Glenn Shaheen

Poet Glenn Shaheen doesn’t always start off on the right foot, but he says the ends justify the means. Take the thoughts on his poem “I Am the Wall in the House and I Have a Duty to Remain Erect”: “It sounds stupid if I say where that one came from,” he says. “I smoked salvia…it was terrifying, and I imagined I was the wall of the house,” he says. After Shaheen came down, he was inspired. “It originally started like, ‘Oh, I smoked this drug,’ which is exactly like every poem is not supposed to start,” he says. Luckily, Shaheen’s schooling — he got his Masters from the University of Houston’s Creative Writing program — helped him turn it into a revealing piece pairing emotional and social fears — a popular topic in his work.

“A lot of my poems are kind of dystopian,” he says. “But now I guess when people read this, they’ll know I do all the wrong things to write poems…I guess no inspiration is incorrect; it’s just about the revision of that inspiration.” (During our conversation, Shaheen asks if we can headline this article “Not an Idiot.” Done — we aim to please.) He reads today with fiction writers Blase Drexler and Diana Wolfe at the Poison Pen Reading Series. 8:30 p.m. Poison Girl, 1641 Westheimer. For information, call 713-527-9929 or visit www.myspace.com/poisongirlbar. Free.
Thu., June 26, 8:30 p.m., 2008

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Dusti Rhodes
Contact: Dusti Rhodes