My guest today is someone I met innocently enough on Face Book. I am Nigerian with a healthy respect for the internet because being elderly it is bewildering to me. I wanted to learn and stepped out into the world wide web and ‘met’ Nomar Knight. Poet, blogger, novelist and essayist.
He likes poetry , fair enough I said, I love poetry not strictly the traditional format I had learned in my youth so many moons ago but the freedom to express my thoughts in the most succinct way or ramble and take flight if I felt like it. Nomar seemed therefore my cup of tea until I learned about Knight Chills and his penchant for horror, I was intrigued and wanted to know more. I learned that Nomar talked about the horror of the lives we lead, the horror of forbidden desires and loves, the horror of a gossamer- thin humanity. The horror of sliding into depravity and accepting shaky definitions in a world that was losing its voice and its innocence. Nomar is horrified trying to make sense of a world that could be horrifying. I finally understood and have admired his innate sensitivity, his silent longing that we may find Truth. Truth heals, but its severity can be horrifying for like the scalpel of the surgeon it must be sharp and incisive to reveal the new skin and remove the dead skin. Please enjoy a very interesting time with Nomar Knight on Center Stage.
1. Please tell us a bit about you and your genre of writing.
I was born and raised in New York City’s Lower East Side and a resident of the projects. I come from a humble background and was often surrounded by violence or death. Growing up in the mean streets of New York I developed a keen eye for observing and identifying bad guys. As a result, my favorite genres to write in are horror, and suspense thrillers, though I dabble in the supernatural fiction world as well. I write mostly short stories, novellas, and poetry and I’m currently working on a novel titled DARKNESS ROAMS. I currently reside in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico.
2. You have a blog that you call Knight Chills, seemingly dedicated to horror poems, why?
I’m a restless adult who enjoys thrillers of all kinds and I feel that poetry paints a lovely picture with words which elicit emotion. Real life horror events have impacted my life since I was six years old so I guess dark poetry or horror poems are a way for me to cope with unpleasant events. Or it could be that I’m drawn to the darker side of life. Although in fairness to my blog, Knight Chills, I’ve written about forbidden love, lost love, deep love, suicide, paranormal events, and a host of other topics including writing tips that may be applied to other genres.
3. What have been the major influences in your writing?
It started with my love for Edgar Allan Poe’s gifted prose and his morbid way of describing horrible events. Also, his poetic prowess dazzled me. Your command of poetry mesmerizes me as well. When I was a kid, I didn’t speak much with words. My fists did most of my talking. In 7th grade, Sister Brigid taught me how to control my anger… the inner turmoil that boiled inside me. Since then, just about every writer has impacted my writing in some way, in particular; the master himself, Dean Koontz.
4. Poets, authors, and artists disclose a bit of themselves in their writing, you strike me as someone warm and sensitive, so why did you choose horror?
I don’t believe I chose the genre. I think it chose me. One day I was reading the writing contests on a wonderful website called writing.com and I wanted to see if I had it in me to write horror. It was there another horror writer encouraged me to continue in the genre. As far as I can see, every day is history in the making for though one of my stories is included in an anthology, Masters of Horror: Damned If You Don’t, I’m not satisfied because I believe I’m just getting started.
5. It is said that our readers can be affected by what we write just as we are bound by what we write too, how do you feel about that and the possible effect of your writing on your readers?
I find that I’ve been writing poems with a political edge. Through poetry I sort of rant or gripe about what I feel is wrong in society. So in that regard, I hope my words can be one voice that stands out among many to inspire people to change things if they don’t like how they’re living or what they’re forced to deal with on a daily basis. On the flip side, when I write about horrible events, my intentions aren’t for anyone to seek vengeance or go on a killing spree, but instead to reflect on why things are bad and what they can do to change things. I hope the individual understands that in order to change the world, he must first start by changing himself and how he views the world.
6. Horror sometimes derives from ignorance and a lack of knowledge, breeding fear. Can you share any experience that has ever horrified you?
When I was six I witnessed a man get shot in cold blood. At first I was intrigued by the violence, and how the wounded man reached up toward me, for his eyes connected with mine. But then the horror of the moment sunk in when the man with the gun looked up at my window and spotted me. I ducked for cover, praying he wouldn’t shoot at me. He didn’t. Nevertheless, I saw the victim’s eyes lose their luster. I wrote about this scene in a story on writing.com called, EYES OF THE DEAD.
7. Let’s move into something a bit more spiritual, hell is assumed to be really horrific. As a poet, do you think there is really hell or heaven?
I know there is. I’ve had spiritual experiences in the past. I’ve spoken to dead people in dreams. They come to me if they feel I’m the one best suited to help them ease someone else’s suffering from their absence. On a few occasions, the dream world bridged with reality. For example, my grandmother, after she died, asked me in a dream to ease her daughter’s suffering, (my aunt), yet I told her to show her she was alright. That morning I woke to a phone call from my aunt, crying, saying she dreamt about her mother and that it was my idea to show her she was okay. Perhaps she was given a glimpse of heaven. Spooky stuff, I know.
8. Definitions are really relative, please give a definition in broad terms on what you see or feel as horror.
Horror is more than a genre. It is when the world of possibility overtakes the realm of probability, making the reader realize that what the author is proposing can indeed happen to either the reader or someone close to her. Terror knows no boundaries and therefore, what truly terrifies an individual serves to awaken a part of us we wish remained hidden. It is the author’s job to bring fear to the surface in the hope that the reader will enjoy the ride.
9. Your poem was part of an anthology, are you planning on publishing a collection soon?
Actually, it was one of my most terrifying short stories that made the anthology. The story titled, SINS OF THE FLESH, exposes several horrible addictions. It plays on my favorite type of horror—psychological horror. As far as publishing a collection of poems, I am slowly working on something called THE BOOK OF TORTURED SOULS. I’m afraid it’s something I haven’t focused on recently because I have an incredibly short attention span. Perhaps I’ll get it done in another year or two.
10. Prose authors today have a seeming edge over published poets, yet poetry is described as an expression of the soul in picture words, what do you think can be the reason for the decline in the popularity of poets?
Perhaps poets are still viewed as temperamental, creative dinosaurs. I believe that in the U.S. there is a movement to make poetry popular again, but it is difficult to get the younger generations to write poetry. If I’m lucky, I’ll make ten dollars for a poem while my favorite writer, Dean Koontz writes a novel and gets paid around 45 million dollars a book. Unless I use my poetic skills for song writing, I’ll never be able to earn a living as a poet, but do you know what? I don’t care! I love poetry and will always take time out and write. I guess I’m a purist.
11. Paint us a picture of your average day as a poet and blogger.
Sometimes I will come across a phrase that would make a splendid title for a poem. One most recent title was Sacred Simplicity. I heard that beautiful phrase in a song titled, Eric’s Song. Anyway, the song was about forbidden love, one of my favorite poetry topics. So when I sat to write, I thought it would be about love, but instead, politics took over and the poem turned into a rant. I posted it on Knight Chills. Any articles I write usually have something to do with whatever I’m researching or interested in at the time. I especially like to react to other writer’s quotes, songs or poems.
12. In earlier times poetry was part of a recommended text for secondary school. Would a modern poet make the recommended list?
I truly hope so. There are so many talented poets still living. It would be awfully closed minded not to explore the current talent pool from around the globe. I believe language teachers should introduce students to both the classics and modern poetry. I know in my classes, I always try to have my students read at least a few new poets. I consider it a crime not to share such great talent with the world, that’s why I enjoy featuring other poets on Knight Chills. It doesn’t matter to me if the poem is dark or not. It should be well written and invoke some sort of emotion in my readers.
13. Please give advice to anyone who wishes to be a poet and particularly a poet of the horror genre. Thank you for coming on Center Stage
My advice to all writers: WRITE WHAT’S INSIDE YOU. Don’t worry if what comes out is full of pain and misery. Don’t feel ashamed that your words bleed terror on the page. What’s important is that you share your work with the world. It amazes me when readers get something positive out of my work, or perhaps my words elicit emotions that may eventually lead to their healing of something they had kept locked inside them. Write poetry because it wants to come out. Don’t think about the financial aspects to writing. Just write and of course, read as many poets and books as possible. We learn from everything, our experiences, our choices, and those around us. Use life to express your thoughts through words and you’ll be amazed how a quiet personality may grow a voice that may be heard around the world.
Thank you so much Biola. It has been a pleasure being here on Center Stage. You are a most gracious host.
For anyone wishing to sample my work, either short stories or poetry, please visit my blog, at www.knightchills.blogspot.com
You can read my horror poetry at http://www.snmhorrormag.com/snmdarkpoetrysep.htm
You may purchase the Masters of Horror: Damned If You Don’t Anthology at