OK, don’t be silly.

I’ll try.

So, a poet?


I am honored
& humbled,

That’s not poetry, it’s just format.


Why do you do that?


The staggered line break thing.

This publisher guy told me people need lots of white space on the page these days because our attention spans are so shot.

That’s it?

That and a stint through Nashville songwriting while studying wisdom books like Ecclesiastes & the Tao.


Darkness. Light. Contrast. Beauty. Chaos. Cadence.

It makes you sound
more profound
than you

And in songwriting, the economy of words. Saying so much with so little.
Right or wrong, I tend to choose song over story. But to have both is the sweetest magic.


Guess I shoulda
by the way you
parked your car
that it
wouldn’t last

bangbang. bang

Is it the rhythm? The story? The melody? If you take it apart it dies a little, so it must be alive. Kind of nonsensical, really.

So what is it?

Emotion. And emotion can be so senseless. Make me feel something. Give voice to my secret joys & private pain that I cannot find the words for. Teach me something about myself I did not know but sorely need to learn. That’s always been my goal: To speak from the secret place and try to make people think & feel something. Because the forces of lethargy & distraction are legion.

It helps to be mysteriously spiritually smitten & given to magical thinking.

I liked when that quirky girl wrote: “You are one dark-ass bastard but you write about Jesus in ways that somehow don’t offend me.” A lot of people feel you are fixated on the religious stuff.

I’m an absurdist at heart & art is my apologetics.

Maybe. Man, I don’t know. If I have any religion, that’s it. I don’t know. But I know
that I hope and I believe that hoping is greater than knowing because I’ve gotten to the
point where I know a lot less and hope a lot more.

So, sir, are you a poet?

I don’t know…


…but I know I love the power of the words. Words change the world. Can I leave you with a Scripture?

What am I going to say, no?

John 1:1

In the Beginning
was the Word.
& the Word
was with God
& the Word
was God.

& the Word
was Life

If that’s the Beginning, what about the End?

There is no end.

The Words never End.

TAGS: , , , , , ,

J.M. BLAINE is non-fiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown. Midnight, Jesus & Me (ECW Press) was released on April Fools Day 2013.

15 responses to “J.M. Blaine: The TNB Self-Interview”

  1. Irene Zion says:

    your words
    when they land in the soil
    of my mind

  2. jmblaine says:

    verily, I
    am the fertilizer
    the bard of manure
    where dark things
    grow into the light.


  3. Jessica Blau says:


    I, too

    In fact, I’m writing a novel right now where the protagonist listens to that album over and over again.

  4. J.M. Blaine says:

    I’ve been trying to figure
    that song’s magic out for
    years now.
    I play it on a piano
    very slow
    and it still works.
    Why? Just a song
    comparing some loose chick
    to a car?
    Pocket full of Trojans
    some of them used?
    That’s not even high art.
    and yet….

    Ooh, send me a sample
    from your novel.
    At heart I am a guy
    who can talk for hours
    about the nuance
    of 1999.

    Send me the chapter on:

    Good evening.
    This is your pilot Prince speaking….

  5. Gloria says:

    I will so talk Purple Rain
    with you.
    One day,
    JM Blaine.

  6. Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

    I noticed a slogan on my bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s barbeque sauce over dinner this evening. It reads: The Sauce Is The Boss. I use this brand of sauce religiously.

    I feel the same way about you, JMB. You’re the sauce, man. Cheers.

  7. J.M. Blaine says:

    i may be the sauce
    but you ma’am
    are the Boss.

  8. Erika Rae says:

    How did I miss this?


  9. jmblaine says:

    William Lee.

  10. pixy says:

    jm blaine
    i’m late to this shindig
    but i think i just realized
    your magic:

    you’re like
    midnight mark
    in “the boat that rocked”

    a man of few,
    well-thought words,
    swarmed by the ladies.

  11. jmblaine says:

    Midnight Mark
    is like

    all the ladies
    in the house

  12. 1159 says:

    I am
    Midnight’s Mark
    by far…

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