Interview with poet Peter Jacob Streitz

The man helping me kick
off a new week is
Jacob Streitz
. We’re talking about poetry today. Peter has two books of
Hellfires Shake the Blues, and
No Words . . . Just News.

Peter Jacob Streitz was born
an iconoclastic hick in upstate New York. Raised by a single mom after his dad
flew the coop instead of flying The Hump, over the Burma Road in World War Two,
where he won the Distinguish Flying Cross by losing both the Japs and his mind.
His inevitable departure didn’t affect Peter—as he morphed into an All-American
boy and athlete who was awarded a four year, full-boat scholarship to Alfred
University (which he rejected) before counter-culturing his way towards the
only degree ever given by Boston University in Alternative Education.
This, of course, primed him
for his personal low as a Repo Man to his meteoric rise to corporate management
in the now defunct computer giants of Compugrahic and Wang, plus the largest
chemical company in the world, BASF. Soon after getting his dream job of a
Multi-International Customer Service Manager (with worldwide influence and an
actual business card) he, same as his father, lost his marbles and bailed from
reality, before moving from Beantown to the Left Coast and set up shop as a
househusband—sans any kids—for his corporate executive wife, and thereby,
bravely embarked on the delusional life of being a novelist-slash-poet while
incorporating the business plan of Divine Intervention to ensure his inevitable
Welcome, Peter. What do you enjoy most about writing poems?
Their appearance joyously announces
the end of my writer’s block. All my poems begin as an anger, confusion,
frustration, andor my search for clear and concise answers to questions that
either don’t exist or are just too simple to be true. That’s when the beavers
go to work. All my thoughts begin to circulate in a boggy jumble and the
beavers methodically, and forcefully, begin to build their dam against my
poetic flow, either up or downstream, ruthlessly jamming me between the shores.
This creates, if not a torment, then an adrenaline-junkie’s kind of excitement
in my mind as the pressure continuously builds and the reservoir fills to bursting.
Then all hell erupts as the logs give way and a solid stream of poetry begins
to dictate itself—as I type as quickly as I can in the hopes of not being swept
away or drowned in my own confluence of madness merging with the lifeline of
Can you give us a little insight into a few of your poems
– perhaps a couple of your favorites?
My poems are spiritual
news. Which has absolutely nothing to do with religion—quite the opposite. My
poems are the “found pieces” that litter the mind. You know, the discarded bits
and pieces that don’t fit the privatized propaganda that’s eventually
verbalized as one’s personal truth, thought, or intended deception. Most of
these remnants (these discards of immorality andor sanctimony) are found in
the usual places; meaning, the gutters, back alleys or the grand boudoirs of
the brain. And as they’re merely leftover from a whole—and normally completely
out of context—I make no moral judgement on their meaning or intent I simply
give them air to breath and a platform from which to have their say. Favorites
What form are you inspired to write in the most? Why?
My form, and not content (as
I’m so often reminded) seems to take the shape of wine being manically
dispensed—by Charles Bukowski—into an hourglass decanter. Why? It palliates the
Sisyphean hangover.
What type of project are you working on next?
I’d like to answer this,
but as I have no say in the matter I can’t.
When did you first consider yourself a writer / poet?
In the sixth grade, when I
snagged first prize in a writing contest. They took a bunch of us juvenile
delinquents to this stink-hole of a fish hatchery for some learnin’ about how
fish mate by squeezing a load of sperm and eggs into a big ol’ mixing vat . .
.and I wrote of my experience from the fish’s point of view . . . winning a
Martin fish reel, the Mohawk model.
How do you research markets for your work, perhaps as
some advice for not-yet-published poets?
Research for my work is akin
to a molting leper trying to shake hands at a Malibu beach party . . . there
aren’t many takers . . . and judging by the sight and sound of my verse no one
is nominating them for any category—much less an Oscar.  As for advice, never use the word soul.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Every day, before I write
a word . . . I read as much celebrity-crap news as I can stand . . . deadening
the outside world . . . and leaving me with only my own thoughts as
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A priest with a harem.
Anything additional you want to share with the
Writing truthfully from
the heart is not only vital, but it’s also lifesaving for those living both
within and without.

Thanks for being here today, Peter.

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