a little trouble when we got down to the X and Z letters, so we came up with an optional rule: for rounds that use those letters, you can just come up with a word that includes an X or a Z — it doesn’t have to start with that letter.

Some notables from yesterday’s game:

Ubiquitous.  Elegy.  Omniscient.  Plesiosaurus.

Try it for yourselves, and post your best words in the comments section.

Veteran’s Day

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From everyone at Phreelance Writers, thank you.


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Dear Readers,

Here’s the deal.

We’ve put up a hundred great posts almost in a row.  We’re rock stars, but we’ve run out of steam.  Since we’re our own bosses, we’re taking a week off.  For this week, we have plans to go forth into the world and get into lots of trouble that we’ll be able to write about for months to come.  In a way, it’s almost as if we’re still on the job.

We promise, this is in all of our best interests.

-Phreelance Writers

Please Forgive Us


Dear, dear readers,

We apologize for letting you all down this weekend.  We’re usually very strict about meeting our self-imposed deadlines for posting new content to the blog, but this weekend sort of got away from us.  Things came up, and, combined with a sudden onset of laziness, we were unable to publish words for you all to read.

To make up for this, we’ve decided to offer a consolation.  Over the weekend, Gage’s band cut three new tracks at Mixed Emotions Studio just north of Boston.  Get excited: we’ll be posting them on the blog for you to take a listen. They’re currently being mastered, but should be ready for your sonic pleasure within a day (and maybe night).  We know we’ve let you all down this past weekend, but seriously, these tracks are hot.  We’re quite sure they’ll make up for our lapse in motivation. For now, enjoy some poetry from Dash who readily admits he is not a poet.


Typing, keystrokes, letters fly

Composed, ordered, raised high

Meaning found or placed

Total structure metaphor-laced.

Ideas, thoughts jumbled up

Written down, spilled from my cup.

Highlighted, underlined all around

Crap… need an allusion to the ground.

Pulled together, edited, cut

Read-over, felt in the gut.

It’s tough, no doubt, it’s a fight.

But I do it, I love it, I write.

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