Saturday 9 November 2019

Author & Poet John E. O'Hara aka John E. WordSlinger of Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.

The Scribbler is most fortunate to have John as our guest this week. A multi-talented writer, artist and musician. He has agreed to a 4Q Interview and is sharing some of his work.

My internet writing life motto be

Keep it poetry and poetry shall keep you.

Short Bio Hazard:

I have to take the road that Bruce Lee
took towards the Martial Arts, as an
analog “Like water”.
I take the Literature Arts of Poetry.
In the beginning I used free verse,
swift rhyming, lyrical, metal-rap-groove verse
with definition and aggression.
Now, I try different systems,
in all genres, as always,
and put them to my personal use.
Furthermore, put to use what is useful
when needed, and reject what I don’t need
at the time for a specific write.
Using no specific way, is the way,
I am the way I write, but keeping in mind,
the tools at hand. No limitations as the limitation.
With all poetry styles ( trapping, and grabbing)-
(mind locks-heart locks-spiritual locks-)
Honestly expressing oneself is difficult to do:
The poet, the creating individual is always
more important than any style or system.
Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless,
and add to what is your own.
I write my own interpretation of poetry.
Concepts behind concepts.
Dedicating to creating
creative new-original thoughts, and poetry.
I write with one hand,
but if I could write with the other,
at the same time, a different poem,
that would be to break boundaries.
As asking multi-tasking: Poetry styles separate poets.
Style is a continuous growth.
Poetry skills/tools are weapons and you have
to use all of them, to incorporate all styles.
(Move all parts of your poetry)
Put everything into it, all energy.
Rest then progress.
A true poet is constantly growing,
and when he or she are bound by a set of styles,
or a way of doing things, that’s when he,
or she stops growing.
To reach a reader you have to move
to them, advance, and retreat- advance retreat,
furthermore slide and step back, push,
and push back, circle them
( put the reader on defense),
and close them in, and hit them
with the best closure.

Poetry is like water, flexible, it has to go somewhere...

4Q: First, tell us about John E. Wordslinger.

JO: I have always wanted a writers last name, because there is a writer that be well known, named John O'Hara, and my creative identity be songwriter with Begets of Autumn, a musical performance group. We have written 400 songs together since, 1987.

I moved to Seattle from Nashville in 2008, for many reasons, but main one be, since 1981, I have been a Seattle Seahawks fan, because I was in Michael Reese Hospital for a year, and I always loved football, the Bears, and Walter Payton, but the Seahawks touched me, the team did, and well the helmet, the Seahawk, so I became a 12th man. I was there because I was ran over by an 18 wheeler, and lived through numerous surgeries and such.
In Seattle, many people liked my poetry. The Pastors where I went to church, and helpers there. One day going home from work in the downtown, a street musician from the shelter was playing music, and I listened and waited until he was done, and asked him if he’d like to go to get something to eat for lunch. He accepted. I had my poetry, and he read it there. He read all of them, the faith based poetry. He looked at me and said you man are the ultimate WordSlinger, that meant so much to me. I was looking for a last name to use for writing, and he named me that. I have used that ever since.

4Q: You have a large body of work. Where does your inspiration come from?

JO: Nice question... that be like letting the animals out of the zoo, and creating their own circus, lol... wow, many things.
To start music, music and great lyrics aka poetry, and life, all life... Experiences. Events. Feelings. All emotions, love, anger, fear, and for sure Wisdom. The Alphabet and Words have their own unique soul mayhaps-perhaps. Have to add memory and memories too, they are rivers of life, lakes too. For many years I learned other musicians to become a great one, and vice the versa the literary arts, now it be the opposite. 17 in fact from 1987 to 2004... I try to block out modern music, and music I used to love, so I can say have a free colorless/toneless palette same with writing, now I read many writers, since 2010 All of Americas Poets and Railroad history since 1776, to currents, and same for Canada and now Africa. It's not to hard to decipher if there be bleeding together in my writing, because since I created the stories of Poetry Train America, I have learned a lot... I see through time, and find the gaps... Learned this from Roofing all my life, and street football when I was younger. I am fascinated by time travel, and the souls that carved their marks in time, as in all arts, photography, and film, but the Poet be the real human camera. I could have many more inspirations in my life if it was not so chaotic but chaos too, has made me who I am, one organized mental octopus... Although I have lost many ideas from not noting, because somethings regardless of ones memory wipes out the spark and fires. Trauma does that too, but they say it's all there, as in a writer should use CSI tactics also with self and their creations. To be inspired I believe also one has to have a beautiful soul.

