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To Sit Upon The Mountaintop Of My Soul

Author Interview
Paul Lomax Author Interview

What was the idea, or spark, that first set off the need to write and put together the collection of poetry and short stories in Amygdala Blue?

This is, quite honestly, an incredibly concrete and foundational question I would take the liberty to invariably rephrase as: What drives you to compose, canvass, sculpt, and personify poetry? Answer: At the core of what drives my poetry – as well as creative nonfiction – what fuels my need to invest myself in poetry, to sit upon the mountaintop of my soul, listen to past voices rustling across sub-Saharan African ranges, excavating the self, lies the need to uncover what June Jordan beautifully stated as “… formulations of what’s important”. Therein rests my poetic bloodline, to swim in the forever tide of truth, of a gripping, forever biopsychosocial River… Moreover, I contend, my style of poetry is certainly NOT mainstream in nature, rather speaks with a bold tone, sometimes distilled and dissected, other times, brash and emotional. Overall, my works are written with a revolutionary ‘structure’, canvassed around the postmodern notion embodying the African American ‘Presence of Absence’ phenomenon. Authentic poetry demands poets become idiosyncratically ‘attuned’ to an uncompromising, creative self.

“Panther Lurking High Above the Hood” is one of my favorite pieces in this collection. Do you have a favorite writing in this collection, if so what is it and why?

Yes, “Durn my Hide” is a personal expression of antebellum, post-reconstructionist musings, channeled from an authentic voice and time. Unquestionably experimental, undeniably raw, but true to cultural place and time. Because this poem evokes so much emotion, and unique qualities – including prominent rhythms, imagery, and compactness – the prose poem form and structure works best in showcasing its characterized intensity. In this poem, there exists an underlying complexity that challenged me for years to countless number of revisions. Through it all, though, I never thought about moving away from the stylized language. In fact, it was Paul Lawrence Dunbar’s seminal craft which inspired me to excavate deeper, dispel the urge to conform to postmodern vernacular; remembering to stay in touch with the odor, sight, and sound of the minute, hour, day poetically ‘captured’… Moreover, of an interesting note, I hail from several generations of African American farmers from Saluda, Virginia. A land enriched with the blood and sweat, and sacrifice of an African American history written far from history books presented to our postmodern culture. However, I wasn’t fortunate enough to meet any of my mother’s siblings or parents, but I was provided enough information from my mother about their incredible hardships and social struggles. Interestingly though, as I grew into manhood, attained higher education degrees, I could never shake my earthen archetypal memories; I continued to be haunted by the Southern African American voice fettered to land tilled from dawn to dusk, every day of every year. In its purest form, “Durn my Hide” is a revolutionary poem! As André Breton (1896-1966), co-founder of the Surrealist movement said, “The advantage of revolution was not that it gives mankind happiness…[but] it should purify and illuminate man’s tragic condition”.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your collection?

In the midst of a crisis moment, I hope readers come away from reading Amygdala Blue with a resounding notion regarding the grounding and healing power of nature. For in nature, can we make sense of the world enveloping everyone, and thus understand who we are. Ralph Waldo Emerson stated: “In the woods, we return to reason and faith”.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

TBD…

Author Links: Twitter | GoodReds

Compelling as The Color Purple, palpable as The Invisible Man, and as painful as The Souls of Black FolkAmygdala Blue is a dark excursion triangulating socio-historical ‘beliefs’.


Despite our constant unraveling, despite our continuous urge to become disentangled with one another, we are forever bound to each other, and Nature. Our maternal, romantic, rebellious bonds compel us to belong to each other. This fierce intimacy has the potential to stretch emotional, moral, and faith-based boundaries.


Painted in poetic hues and savage creative nonfiction choices, Amygdala Blue canvases the ‘Presence of Absence’ through the lens of three socio-political themes – Religion, Racism, and Relationships.


In Amygdala Blue by Paul Lomax, the author speaks with an unconventional tone, sometimes distilled and surgically dissected, other times, brash and poetically emotional. Overall, we experience existential dread and surrealistic truth, associated with mental health, personal freedom, and the healing power of nature.

Amygdala Blue

Amygdala Blue is an anthology of short stories and a collection of poetry that will captivate readers. This collection of writings is fascinating, covering religion, racism, and relationships. Every section of author Paul Lomax’s book has a variety of fascinating works for the reader to enjoy. In addition, his prose and poetry will leave readers feeling fulfilled or call on them to reflect on the status quo.

The creativity displayed by Paul Lomax is outstanding. In Amygdala Blue, the reader is taken through many emotions as each work inspires reflection and thought. The diversity in the topics keeps things from being monotonous and ties each piece together for the whole collection of socio-political themes.

The book is divided into three sections covering three critical subject matters in life; Religion, Racism, and Relationships. The author is blunt with the truth but has a graceful way of sharing his thoughts. This is especially displayed in poems, where he writes freely and with enthusiasm, but never forgets to highlight the poem’s theme. While reading this collection, readers will feel connected to the author. His way of describing characters, events, activities, and places gives you a clear mental picture of what he is writing about.

Apart from his explicit description, Paul Lomax is also skilled in how he demonstrates stylistic devices like symbolism, sarcasm, imagery, irony, and metaphors. The author is dedicated to his art and knows how to switch up text to keep the reader engrossed. One of the most notable elements in Amygdala Blue is Paul Lomax’s sense of humor. The author is hilarious and witty with his satire. The funny segments bring an aesthetic appeal to his writing.

Each section of the book had a chapter that got me reflecting on art and real life. The writings’ Symphony of Clouds,’ ‘Panther Lurking High Above the Hood,’ and ‘The Unborn Salt’ were among the most powerful, with the poem in ‘Panther Lurking High Above the Hood’ as my favorite.

The excellent diction, thrilling short stories, quotes, and amazing poem stand out in Paul Lomax’s work. In addition, I loved the stories’ brevity and the enlightening experience about social-political subjects.

Amygdala Blue is a thought-provoking collection of prose and poetry dealing with the socio-political themes of religion, racism, and relationships. Readers will experience the varying emotions that coincide with these topics through the eyes of the author.

Pages: 123 | ASIN : B0B2Q79XMJ

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