Name -Ezekiel Tyrus, people call me Zeke. Some people call me Brett which is my middle name.
Where are you from -Originally from Central Florida. Grew-up in Melbourne Beach, FL. It was a wonderful place to grow-up. Imagine a Norman Rockwell painting if Norman Rockwell surfed.
A little about your self `re your education Family life etc -I tell people I attended Dumbfuck College and Shit-For-Brains-U. Seriously, neither college was worth bragging about. Dumbfuck, my nickname for Florida School of the Arts where I studied Theater, was a overall bad experience. Shit-For-Brains-U, my nickname for New College of California where I studied Writing, doesn’t even exist anymore. My regret is that I never took my SATs or tried to get into a decent University, even a state school would’ve been fun.
New College was neither a bad experience nor good but I could’ve done the entire school over the telephone.
I’m currently single. Never married, no kids. Don’t know if kids are in my cards but I wish I was married.
Hear that, ladies? Looking for a LTR, right over here! YooHoo.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I will be giving a reading with other authors this coming Thursday the 24th of July at Alley Cats at 7:30pm. My novel Eli,Ely was published this fall by Hardheadpress based out of Alexandria, VA. It has gained a following and the reviews have been great. I’m scheduled for more readings this fail. Working on another novel that deals with much of the same characters. The themes for my novel-in-progress deal with gratuitous foul language, bullying, and getting over your past. Some of my experiences at Dumbfuck College, (Flo-Arts) appear in the book.
I also won A 2014 Acker Award for Fiction. It was named after Kathy Acker and I’m proud of that association.
The book has been picked up by Last Gasp Press, and my publisher and I are very happy about that association as well. They’re legendary.
Been writing my entire life. I’ve always kept a journal. I’ve always been a writer. Taking it seriously? About 10 years or so but even before that, I’d write monologues and perform them at various venues, even creating odd characters.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
My entire life. I realized at Dumbfuck College that I’d rather write like Eugene O’Neill than be in one of his plays, therefore, I knew I was meant to be a writer. I even recall a classmate who I didn’t really care for at the time, saying to me, “I was watching you in rehearsal one day and you looked really unhappy and I remember thinking you’d probably be happier as a writer.”
At the time, I was insulted but think now he’s owed a round of applause for that insight.
Did some free-lance journalism in my early 20s. So, I’ve considered myself a writer since I was in my very early 20s. I dabbled in some free-lance journalism, -didn’t like it. Did some actual playwriting and while I do love writing and performing my own writing, I loathe rehearsals, finding the venue, renting space, etc. I will perform again.
My most recent shows were ‘Booty Call Etiquette’ inspired by a late-night booty call I turned down.
Another show was called, “I-Never-Fucked-Mrs. G.” about a married teacher I had in high school during the 1980s who slept with every dude in my English and Drama class but me. Truthfully, she hated me and the feeling was mutual. She was a sleaze. But you’d see her doing inappropriate things with male students and various boys would be leaving her hotel room after midnight on Thespian field trips. I’d tell my parents, my friend’s parents and various teachers and officials and they’d laugh in my face. In those days, it was considered impossible for a female teacher to be a predator for boys. Now, it’s a cliche’. I got on Facebook during the time of my 20th reunion. I didn’t go but all these people were contacting me wanting to know if I fucked Mrs. G. Of course, not, I’d say. -Did you? and they’d always reply that various friends or brothers did. In the years, i’ve collected so many stories about the woman, I turned it into a show. Had musical accompaniment and there was an illustrated slideshow. It was an awesome show. Just awesome. And funny.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Life, but to put it bluntly, I gave myself a choice of suicide or writing a book. Really. It was a life lived in loud desperation. After a clusterfuck of bad luck, I wanted to commit suicide but sat down and started writing instead. That page turned into one page that turned into another till I was inside a novel, a project to keep living my life.
Truly, it was suicide or writing a book. That was the decision I gave myself.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t know how to answer that.
The word I hear most often is ‘honesty.’ And I hear the term, ‘brutally honest,’ more often than that.
Poet Bucky Sinister blurbed my novel, “Zeke Tyrus writes without pretense. In the current literary landscape of over-crafted bullshit, Tyrus is a welcome throwback to a braver, in-your-face school of writing.”
I’ll take that. I do adhere to the Hemingway school of “Write clear and hard about what hurts.”
