Oyster River Pages: Who are the writers who have made you who you are?
Dah Helmer: All of the 20th Century European Surrealist writers/artists along with Walt Whitman and Arthur Rimbaud.
ORP: What are the lenses that shape your worldview?
DH: Mostly the making of conscious choices by way of meditation and being in the moment. These two lenses are my focus points in keeping myself grounded in our politically and religiously troubled world.
ORP: What’s the most important thing you’ve read/seen lately?
DH: I just finished reading “Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith” by Deborah Heiligman. As an evolutionist, this book answered so many questions for me and gave me a much needed deeper understanding of Darwin’s work, and his reasons to choose the science of evolution over religion’s creation theory.
ORP: What’s your least favorite word?
DH: “Like” … as in the way people overuse this word when conversing with others.
ORP: What’s your favorite thing that you’ve created? (line, image, story, etc.)
DH: From my poem “Chair”, this is currently one of my fav paragraphs
“When you rose to leave
made the sound of a bird
caught in my hands”
ORP: What do you want to read/see more of in the world?
DH: I want to read about and see peace throughout the world. As I say in my poem “Imagine Not Going To War”:
“If war with its complicated structures
of destruction and terror
can be so quickly mobilized
then peace with its simplicity
could be mobilized faster”
ORP: How do you pay it forward?
DH: However and whenever I can
ORP: What is the space that has shaped you the most?
DH: My 47 years of practicing and teaching yoga and being Atheist with a side of Taoism.
ORP: You’ve just written your autobiography. What’s the title?
DH: “Something Else’s Thoughts” being that we’ll never know the source of our thoughts i.e. where or who they come from
Dah’s sixth poetry collection is The Opening (CTU Publishing Group, 2018) and his poems have been published by editors from the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Singapore, Spain, Australia, Africa, Poland, Philippines and India. Dah lives in Berkeley, California and is working on the manuscript for his ninth poetry book. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and the lead editor of The Lounge, poetry critique group. Dah's seventh book is forthcoming in July 2018 from Transcendent Zero Press, with his eighth book forthcoming in late 2018 from Stillpoint Books. Find his poetry here.