Since 2009, Gabriel Gadfly has published his poetry directly to readers through his website, http://gabrielgadfly.com, with new poems appearing every week. His poetry has appeared in the online journals Four & Twenty, Borderline, and Anatomy & Etymology, and on the hundreds of blogs, Facebook pages, and Tumblr accounts of readers who shared his work. Poetry collection Bone Fragments is his first book.
When did you first begin writing poetry? Is it something you always wanted to do?
GG: I wrote my first poem to ask a girl out in my freshman year of high school. It was a horrible poem, and she mercifully said no. :) I’ve known from an early age that I wanted to be a writer, but it wasn’t until I was in college that I considered it a possible career option.
GG: I think war has a lot to do with separation, and that’s a common theme that shows up throughout the book. Families and lovers left behind while their sons and brothers and husbands go off to fight. Soldiers separated from the others in their unit, like in the poems “Stick-Breaker and the Hare” and “Sin Loi”. Countries separated from themselves, like in the poems about the American Civil war at the beginning of the book, or in “Conjoined / Separated,” a poem about the division between North and South Korea. And of course, the ultimate separation of death. A war can bring a nation together, but it’s a false unity, because in doing so, it separates that nation from the rest of the world.
What is the one thing you want readers to take away from Bone Fragments?
GG: The one thing I really hope comes across is that war isn’t mononational. There are no good guys and bad guys. Every nation considers itself the good guy when it comes to war, and I think most soldiers go into war because they feel they are bettering their country by doing so. The common German soldier fighting under Hitler’s Germany did not go into war thinking “I am going to be uphold this evil regime.” He went into the war thinking “I am going to help make my nation the greatest nation on Earth,” and that’s exactly the same thought running through the head of a Japanese soldier fighting against Russia in 1904, and it’s certainly the thought that drives a lot of American soldiers into war.
Have you ever considered writing fiction?
GG: I’ve dabbled in fiction. There’s more than one novel project languishing away on my hard drive, but I’ve never finished any of them. One day I’ll get around to it, but for the moment I’m focusing most of my efforts on poetry.
Most importantly: your weapon of choice in a zombocalypse.
GG: A machete slingshot.