Writer vs. Writer: Bruce Wilson

In this post, we will talk with Bruce Wilson, a fantastic poet I had the opportunity to meet on Instagram. Bruce is an American poet and author, born in Michigan on August 20, 1990. He loves to write late at night, but most of the time he procrastinates about getting any work done. I fell in love with his posts and so I reached out to him for this interview. Let us get to know Bruce more.


Hi Bruce. Could you tell us about yourself and your writing style?


In all honesty, I find myself to be a somewhat boring yet frequently sarcastic thirty-something-year-old from the mid-western United States, that wanted to be a rock star but unfortunately has not even an ounce of musical talent in his body. But other than that, I'm just the typical overly caffeinated, chain-smoking writer, who has a strange tendency to overthink everything and daydream almost obsessively about death, along with the occasionally depressed and somewhat depraved thoughts that roam around in my from time to time moronic skull. And for my writing style, I guess I've never really thought about it, which seems like a lazy excuse for an answer, but I'll try my worst to explain. I generally write the first thing, whatever it may be, that pops into my head, may it be good ideas or fucking awful ones (those usually go directly into the trash, too never, be read by another living being). I'll leave this here before I start making even less sense and move on.


You're a poetry rock star. Do you have any books published or unpublished? Could you tell us more about it/them?


I have three smaller self-published poetry collections, but to me, they're glorified chapbooks that I wish I spent more time formatting (Waiting on a Light That was Never There, City Lights and Drunken Night, and Midnight's Wasteland). I'm also working on two potential novels (Can You Hear Me?, The Broken One). I'm also putting together a bulkier poetry collection and a random short story because I don't like not working on something. Then to answer the second half of the question, the first three collections are just a random amalgamation of poems that I wrote in a way to work off any rust I may have had from not seriously writing poetry for quite a long time. As for the potential novels, they still need a lot of work, but at this particular moment, I'm happy with the direction I find them going in. And the short story is just something fun for me to write, making the main character the biggest asshole I can make him.


What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?


I can't necessarily bring myself to pick one experience, so I'll give you a few examples. The first experience I had, is when I was younger and asked my aunt (who we'll call Mrs. Walters) a question that was critical of her religion, then listened as Mrs. Walters lost her shit, then told me I was going to hell, which is a weird thing to say to a child. But anyway, I'm going to move on before this turns into more of a rant. My second experience involves discovering a few different musicians, but more importantly, the singers/songwriters. Robert Smith (The Cure), Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Tom Waits, Bert McCracken (The Used), and T.J. Cowgill (King Dude [I discovered him a little more recently]). That's to name just a few, and yes, their lyrics were a big part of me learning how powerful language can be, but they still weren't quite as impactful as when I discovered Charles Bukowski and his poetry, which blew my mind. Because I had no fucking clue that you could write poetry like that.


Well, I guess, Charles Bukowski ruined us all. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?


The best money I've ever spent as a writer (well, at least when I have any) would have to be putting it back into the community whenever I possibly can. Because I am broke as fuck ninety-nine percent of the time.


What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?


Oddly enough, none that I can think of at this precise moment in time. But in all honesty, there is one poet that I actively dislike. I won't drop his name, but to me, something about his work seems too safe, like he's aiming more for popularity than quality.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?


It would have to be, 'never let anyone tell you that writing is nothing more than some worthless hobby, and waste of time.' Because I have wasted more time in my life trying to keep everyone around me happy, and quite a few of them still think I'm just a piece of shit.

I totally agree! You have a lot of interesting poems published on your Instagram. They're brazen and, in my idea, transgressive. May I know how do you come up with such unique yet extremely sexual poems?


Yes, you may. It's a combination of observation, personal experience (Which, I'll be honest, isn't very much), and a perverse imagination. Which typically involves lots of staring at random pictures until an idea appears in my head, obsessively listening to one song on constant repeat, or digging around in my brain for one little nugget of memory to build on.


Interesting. When did you find yourself attracted to transgressive literature? Why?


I would have to say it was when I read Fight Club for the first time, which was well after I watched the movie. But in reality, I didn't know what the genre exactly was until I stumbled upon G.C. McKay's YouTube channel, then watched his video, 'What is Transgressive Fiction?'


Lastly, Which character or poem in your writing most represents you?


I'll just give you an answer for both because sometimes I can be an indecisive bastard. So, character-wise, it would be the male protagonist of Can You Hear Me? Milo Villain. He doesn't one hundred percent represent me, but like any well-broken mirror, there are bits of me reflected throughout him. And poetry-wise, I would say both 'Black Lolita' and 'Forbidden Fruit' because who doesn't love sex and death?


Well, right? Thank you so much Bruce for this interview. I hope we can collaborate in the future.


If you'd like to get to know Bruce more please check the following links: