Archive for the ‘Writers’ category

Tim Gritsevskiy: Student, Teacher, Writer, Reader

24 February 2009

The other day’s post featured Tim Gritsevskiy’s prose-poem. Today Tim discusses life as an MFA student on his way to a PhD in creative writing, as well as what he learned by being a public poet at the local “open mic.”

Tim is in the process of putting together a poetry publishing venture — here’s the link to the website.


Tim Gritsevskiy: 30 Seconds

22 February 2009

I first met Tim at a public reading featuring a number of local writers presenting their short stories and poems.  In the accompanying video Tim and I enjoy a cup of coffee at the Caffè Sole while talking about selected stanzas from his 30-part “segmented prose-poem.” I’ve printed only those stanzas which we discuss in the interview video.

The 30 Second Love Affairs


Our relationship was y=mx+b, where I was x and you were b.

M was the willingness to commit factor.

Spatially represented on a two dimensional graph, it stretched forever in both directions.

It was just a straight line.


The problem was that we both liked sleeping on the same side of the bed.

There were few options.

Stacked one on top and one beneath, like herring in a can.  Or maybe side by side, or chest to chest, or back to back – a sweaty stream down spinal riverbeds.

It didn’t last long.  The empty side’s indignant glare, like a stern parent, overshadowed all we tried.  There were few options, maybe 30, maybe less.


In the village, I got a room on the 30th floor, above a barber shop.

A stranger everywhere, I got an affair as a hypnotist.  It was only after I mesmerized myself with line patterns that I noticed:

People are always turning around.

I saw a woman who closed her eyes – implied rejection – so I had a good idea: feet walking without people, and people walking without feet.

Can’t sleep.


I took a book of 30 dirty cartoons off the shelf of my favorite bookstore.  Becoming aroused, I set the book back reverently with my trembling hands, hauled ass to the bathroom where I stretched out on the floor with my pants around my ankles and, skinny butt cheeks coldly sweating against the tiles, proceeded to masturbate fervently, dreaming of flat paper women with flat paper breasts and flat paper lips and flat paper legs.

For months, all I could think about was my book of 30 dirty cartoons.  They chased me – like night mares – even to my sleep.

Then I met my first girlfriend and realized what it was all about.

Words poured from my mouth and hands like a sieve.

I paused my pen.  Remembered:

the paper’s still flat.


I sat naked by the phone, hoping for your call. You didn’t call.

I stood naked by the door, waiting for your knock. You didn’t knock.

I walked naked in the street, looking for your voice. You didn’t speak.

I came naked to your house, searching for your face. You called the cops.


He had a big head and a small computer.  His thumbs were grotesque, bulging with muscle and adept at finding the tiniest of buttons.

Of her, the ears are worth mentioning.  Delicate and gracious, they were made of a fibrous tissue, with tiny cilia that constantly caressed the small white speakers placed within.

Together, they were unstoppable.  When they held hands, nature receded away from them, like a hairline.


She complained because he compulsively read David Copperfield in the bathroom.  She said, pitching her voice to carry through the locked door, “you don’t have the maturity level necessary to carry on this relationship.”

He got out of the tub, yanked open the door and, throwing the Dickens to the tiles, ran naked laps around her, waving streamers and confetti.  She tackled him to the floor and sat on his chest, pinning the flailing arms with her knees.

The poor Dickens classic sighed from the cool moist floor, thinking Great!  Just when I had finally made a friend! and began reading itself to itself for the 30th time, quietly, so as not to disturb anyone.

In the next post Tim talks more about himself as writer, “open mic” performer, MFA student, and teacher of creative writing.