I do believe all artists need to define art for themselves. For me, all art needs to be simultaneously sad, funny and a little disturbing or else, it’s not art.
I do believe that.
A woman once described me as “Intellectual but primal,” though I don’t know if she was just talking about my writing.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Funny, my current novel-in-progress is untitled as of now but I was telling a writer-friend how the title Eli,Ely came to me immediately before I wrote my first sentence. Simply entered my head and never left. There were never any other considerations.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. The book is funny. Really. People tell me there are sections where they laugh out loud while sitting on the bus, reading at a coffee shop or alone in their apartments. The book is not a downer. More than a few people, male and female, have said the book is sexy.
However, depression, bad decisions and suicidal tendencies are explored in Eli,Ely. If there is a positive message in my novel, it’s that your suicide or depression can be prevented or treated by doing something creative. Keep a journal, write a short story, be creative, do something. That is the message of my novel.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
The book is very realistic. Some people have said, “Painfully realistic.”
They see a little too much of themselves in these characters.
I’ve had dudes walk up to me with a shrugging acceptance, and say, “I’m an Eli;”
I’ve met women with annoyed expressions on their faces, saying, “I’ve dated Eli before.”
Both individuals will love the book but admit it depressed them at times because they saw themselves inside these characters making the same bad decisions.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I don’t know how to answer this. My novel is inspired by experiences in my own life but one shouldn’t read it as a memoir and the novel is not nearly as autobiographical as people assume it to be.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
How much time do you have?
On the Road, The Subterraneans by Jack Kerouac
The Sun Also Rises, A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham
Young Adam by Alexander Trocchi
Joe Gould’s Secret by Joseph Mitchell
Reader’s Block (all of the Post-Modern, experimental novels by David Markson.)
The Sacrilege of Alan Kent, The Bastard by Erskine Caldwell
The Tangier Diaries by John Hopkins
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
David Markson. He broke all the rules in novel-writing and storytelling. He’s simultaneous hilarious and tragic. He died in 2010 and I regret I was too lazy to write to him before he died. My greatest literary hero.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Yage Letters by Wm. S. Burroughs. It’s funny. I like the traveling, the details, the letter writing. I recommend it.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Oh, yeah. Joe Clifford is on to something. Junkie Love by Clifford was extraordinary. It humbles you. I started Drunken Angel by Alan Kaufman when I was already tired of addiction memoirs and I’m so glad I took that chance. There are so many cinematic scenes in that book. It needs to be adapted. His life is as truly unique as is his writing. I find myself recommending that book all the time. Will Viharo has a very great thing going with Love Stories Are Too Violent for Me. Great title that makes me angry I did not think of it myself. I think everybody should read a book by Welsh author John WIlliams called Cardiff Dead. One of the funnest, simplest and yet, most complicated novels I’ve ever read. His other work is great too. I like a British author named Jon McGregor. His work is very innovative. Read If Nobody Talks of Remarkable Things. There’s a woman named Zarina Zabrisky, originally from Russia, living and writing in the Bay Area. Great writer, great presence. The author to name-drop 20 years from now. There’s a New York author named John Grochalski who I dig considerably. Tony DuShane, who wrote Confessions of a Jesus Jerk, a book I loved. He’s going to have an amazing career.
There are so many great writers out there. And for the record, I wish everybody lots of success. The Bay Area literary scene is powerful with so much talent and there are strong personalities galore. To put it bluntly, there’s so much shit-talking and artists undermining each other in the Bay Area. That breaks my heart. I want everybody’s literary projects to be hugely successful. I’m not competing with anybody other than myself. Let’s create an environment for all Bay Area writers to be their creative best.
Please, everybody. Let’s all be supportive.
