Unlikely Stories Presents

LEW PHILLIPS talks like the Godfather

The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."
--Mark Twain

To the Unlikely Stories home pageThe talent of Lew Phillips shows a broad range of topics and tones. His poems vary from the comically vulgar to the quietly sincere. He'll paint picutures of outrageous lunacy, as well as simply, daily struggles of identity and meaning. He does all this with beautiful, precise language that will leave you satisfied and delighted, whether he's making you laugh or cry.

Lew says, "I hold a B.A. in English from the University of South Florida in Tampa and am currently working on a novel and screenplay. I have been published in creative writing forums including: The Oracle, Circle Magazine, Living Indefinitely, Ten Thousand Monkeys, Organic Literature, Nocturne Horizons, and Omnibus. I am the Editor-in-Chief of a literary magazine called Literary Force. All contact and submissions should be sent to literaryforce@hotmail.com.

"Literature is oxygen for me. I enjoy everything from Dr. Seuss and Sweet Pickles to contemporary lit, metafiction, classic lit, and the self-reflexive novel. I believe that some literature is an attempt to create a voice for the silent. Contemporary Literature is not about language or events because the events change according to the language used. Assumptions coded in language change as the mental models change over time. Metafiction is a commentary on its own processes, and that fascinates me. I share a certain belief with T.S. Eliot in that our respective modern societies lack a vital sense of community and spiritual center. In The Waste Land , Eliot expresses the hopelessness and confusion of purpose of life. He finds that society has lost touch with antiquity and its new values are deplorable. Hasn't ours?

"I find myself getting annoyed and irritated very easily these days by the things that certain people do. In my own angry, humble opinion, these include the following: driving with the lights on during the day, keeping the turn signal on for miles after the turn has already been made, cops that drive twenty miles under the speed limit on the interstate causing everyone else to drive at the same pace (and the damn cowards that are afraid to pass them). While I'm on the traffic issue, I have developed an intense animosity for people who drive while riding the brake, people who pull up next to me at a red light with their finger all the way up their nose thinking that nobody else can see them, and not being able to find a parking space.

"I am further frustrated by: standing in lines, being put on hold, laziness, stupidity, people who litter, taxes, being followed in stores, people who cover their furniture with plastic, loud people, boring people, corrupt auto repair shops, telemarketers, bad jokes, people who think bowling is a sport, cults, beggars, Fabio, people who name their cat "kitty", warm beer, animal cruelty, racial jokes, people who start to say something and then say "nevermind", people who stare, tailgaters, people who talk with food in their mouth, people who can't get to the point, jealousy, slow people, fickle people, people without class, humidity, road construction, poor table manners, people without ambition, broken English, rudeness, nuclear weapons, bad breath, boredom, static cling, infomercials, people who write checks in the cash only aisle, finding a strand of hair in my food, people who sing along to the radio while botching the lyrics, bathroom hand dryers, censorship, breast feeding in public, bad movies, one way streets, speedos, people who repeat themselves, and most of all, people who repeat themselves.

"I find comfort in the wise words of Oscar Wilde, 'We are all in the gutter,but some of us are looking at the stars.'"

Lew's works here at Unlikely Stories are:

An Ode to a Goat
The Sun Is My Shadow
Waterfront Property
I got lost somewhere outside of the world and I can't get back in.

An Ode to a Goat was previously published in Living Indefinitely. The Sun Is My Shadow was previously published in Ten Thousand Monkeys.

Lew says:

"An Ode to a Goat" was written in 1998 on the back of a paper, placemat menu in a seafood restaurant. I have always had a fascination with goats, an affinity perhaps. It became a long running joke, then a pseudo-obsession, and eventually dinner table talk. I can write about goats anytime, anywhere. The story began when I went to the bathroom and noticed the graffiti all over the walls, then pondered the inception of dollar bill stapling to the walls. The story took on a life of its own from there.

"Correspondence" is somewhat of a mockery monologue. The speaker is responding to whatever he feels like responding to. There is no dialogue so the reader can make their own assumption to the believability of the responses.

"The Sun Is My Shadow" is a very serious and personal poem to me. I wrote this about my mother who lost a three year battle with cancer in March of 2002 at the age of 56. This is actually the first draft of the poem (I never submit, settle, or publish first drafts). Upon revision, I found no poetic flaw to it but only over-personalization, which I deemed appropriate for this piece. The metaphors, analogies, and personification in this poem were meant solely for the author. Re-living (re-reading) this poem serves as a catharsis for me.

"Waterfront Property" was conceived while waiting for a drawbridge to close. A series of events caught my eye and played out like a story board. As the drawbridge closed, I proceeded to a 7-11 to buy a notebook in which I recorded my observations.

"I got lost somewhere outside of the world and I can't get back in" was inspired by mere events in life. We often drift out of our own realm and have difficulty readjusting.

"Wilderness" is about the vulnerability that we all have and the facade we put up. If we recognize our own fragility before an outside force shatters it, the impact is buffered.