4Q: Please share a childhood memory or anecdote.

JO: lol you all will love this, 1975 and 1977.
I was fishing with my Grandfather Max a Million Huffman, in Indiana USA. this be an excerpt from Speak of the Poet and the Poem.

The bird that twacked in the cat tails, really caught my attention. Distinct forever in my manhood mind now, oh but then in my youth is when I truly first felt sadness. The fish in the pond, was the object of the day. I learned to bait a hook, and cast. My mothers dad, Grandpa, with his big blue eyes, and smile, he’d chuckle as he explained it all. The sun was bright, and right in front of me as my first attempt to cast out my fishing line. I wanted to go all the way across the big pond, near the back bank. I let it loose, and I couldn’t see it. I did cast into the sun. Then a big black bird suddenly as it seemed fell out of the sun, and into the water, and splashed. My Grandpa had his hands in the tackle box, and that splash caught his attention, and asked me what it was. I said, 'A big black bird fell into the water.” “A raven? he asked. I said, “I guess so,” then bamm, I got a fish, pulling my pole. He said you got a big one, reel him in. So I did, and it was hard. My wrists hurt, and my hand kept falling off the finger wrest crank thingy. My Grandpa raised up, and walked very close to the water. He looked at me and said, '”You caught the raven.” I said, 'The blackbird,” and there it was, flapping in the water. My grandfather, was laughing as he picked it up. He said, “You hooked him behind his wing.” He was huge. The raven was screaming and carrying on. Grandpa, took the hook off of the birds wing, and with two hands lifted him back into the air, and the raven flew away. Gramps, looked at me, and smiled, and said 'Never forget this because that will never happen again.” For a seven year old that was fun. I went fishing with him at a later time, and we seen a pre-historic bird flying over the river where we fished at, and he said,‘Remember this, because no one is going to believe you.' (That was in Indiana, and I seen on the history channel Monster quest, in 2010 that there has been reports of giant birds in that area in the 1970's) I seen it first but Grandpa and I seen a pterodactyl WordSlingers' Believe it or Not. It was the color of dark purple-brown and smooth skinned. Youtube now has or did have info on this too, people post and erase, and they people online with big erasers come too, if you make big enough waves.

4Q: Tell us about the Poetry E Train.

JO: That be a long long story, the Poetry Train its self. The story begins in the first book and beginning of the chapters, so one would have to read the book to answer that. To much to carry here. I can say this. I am glad it fell upon my lap. I never dreamed of writing a novel like this. Historical fiction blended with non-fiction, and written documentation.  Poetry History, Railroad history, and Publishing History, Writing and Copyright history, all braided, and I love that term braided, braiding all that and time. I am happy it came upon me, because it gives me more purpose in life. Important purpose. I believe in God and God answered my prayers, so I can say that for sure. What I love about most be, the each and every Poet and Persons soul and wisdom that gave and give to this world. The rising chapters creates a realm I call it, a world many Poets know that should be, not the world as we know it. Each Poet and Person bring life to it and much more... Many Poets understand the Poetry Train, and they know we are on a literary rescue mission of sorts. The books are at the Library of Congress, and all data is on the net. This way future generations get to ride the Poetry Train. My goal is to keep it rolling, currently in E- Africa, and also Poetry Train movies, film, series etc &c. Because the world needs it, seriously needs it... One day it shall come to be too.

4Q: Most creative folks have that favorite writing spot or habits. What’s yours like?

JO: Love this question because I read about others and theirs. Me I write 24/7, and in my sleep. The Muse I call Scratch be on me all the time... I love it too. We feed each other you can say...

Thank you Author Allan Hudson and the South Branch Scribbler. Love what you do for Writers. Also Poetry Train Canada be to me one of the best things I have written and done. All of writers are beautiful, and so are your lands. May peace, love and light remain there...
Appreciated & Charm'd John E. O'Hara aka John E. WordSlinger... 

Thank you, John, for being our guest this week on the Scribbler. For you readers wanting to discover more from the Wordslinger, please follow these links:


  1. Great interview, John E. Love the way you spell it out as only you can.I have had the privilege of knowing you for some years now and personally know the outstanding work you have done on behalf of so many, promoting literature and writers in a most selfless way. And I'd be remiss to not thank Allan also, for giving so much to the wider community. Good work all round! Bravo!

    1. Thank you for the nice comment Richard and for visiting the Scribbler.

    2. Thank you Richard and Allan... Means a lot to me... this all has been a gift, and love it and you all. Best wishes and love, peace and light...


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.