We don’t all have to be friends to drink coffee and eat scones with on Sunday morning but we need to respect and support each other and hope everybody succeeds.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
My novel-in-progess. Deals with bullying among other things. Ultimately, it’ll have a positive message. No planed stage work at this time.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I’ve always had some teachers and classmates praising my writing. Always. During the entire publishing history of Eli,Ely, my girlfriend at the time, Michelle Gengnagel was so supportive and believed in me 100%, even when I didn’t. Michelle and i were together for 4 years and broke up amicably. We’re still friends. She’s also beautiful and photogenic. That’s her as the model for the book cover. Check her out.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I will always be a writer.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not going to answer that question out of respect for my publisher, my readers, the story itself, and everybody else. A project is over, time to move on but I am incredibly proud of my baby and think everybody should read it.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’ve always loved storytelling, verbal or written. Came from a family of hilarious storytellers, all verbal. I’m the only writer in the family. I think it just came from a love of storytelling and occasionally writing down, my stories as well as others. I can recall writing stories down when I was 5 years old. Seeing a picture and coming up with a story off the top of my head about the people in the photograph, even if it was merely a magazine advertisement, was a way I’d entertain myself and my friends when I was little kid.
I’ve always been a compulsive storyteller. Sometimes I wrote those stories down.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Untitled Ezekiel Tyrus Project
Are you fucking kidding me?
Fucking Beau Zack?
The fucking fuckbag I’ve tried to forget for over 20 fucking years?
Who the fuck is Elijah Trocchi?
What a pretentious fuckwad, you are.
Did you really change your name to that?
How’d you get Elijah Trocchi from fucking Beau Zack?
I heard after I left Florida School of the Arts and got the fuck out of Palatka, people started calling you ‘Beau Zack Prozac?
Or was it Prozac Beau Zack?
Well, which was it, fuckhole?
I could tell you were fucked-in-the-head even before you opened that fuckmouth of yours.
You may have changed your name, fuckface, you may have changed your look but so-fucking-what?
SFW, Beau Zack?
What’s the point of all this change if you’ve got the same fucked personality?
How many ink-splats you’ve got on your arm anyway, you fucking hipster douchefuck?
Do tattoos automatically make you a tough motherfucker?
If so, I didn’t get the memo.
Just the same old preppy fuckwith, and a fuckwith by any other name …
You’ve not changed, not by a fucking mile.
There’s no evidence to the contrary.
I’ve studied all your online profiles, and fucker, you’re still a dick.
And speaking of dick, I assume you’re into dick now, meaning you finally found the balls to admit that you’re a homosexual.
Just because you’re gay and you’re one of those woe-is-me unbalanced types who has to take medication to be a halfway decent person, doesn’t automatically mean that I forgive you for the way you treated me when I was just coming out of the closet.
Oh, why, why, why after all these fucking years, would you try to connect with me on social media?
I could’ve gone my entire fucking life and never gave a flying-fuck about you again.
Why DID you fucking contact me for, you miserable fucking fuckwith?
It’s a fucking shame you never served in the Military.
That kind of discipline and selflessness may have made you a much better person. Or you could’ve been shot-up and FUBARed during the first Desert Storm and nobody would’ve experienced the fuckwith that is you.
Stuart ‘Stu’ Barrie
Ps- AMF (Adios, Motherfucker) and FUBAR is a WWII-era term, an adj. fucked-up-beyond-recognition/repair, and regarding all the fucknames, I just thought it’d be more creative than simply calling you a fucking bully every few syllables. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.
In. 2009, I sent a request for friendship and or connection via social media to Stuart ‘Stu’ Barrie, a guy I knew in college.
Nothing came of it.
On the first morning of 2014, I received the proceeding fuck-laden email. By mid-afternoon that same day, my own fuck-jockeying response began to take shape.
Writing just a little bit every single day, it took several months to complete.
January 1, 2014.
San Francisco, CA 94133
Dear Mr. Barrie,
Happy New Year! What a pleasure it is to hear from you after all these years. Truly, it is.
How was your New Year’s Eve? Mine was good, had some wine but I’m not hung over.
To be honest, Mr. Barrie, my New Year’s Eve was better than good.
I worked till 10pm. Then it was a short walk to a young lady’s apartment. She keeps it immaculate and beautifully designed like something profiled in a magazine. This woman is good company. 33 years old, a natural redhead with long hair, a great smile, blue eyes, big tits, again all natural. At times, she resembles a bustier Ann Margret circa TOMMY, -1975.
We listened to Jazz on vinyl, an extensive record collection she inherited from her father and she had a brand new record player with good sound. There was a pristine copy of the album, Flight to Denmark,Duke Jordan (1973), that I especially liked. Very underrated.
Do you like Jazz, Mr. Barrie?
