The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Ryan Buynak: My name is Ryan Buynak. I am a writer and a poet, first and foremost. My fourth book of poetry hit the shelves of the world on April 1st, 2016. I do a lot of freelance for sports and pop culture publications. I am also the Creative Strategist for a super cool graphic design firm.
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
RB: I’d say reading and writing, but to me those things are life. I need them, like oxygen. I paint and draw. I do a lot of street art (like gluing VHS tapes to street lamps). I play basketball a few times a week. I try to skateboard as much as possible. I travel, explore, cook, go to concerts and comedy clubs. I call myself a pop culture casualty, because I love TV and movies (maybe too much), and I am a music sponge, soaking up whatever I can get my ears on, no matter the genre. Everything inspires me to write. Writing is the common thread in everything I do.
A Midnight Jam in Parc La Fontaine
streetwear in Montreal depicts a flannel overshirt every day.
I can play that part with one broken heart.
the folk musicians here all like me and give me couches.
and food and high-fives and drugs.
and let me borrow a skateboard for a couple heelflips.
I wish Vernon were here,
he'd get a kick out of these fine gone characters.
somehow, through the days I don't give in.
Satisfied with one Anglophone gig or two.
I believe these stories save the truth.
from a horrible death.
satisfied with sirens and one window and a tiger.
my cellular telephone is in a Chicago banquet room.
my violence is in Manhattan.
my time here is spent listening.
and longing to be someone new to someone new.
most nights, I dream of circles and graveyards.
One hundred dreams without numbers.
Satisfied, I am back to remaining.
if no one sees me, I am not here at all.
I carved some initials in the bark of a tree.
as proof of something called existence.
and then I petted a dog and left.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
RB: Honestly, not really. This may seem like blasphemy to some people, but I don’t believe in writer’s block. Writing and creating, to me, are addictive diseases; I can’t ever shut it off. However, life goes up and life goes down, therefore sometimes you have more time to write and create, and sometimes it comes in a flood and sometimes it comes in a faucet drip. To me, it is important not to think about it and just do it, any chance I get.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
RB: The mornings, without a doubt. Maybe midnight, too. But setting, weather and mood also have an impact on what anyone creates.
the six songs of brick red
we used crayons.
on the concrete porch.
then I left around noon.
I forgot my favorite hat at your apartment.
it's probably still on your dresser.
I walked towards Ladd's Addition.
SE 34th street.
you know that hill?
with the bricks.
at the top of said lonely hill,
I saw a different pretty girl
walking down the descent.
she was wearing a white sundress and an overcoat,
just in case of always rain...
and she had this nice big smile stretching
across her world.
she was dumbly gazing forward and up,
and just smiling the most genuine smile
in all the world.
I wondered what created that smile.
she danced by and disappeared,
and subsequently, without ever knowing it,
she made my day a little bit better.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
RB: I want to write a ton of books. I want to write a movie. Just keep writing, keep creating. It is important to me to leave a legacy of work.
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
RB: I see inspiration in everything, from bodegas to basketball, old whiskey bottles to the smell of rain. I don’t really have a process; I write all the time, whenever I can. I just started my own publishing company (Coyote Blood Press), and have been working on my fourth book of poetry for a while now. It came out April 1st. I sighed relief, celebrated, then got back to work on a novel that I have been tinkering with for four years.
I don't know...
It all happens at once.
I put a letter for you
in the mail today.
and fuck you
for wasting my time
with eyes that shine
named after nightmares.
fuck the morning time,
it goes by so slyly
and then the afternoon
lets me down
every single fucking time.
fuck that hat
you used to wear.
I wonder if you still do.
fuck that book
you said was your favorite:
A Confederacy of Dunces.
fuck time and age,
fuck decay, too.
fuck those fuckers
who are weaker than you.
I wonder what time it is on the sun.
remember last night?
devils and angels pounding
on my gates, terribly so.
fuck them assholes
who disturb our parents
after they are dead.
I won't ruin the future.
do you remember last night?
magical, indeed, despite
the desert of Manhattan on the horizon
and the noise
and you eating paste
like a goddamned kindergartner.
Love is a Gateway Drug
I love you beautiful.
I love you strange.
The most beautiful woman in the world
is in my southern bed
with her cheeks and her sense of humor.
I am not there.
I am with peacocks and tomahawks.
With a head full of preface lives,
hung heavy with crown, sure as shit.
A vision of addiction
as a scarily arresting serpent world.
TCU: What scares you?
RB: Death. And being attacked by a tiger, but I guess that equals death as well.
TCU: What does success mean to you?
RB: Failing and bouncing back. Happiness, hard work and creativity. I consider myself so lucky to get paid to do what I love. I will fail again and again, but it is how one responds to failure that makes makes them successful.
TCU: Anything else you want to add?
RB: Don’t ever give up. No matter what you want to do, do it every day.