Monkey Bicycle Interviews Ori Fienberg

Leave a comment

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


Big Hunnid: Phreelance Writer Favs


the inspiration for our lingo.

Dear Readers,

In case you haven’t been keeping track, this is our 100th post.  It’s kind of a big deal.

We’ve have many notable milestones so far.  We’ve been jobless, we’ve applied to jobs, we’ve been ignored by jobs, we’ve gotten jobs, and in between, we’ve written about some other stuff as well.  Like any self-respecting publication, we’ve recruited contributors to work for free for us, and we’ve used social networking to our advantage to gain readership.  We’ve missed our self-imposed deadline of daily content maybe once or twice, and we feel that’s pretty damn good.

We’ve looked back over our work and felt that some posts have risen above others. Below, we’ve listed our favorites in four categories: Dash’s favs, Gage’s favs, favorite guest contributor posts and favorite collaboration post. We invite you to add your favorite posts in the comment section. After all, you are just as much a part of the blog as we are.

Dash’s Favs

Job Search Depression – This post was great for several reasons: It contains video, numbered bullet points and a metaphor. It really doesn’t get better than that.

Back to Square One – This post was excellent because it gave Gage a chance to flex his journalism skills by writing the beginning of a full-length feature. It’s a pleasant return to form.

The Other Travel Writer – This post epitomizes the essence of blogging. I think blogging is the ability to see something and comment on it in a public manner. Gage wrote this post on a bus while traveling across the state in such a way that the reader feels as if they are sitting next to Gage on that bus. The photo enhances the feeling.

Gage’s Favs

New (Old) Jobs – This one is great because Dash is exercising his all-too-capable wit.  There’s a lot going on here, some riddle, some social commentary.  See if you get it! If not, no problem: we figured out how to put our answer upside down, like on a cereal box!

Of Mice and Music – Dash is a trained journalist, but that doesn’t mean the man can’t write some poetic prose.  This post is great because it uses journalistic observation as well as creative style and language.

Teachable Moments Part II – At our jobs we need to individualize our teaching strategies.  Dash is a master of motivation, but sometimes we have to let the students motivate themselves.  This is a well-told blog story that captures Dash’s character and some of our workplace environment at the same time.

Favorite Guest Contribution

Top Five Reasons I’ve Ignored Your Job Posting – We lament that Dez hasn’t written for us in, well, a long time. We miss her. But when she did sling words for us, they were razor sharp and full of wit. She was the aggressive voice shouting those things we were all thinking but were too timid to say.

Love and Art in Handwriting – Even though Nick is the newest guest contributor, he’s made his mark early. When you hand write a blog post like he did, you have to respect his work ethic and commitment to the craft of handwriting.

Favorite Collaboration Post

Come On! (8/28/10) – This post makes me laugh because of the what went into writing it. I wrote the first blurb about Marcus Evans at 3:30 a.m. after being out all night with Gage and some other friends. My ire was fueled by massive inebriation and fatigue. The next morning, I reviewed what I had written previously and found it to be quite accurate, so it stayed.

Stuff We Don’t Miss –  Who doesn’t love top ten lists? Furthermore, I dare you to show me someone who has completed an undergrad degree who doesn’t miss any of the top three. If you do, I’ll show you someone who is lying through their teeth!

Thanks for reading. We’ll see you down the road for Big Two Hunnid.