Concluding the NO!R series, ALOUD caught up with Jason GREENDYK, a Philosopher, Poet and Author based in the Big Apple. As long as he can remember, Jason was busy jotting down his thoughts, turning them into poetry. Two decades later, he’s still at it and the process so internalized that it feels completely natural. Busy with a full-time job, a passion for traveling, rollerblading and a tendency to dabble in a variety of mediums, every experience informs Jason’s writing, one way or the other, and, everyday, guides him on the most “epic journey” of all, the one happening in his mind.
ALOUD: Hi Jason, could you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
JASON GREENDIK: I grew up in New Jersey. I went to college here and studied philosophy. As soon as I graduated from college, I picked up and moved to San Francisco. I stayed there for a year and really focused on developing my poetry. Then, I moved to Florida and stayed there for about 1 year and half. I traveled all over Europe and finally, I came back to Jersey City. There was a heavy feeling when I was coming back. Am I giving up this wandering soul? But when I realised that it wasn’t the case, it was rejuvenating. It has set up the basis for a much more conceptual journey. The journey in my mind everyday is epic!
ALOUD: Has writing always been your medium of choice?
JASON: I am primarily a poet although being in NYC, I have a lot of friends in many different creative fields so I work with them all but it always comes back to how it influences my writing and this journey I am on.
ALOUD: What have you been working on recently?
JASON: I have just concluded a blog project called “Tango de la Materia”, a passionate dark dance with materialism. The idea was that I didn’t want to know what it was going to be. No guiding Ark, no intention apart from what I was living on a day to day basis. It’s interesting, as it progresses, to follow the traces of your own reflective process and identify natural threads coming together. A little more than halfway through, although started in this chaos, it developed a very distinct structure. I could tell exactly where it was going to end.
ALOUD: Was blogging very different to writing a poetry book?
JASON: I have written 3 poetry books and the process is very different. I was still writing the poetry on a day to day level but I then had the opportunity to edit and compile the order of the poetry much after the fact. It was very reflected whereas, with the blog, it’s all happening in real time. It’s like seeing the end of the journey in every moment. “Tango de la Materia” is, however, now available in book format by private request, being my 4th publication.
ALOUD: The thing about blogs is that their structure is always chronological which is something you don’t have to follow when putting a book together.
JASON: I have a log of the day I post a poem to the blog as well as the day it was actually written which is not chronological at all. I might post a poem that was written a year ago. It’s a completely different perception of time which is going back and forth.
ALOUD: You are also an avid rollerblader. Is rollerblading the counterpoint to your writing?
JASON: A book I have published, “The Apple Juice”, was about my experience with rollerblading which was also a huge part of the traveling I have done. It’s a pretty stark counterpoint but it is also a very powerful source for understanding more ephemeral concepts and a deep social context, especially in a place like NYC. Rollerblading is very partially opposed to the materialistic ideology.
ALOUD: Would you like to talk about your performance for NO!R?
JASON: Rachel, who is also a poet, and I did a collaborative piece which was recorded and played throughout the show. The title of the show was “Ceremony of Innocence” and the artwork was images of children with a spiritual but also very political element to it. Our work depicted a mother and father speaking to their newborn, relating their perceptions of the world and what their hopes for their children are, voicing their souls and ideological ideas.
ALOUD: Do you think artists can feel a bond with their work that a parent might feel with a child?
JASON: People can almost treat their artwork in the way they might treat a child. Nurturing it, treating it with love and watching it grow. The fact that we can approach artwork in this sense of nurturing growth and then let it all go rather than cling to it.
ALOUD: What do you think might come next for you?
JASON: One project I am hoping to confront in the next couple of years is to approach the language of mathematics with a poetic style. And vice versa, I’m also interested in applying the flowing aspects of poetry to mathematics to bridge the gap between rationality and spirit.
ALOUD: You grew up with a pen in your hand, what would you tell yourself as you went from ‘writing’ to becoming a ‘writer’?
JASON: There was definitely a point when I became more explicit in my writing. If I were to go back to that moment, I would say, “dive in, go for it and go even further.”
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