Stephen Kalinich interview

This was already posted in issue 108 of L.A. RECORD, but now it’s on the website. It was quite a joy to interview someone of his light, enthusiasm, and history. He’s a true American poet, and I love him to death. So glad he’s back and doing more poetry, as well as a little music of his own as “Stevie Nobody.”

So much of your work is about peace. You knew even then?
Yes—at 12 or 13 I was writing about world peace and believing I could help bring it about. I’ve had different experiences with that now. We have to fight as aggressively for peace as we do for war. I don’t mean necessarily with guns, but we have to be strong because the forces of evil against us are very organized and very strong. And good has a tendency to be nice and sweet and not as organized. We gotta organize goodness! Without making it cultish or dictatorial. I’ve never seen anyone really do it. The way I think now—sometimes if evil comes into your house, you gotta defend it. And I mean defend it. Not just wish good thoughts. Good thoughts will get you killed. You understand the difference? I’ve grown to realizing peace needs a physicality in this world.

I also wrote an expanded review of the Stephen Kalinich/Jon Tiven album and posted it. Unfortunately I can’t be at Kalinich’s show tonight, because I’m DJ’in.

D. M. Collins

D. M. Collins is a journalist and writer based in Los Angeles.

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