This Friday, August 5, Charly "The City Mouse" Fasano will be celebrating the release of his new book, Next Analog Broadcast at Fast Geek Boutique (321 West 11th Ave.). The book, released by Sunny Outside, is a small, 56 page collection of Fasano's storytelling poems, which he's been performing live here in Denver for as long as we can remember. Live, his poetry is almost like a standup routine, with an executed delivery and a punchline that's clearly a practiced art. Before the big event, we caught up with Fasano to talk about the book, the importance of humor and the art of collaboration.
Westword: Can you just talk a little about how you chose the poems that would be included in Next Analog Broadcast and why you think they work together?
Charly Fasano: Next Analog Broadcast is a theme I chose when I realized that the analog apocalypse was in full swing. I started writing these poems or stories or captions right about the same time I started to see the announcements about the analog television broadcast signal being turned off. All the common objects and forms of media that were tools of communication during my childhood had become obsolete. So I decided to write a collection of thoughts that would record simple stories that could have or should have taken place after the analog television signal was turned off. The signal might have been turned off but the stories continue.
Do you prefer to have a more story-driven setting in your poems as opposed to say, just wordplay or language or whatever?
I have been writing exactly what has been coming to me. I am just trying to record thoughts and observations. There are times when there is a story that will develop that mimics prose, and then there's those moments, blinks or glances when a limited amount of description is needed. I think it is a great time to explore all angles of writing. It keeps it interesting.
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There's also a considerable amount of humor, much of it stemming from your travels or workings with bands -- is that something you strive for, or does it just happen?
I think that all writing should have a bit of humor. I like to be a bit self-deprecating and then drop a joke. It makes it interesting for me and the reader or listener. My Mom taught me how to people-watch. She used to say it is the only free form of entertainment. Human beings do strange and special things when they think nobody is watching. So I would say that humor is a thing that happens, it's everywhere.
You cover a lot of ground in a lot of your poetry -- literally and figuratively -- from Chicago to Denver and beyond -- what do you consider home?
I consider home any place that I can make something everyday. Home is where I can take a photograph, write a poem or make a sketch everyday. I incorporate a lot of places in my writing because I've traveled my whole life. I'm from a family that never flew anywhere; we moved a lot and we went a lot of places, so I had a lot of time looking out the window of a 1975 green Ford Econoline van. Home is a place where I am understood. Home is Denver, for now.
This is your first work not put out locally. How does the experience differ from a more chapbook-style collection of work you bind and create yourself to letting someone else handle all the publishing work?
Sunnyoutside is a great press to be associated with. The publisher, David McNamara, really respects the writer's process and vision of their book every step of the way. It was a great time going back and forth with different ideas. It's a collaboration instead of a chop-chop, this-is-what-you-get kind of thing. I can't say much for other experiences with poetry publishing, but working with Sunnyoutside has been a lot of fun.
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Since you work a lot of with music as a background, do you feel your writing is different when its being performed as opposed to being read on the page, or is it all the same?
I think I try to share my writing in different forms of media because I want to make it accessible in a lot of different ways. Whether my poems are shared as short films, recordings or on the page I want people to see poetry in a new light. It seems as if some folks are intimidated by the word "poetry" at times. I think everything is poetic. I make short films, record my poems with musicians and present them on the page because I want the readers, watchers and listeners to fully experience my words different ways. I always joke to friends that I want to present my poems in smell-o-visions or include a scratch-n-sniff card in every book.