It was around this time I saw the movie Drugstore Cowboy with William S. Burroughs. I had already been writing poems and what we now call flash fiction. But after seeing the movie and reading Burroughs, and others out of the Beat Generation, my imagination took over. With help from a great teacher I had in high school named Barbara Elliott, I started on the long and difficult road of becoming a writer. She was a huge reason I even finished school at all. After years of being dyslexic and lost in the system, it would have been much easer to split and go to work. Believe me, being told at a young age that you would never be able to comprehend and given an F- on your report card paints a different reality than most kids could ever imagine. But I stayed in and Barbara encouraged me to start writing. The funny thing was, I only had her in study hall. This speaks volumes about what kind of teacher she was.
So, after I finished school I joined the working class of the deep south. This is where my true education began. Years rolled by and I continued writing and reading. I would go on to discover Charles Bukowski, Harry Crews, Anne Rice, and Anne Sexton. All were huge influences on me, along with the world I worked and lived in day in and day out. I struggled for many years to get anything published but finally in 1994, the door cracked open, at least for a moment. Then it slammed shut for a little while longer. Frustrated at the publishing world I started an underground zine called C-This. So, I could at least have a place for my friends and I to publish. The problem was, no one wanted to jump on board until there were more than just me writing for it. So, the first few issues or so, I wrote under eight different pen names. Then everyone wanted to be on board. The confusing thing wasn’t writing under eight different personalities. It was answering all the questions from the other writers about the personalities. Like, I love Mike’s column, but why doesn’t he ever show up to any of the writer’s get-togethers? Yeah, it was a fun time but when it was over I never wanted to go down that road again. Finally I became serious about writing and learning how to write. With the help of my sister Laura Hodges Poole, who was extremely good with the written word, and along with a few friends, Poet Sarah E. White and Writer Christina Smart, I slowly began to learn the craft.
|Jason E. Hodges Writer Poet|