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


I should let you know…

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I’ve recently applied to a job that I desire very much. It’s the first job in a while that I feel like I want to do and am also perfectly qualified for.  But I think at this point it’s safe to say that I can’t get the gig.  Here’s how the story has played out so far.

1.)   I applied to the job about two months ago with a very excellent application and cover letter.

2.)   Silence on the other end for two months.

3.)   I applied again by updating my cover letter and application.

4.)   Silence for a week.

5.)   I called the company and got lost in their switchboard maze.

6.)   I emailed them.

7.)   I snuck an email in through the website tech support request form.

8.)   They wrote back with a short email that included the following gem:

“We are reviewing applications for this position and will be in touch with candidates we are interested in having a phone interview with.  I should let you know that there is a strong candidate who has done work for us previously.  We appreciate your time spent on the application process and good luck with your search!”


But seriously.  If you’ve got some great writer you want to hire more than anyone else, why have you had this posting up for three months and not hired this person yet?  And did you not read the part in my cover letter that told you that I’m better for this job than anyone you can possibly think of?  Could someone, just for once, take a risk and actually hire someone who applied for the job?

I’m glad they appreciated my time, but I sure wish they could appreciate it by letting me spend time working for them.

I feel like I’m stuck in a poker game with a bunch of cheaters.  I ante up every round, and I play through to the end only to find out there are more aces in the deck than there should be.  These guys are pulling from their own private decks, and I’m running out of chips.

I’m getting sick of it.