Interview With Poet Joseph Milford

This week at the Poetry Blog of 32 Poems Magazine my interview with poet Joseph Milford was posted.  He’s a contributor to the magazine and was a delight to interview.

First, let me tantalize you with a bit from the interview, and then you can go on over and check the rest out for yourself.

Without further ado, here’s the interview.

Do you see spoken word, performance, or written poetry as more powerful or powerful in different ways and why? Also, do you believe that writing can be an equalizer to help humanity become more tolerant or collaborative? Why or why not?

Obviously, when we hear the poems or see them “performed”, they become altered, and many times more powerful, vehicles. To see the shape of the poet’s mouth, the body posture, the diaphragm expand, the throat constrict, etc.—this is an incredible organic experience all leading to the convocation of voice. It’s a great sharing. I do think that in these moments, which at their greatest extreme could border on shamanistic, we may find ways to temper our human nature, to tune it into a more harmonious instrument, maybe. Although, I do hear my inner skeptic creeping in, so I will stop here.

How do you stay fit and healthy as a writer?

I wish I could decline this question! In any case, I don’t do much at all. I need to get fit—that’s for sure—I want to be around to watch my daughters grow into women—I have noticed that running from my responsibilities is not callisthenic.

What current projects are you working on and would you like to share some details with the readers?

I am currently shopping around a collection of poems I am calling DRUNKEN LOCUST, which I think is my best work to date. Of course, Chenelle and I are publishing SCYTHE, our literary journal, three times a year and doing The Joe Milford Poetry Show once a week. I am working on a very long poem which I doubt no one will ever be nuts enough to publish—it is currently titled BLIZZASTERISK. I think that sums it up for now—and thanks for this opportunity to talk about my interests and my love of poetry. I’m super happy to be in your journal.

Check out a sample of this mysterious large poem, BLIZZASTERISK:

From The Blizzasterisk

i wanted the specific procedure to bleed the TV sitcom families out of me.
vendettas spill over verandas and fertilize the gardens.
things were more insidious than asbestos lingering in our catacombs.
the entire population was just a few French fries short of a Happy Meal.
the ghosts of books read find slippage under the screen door into the grass to fume.
the stagecraft was amazing as the postcards shot through the crowd maiming all of us.
a mystery creature comes to you with a set of keys. you ask which door. it gnashes its teeth.
there is no power-source for the great apparatus. we still hung from the giant killswitch.


one can never have enough LEGOS during a mid-life crisis this is the cure to Alzheimer’s.
they kept saying my future was held in my hands’ palms. i sliced that future up with farmwork.
i can smell the musk, the scat, the sulphur, the burnt metals and plastics of a poem passing by.
like that pumpkin on the counter about to become a gourd to be hollowed out for a birdnest.
if you ever see a kid standing in golden wheat or goldenrod–rescue him. America kills.
i am made of tusks covered in leather. i move like a golem through religions. dream me.
some pop-songs are so covered in suntan lotion that i remember my sharkbites. ah, spring break.
on a white piece of construction paper, my stepdaughter killed my ninjas. it hurt nanoseconds.


if you paint a garden and do not like the branch then finish the painting and grab a ladder & saw.
a morphic field altered by language is a word or series of words you must own as a badge.
one must always attain a maximum intensity with a minimum of means said Miro the bullfighter.
the red fox implanted with her RFID chip runs constantly around our house stealing identities.
how does one separate the dust from anything he or she has done how does one leave earth?
amoebic vehicles harvest skeletal and biological growths amongst a sea of germinations.
without dirt there would be no clouds. without hammocks there would be no drunks. kick dust.
as a kid we had honeysuckle, crab-apples, grounded pecans, muscadines, sour-grass—plenty.


the ash falling was the closest thing to snowfall this hellpocket was ever going to be blessed with.
there are no inhospitable islands to vanquish sinners on–they become convenience store cashiers.
as we spread lime for next year’s tomatoes the world writhed in endless top ten lists. cuckolds.
crawdads circle like an underwater zodiac as i unhook the catfish from my chickenwire hook.
Ascletario was eaten by dogs when he should have been burned. the stars, the stars, the stars.
if i had been named Cadillac Williams and not Joe Milford i wonder what could have happened.
sea urchins thrive about the planet like the halitosis of your hangover and dust of bad checks.
Algol mer. 6:25 ev. Moon Leo. 35 degrees N. Lat 75 degrees. Long. Sun sets at 5:28. days too short.

Please check out the rest of the interview on 32 Poems Blog.

About the Poet:

Joseph V. Milford is a Professor of English at Georgia Military College south of Atlanta. His first book, Cracked Altimeter, was published in 2010. He is the host of the weekly Joe Milford Poetry Show, which he maintains with his wife, Chenelle. He also edits the literary journal Scythe with his wife from their shack in rural Georgia. Currently, he is trying to figure out how to convert armadillo roadkill into a fuel-efficient substitute for fossil fuels.


  1. I’ve had a good time interviewing these poets because their answers are so varied and intriguing.
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  2. That poem certainly makes you think. It’s something I’d have to read more than once to appreciate. Thanks for these interesting interviews!
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