Updated: Mar 9
An Interview with Danny Best
This morning I had the opportunity to speak with Danny Best for our interview. I am going very local as we used to live in the same town. I met Danny at local poetry readings, and we were members of a local writing group as well. When I moved to a beach town a couple of years ago, we met halfway for our every few weeks-lunch to talk about writing and art. Danny has started something very innovative in his poetry, by writing a short story and combining it with his poems and he will share one for our interview.
Carl Scharwath: Good morning, Danny and thank you for your time this morning. We at ILA Magazine are happy to know and learn about you. My first question is:
Please tell us about yourself. ***
Danny Best: The two primary love's throughout my life have been women and children, also taking center stage in most of my poems, prose and short stories. Prior to my new career, I had worked odd jobs as a young man and then I found yet another love in the culinary arts (until the low pay no benefits and extremely long hours finally caught up to me). So, I went and got my CDL and drove a truck over a (5 state area) until an in-plant injury (accident) put the kibosh on that. Now retired, I am a twice divorced father of 7, a grandfather of 6 and a great grandfather of 3. I do still enjoy cooking certain dishes and singing while I'm cutting, chopping, dicing, stirring and flipping some of the ingredients, which I believe adds a little something extra special to each meal that I professionally prepare.
Carl Scharwath: What drew you to poetry as a form of expression, and how did you get started writing poetry? *** Danny Best: I was drawn to poetry because I had always felt that I'd like to write a song that I could share with all the world. Although I wasn't able to write music, I felt I had a shot at writing the words for songs, so my words became my poems and my poems then became my songs to share.
Carl Scharwath: How would you describe your poetic style or voice, and what themes or subjects do you explore most often in your work? *** Danny Best: I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I don't read or follow other poets as many others' claim to do. I've always felt that doing so could possibly taint whatever kind of style I might develop for my own way of writing or for delivering my work to an audience via CD's or my Live Performances. As to my voice, the pitch and tone of my voice tends to change when I am performing live. I try to build, create and design the themes and subjects of my work to explain and/or describe many of the experiences and events from my own life through memories and captured dreams.
Carl Scharwath: How do you know when a poem is finished? Do you have any best practices for editing and revising your work?
*** Danny Best: Sometimes I actually think a poem is finished within the first, second or third draft only to realize that it may take several more attempts, before I manage to actually get it home to where it really needs to be. As to editing, I use my cell phone as much as possible as I don't have what most consider to be an actual education (a traditional education - I'm mostly self-taught).
Carl Scharwath: Please tell us how you came upon your new style of combining poetry with an introductory story? *** Danny Best: With my first meager attempts at writing poetry, I felt it could be better if there were a little story perhaps a lead-in to each poem, although at that point, I didn't even have a clue as to how someone would go about creating, building and putting all of that together, so that it would make sense and it would actually work, so that it would fit. Fortunately, that particular way of writing poetry and/or prose had actually found its way back to me and continued to nudge at me until I finally did become determined enough to make it a reality, following numerous trials and errors, of course.
Carl Scharwath: What advice would you give someone who is just starting to explore poetry as a writer or reader? *** Danny Best: The only advice I feel comfortable offering is not give up on yourself or your dream/s. Don't be so quick to just accept (that'll do) because you will know that (it won't do). You'll have to keep trying til you get it right, til you get it home were it belongs. And you'll know that you finally got it there when it stops nudging you.
Carl Scharwath: Please share with us, what you like best about being part of the ILA Magazine Facebook Group? *** Danny Best: I like that ILA has numerous opportunities for so many to be heard and to share their work with and through a world community open to all.
Carl Scharwath: Thank you for your time this morning, Danny, we at ILA Magazine wish you the best of luck in your writing journey and please keep us informed of your successes.
Danny Best is a retired Professional Cook and Truck Driver (5-state area) and is currently working on creating an entirely new career for himself as a Poet/Writer and Actor. Danny considers poetry a great opportunity to communicate and connect with all kindred souls/spirits in a more personal manner to share some good old practical food for thought while also encouraging readers to journey beyond their own comfort zones and explore other subject matter, thoughts and things. In his words: "I usually write from the various memories of my own life lessons and experiences, and what dream remnants I may glean from amongst the disheveled peaks and valleys of my somewhat threadbare cotton pillow cases." Danny hails from the sunny state of Florida, in Mount Dora. Below, he shares with ILA, some of his creative work.
A spry teenage girl had found herself in the local emergency room having miscalculated a simple skateboard flip, acquiring some pretty serious abrasions on both her knee and her elbow. Although a bit painful, acceptable badges of honor (bragging rights) in her skateboarding community. While awaiting her turn to be seen by medical personnel, she'd noticed a little toddler resting on the lap and arms of an elderly woman who appeared to be on the verge of tears. Concerned for the pair, the young girl had approached them asking, "Are you ok, can I help you, can I get you anything?" The elderly woman's eyes welled up with tears as she covered the ears of the toddler and whispered, "They still can't figure out what is wrong with him." The little fellow hadn't been simply resting, he was severely lethargic and physically unable to respond. The girl began praying in silence, directly to the toddler.
you have stumbled upon a new journey that's nearly impossible to understand
but maybe...just maybe your tired little wings have only faltered a bit
try to make yourself
your own...healing friend
do your very best
to shake-up and wake-up
all of those
sleepy ol' healing feathers
and make sure that they know
you really do expect them to mend
you're much too brave of a
not to...want to
to fly again © Danny Best Sandman the Dreamer
Carl Scharwath is from the sunshine state of Florida. He is the Art Editor of Minute Magazine and a Contributing Editor and Interviewer at ILA Magazine. His work has appeared globally, with 150+ journals, selecting his poetry, short stories, interviews, essays, art/photography, and most recently, plays. Carl is the author of four books.