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Member Spotlight for the Month of April 2005 - Max Bouillet

Max BouilletMax Bouillet has been writing poetry and short fiction since he was a sophomore in high school. Initially inspired by a particular creative writing teacher that informed him that he simply should not write, Max became driven to prove her wrong. "She insisted that I was an abhorrent writer with horrific subject matter that offended all things natural. It was shortly after her comment that I began to write incessantly." Max goes on to admit that "I realized sometime later that my teacher was correct - my writing was abhorrent." Not to give up there, he re-doubled his efforts to prove her wrong. "I guess, in an odd sort of way, she is responsible for my drive to write."

Born in the coal-mining country of West Virginia in 1969, Max has moved often - thirteen times in the last fifteen years alone - and has lived in such places as Florida, Massachusetts, New Mexico and Scotland. He has now recently moved to Alabama with his wife, Shawna, who he has known since the 6th grade, and his two sons, Derek and Joshua. "They're the reason I get up in the morning," he says fondly, adding "They're also the reason I buy antacids!"

Max is currently working as an intelligence analyst. "Yes, I know the jokes, and yes - I am an oxymoron," he laughs. A navy veteran, he has also worked as a cryptologic technician, fingerprint examiner and as a day-program assistant with the adult developmentally delayed. Max has also dabbled in the martial arts, studying and practicing in various techniques. Having spent a considerable amount of time in the southwestern U.S., he has taken to the hobby of crafting jewelry. "I think anyone who has spent a lot of time there has almost got to become involved in working with leather and turquoise and other gems and stones," he says.

Deciding to write and post his work here at Pathetic.org under his real name rather than a pseudonym, Max provides some insight into his personality and for one of his reasons for being a member here. "I thought about using a pseudonym, but decided not to. I think I just wanted something of me to be real on the net. The net is such a shifting allusion of anonymity that it is difficult to forge true acquaintances and friends. It is because of 'uncomfortable and yet too comfortable anonymity' that I wanted to be a focal point of reality that others could relate to - if they wanted."

In college, under the guidance of another, perhaps more open-minded creative writing instructor, Max was influenced by a wide, international and diverse range of poets. Included on his list are: Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg, Angel Gonzalez, Nijole Miliauskaite, Miroslav Holub, Vasko Popa, Novica Tadic, Mahmoud Darwish, Dahlia Ravikovitch, Ryuichi Tamura, and now many poets here on Pathetic.

And as far as reading different types of poetry, Max readily states that it depends upon his mood. "It is good that I belong to an eclectic community so I never have to worry about running out of great poems to view," he says. "I read as many poets as I can. I especially like to read verses that I can respond to in verse."

It is people, religion and politics that currently inspires Max most to write. "And it's because of these subject matters that my wife has voted me 'Most likely to be shot!'" He has recently been working on a collection of free-verse personal mythology pieces. "I want these poems to pose an alternate view of traditions, mythology, religion, and personal behavior. I know this increases my 'most likely to be shot' score, but I like to challenge all beliefs. In the end, when we have thought about what we believe, it makes us stronger."

Having also written sudden fiction, short fiction, critiques and reviews, non-fiction, technical manuals, and essays, Max is currently working on a novel. He has had work published in the Fairmont State University's literary magazine 'Whetstone' and on the web at Lunarosity and SpitJaw Review. He currently publishes his own blog and also used to publish a creative journal called 'Outcries' which he may resume once he gets settled in his new location.

Due to family and work commitments, Max rarely gets the opportunity to write for any extended periods of time. "I have short bursts of free time in which I write frantically. I write in parking lots, at red lights, in doctor's offices, when putting my kids to bed, at commercial breaks, while doing laundry... any time I have that isn't being devoted to someone else. I write a stanza at a time, or a paragraph at a time. The work is usually "gotten" in the first draft. But it is at three in the morning, with an energy drink, that I fuse the orphan stanzas into poetry. That is my edit time." Max also credits Pathetic as serving as a wonderful editing tool for his poetry; it is his wife that has the unappreciated task of being the proofreader for his fiction.

Of his work posted on Pathetic, Max has chosen "Thunder Booms" which was written for his son Derek and is one of the few times that he has opted to write in a structured form. "Chocolate Thief" was written for his son Joshua. Other poems include "Glass Ghosts," "Wisdumb," and "De-Generation."

The following is a list of the highlights of Max Bouillet's poetry:

Author: David R Spellman

The member spotlighted in this month's "Member Spotlight" is chosen by the pathetic.org Spotlight committee, which is made up of a small group of site patrons and administrators. Each month a member is selected for this privilege based upon contributions to pathetic.org and the quality of work.

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