My job was to bring the Cabernet, the glasses were hers and waiting for my arrival. We had eaten, me at work, her with friends but she insisted on preparing some bruschetta toast she made from scratch, a family recipe, evidently Italian on her mother’s side. Though not terribly hungry, there’s always room for good bruschetta and hers was some of the best I’ve ever had.
Her name is Derry. Did you know Derry is Irish for redhead? For some reason, that tickles me. You’d think the Irish would have a million words for redhead similar to the way the Sami language of Norway, Sweden and Finland has 180 words for snow and ice and about 1,000 for reindeer. (Eskimos having over 500 words for snow is a myth.)
Derry and I have been having a friends-with-benefits relationship and there’s no indication it’ll grow into anything serious as I just got out of a 4-year relationship back in August. The break-up was amicable and I’m not nursing a broken heart but I’m in no hurry to get serious with anybody right now.
Derry, God-bless-her, was in a ridiculously serious relationship that started at age 16, through college, as they both went to University of California and stayed during their entire 20s and finally broke up a little over a year ago. Even she’s at a lost to explain it but acknowledges it was love, intense love, marriage would be inevitable, then something between habit and sibling-like love. So in her early 30s, she’s learning how to date for the first time in her life, really. She was keeping-company with one young man, he was younger than her, who liked her so much, -that he wanted her to settle down again and be his exclusive girlfriend, he was even discussing that they move in together. Of course, Derry’s like, No, I need space, let me enjoy being single, even if for just a little while.
Well, fuckhead gets angry and one time, as lovers are known to do, Derry confided that she did cheat on her longtime boyfriend once in her mid-20s with a close friend of his. The three often hung out together and sometimes when the boyfriend had to work, she and his friend would hang out and the attraction became overwhelming. It was a one-time thing and they both regretted it and never discussed it nor told him about it. So, Fuckhead, feeling hurt he can’t be her second boyfriend ever, finds her longtime ex-boyfriend via Social Media and sends him an email stating that he was the guy fucking his ex-girlfriend right after they broke-up and Derry told him about the time she cheated on him with his close friend years ago. The ex calls Derry up screaming, Is this true? He threatens the former close friend and there was an ugly scene and hurt feelings everywhere.
Can you imagine somebody doing that? Using information from somebody’s past for the sole purpose of hurting that person today?
Can you fucking imagine, Mr. Barrie?
I think you can.
Neither of us is looking for a long-term relationship right now and Derry, God-bless-her, does have trust issues.
Wouldn’t you after that?
But last night with Derry was awesome, life affirming, the kind of night that’ll warm my heart when I’m an old man.
When actor Robert Young died at age 91, the doctors and nurses attending his deathbed gave him a round of applause for a life lived-well, and I do hope they do the same for me, roughly around the same age.
Have affairs. Eat good food. Drink good drinks. Listen to good music. Sleep with people you find attractive. At night, lie down on a bed that’s comfortable and close your eyes.
A woman once told me that the very last thing her mother ever said to her before she died was, “I regret all the affairs I did not have.”
My New Year’s Eve, Mr. Barrie was pretty fucking awesome. Outstanding.
Again, I’d ask how was your New Year’s Eve but I’m certain it was rather fucked, wasn’t it?
Your profile states you live in Orlando. According to my computer, I received your email at 1:47AM, my time. 3 hours difference, and I realize you had fuck-else to do at almost 5 in the morning New Year’s Day than to send a bitter rant to some fuckwith you’ve not seen in 23 years? Were you drunk? Were you on speed? How long have you been contemplating that email?
A perverse pleasure in fucking a celebrity’s lookalike is you get to pretend you are fucking that celebrity, in my case, a young Ann Margret with bigger tits.
My entire body’s atingle with my tongue inside Ann Margret’s pink, wet clit while Ann Margret’s lips joyfully embrace my swollen cock, the sweetest, wettest mouthfuck I’ve had in years. –Do you think for a split-second last night there was ever a moment where I found myself reminiscing about whomever it was I disliked 23 fucking years ago?
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes. Please don’t ask me to elaborate.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love Kerouac’s immediacy and sheer creativity of language and storytelling. I love David Markson’s economy, the way he publicly shares his interests and obsessions. I’ve often told people my two favorite authors are Jack Kerouac and David Markson. To combine the two would be ideal. I’ve got a tattoo of Kerouac’s handsome face on my right arm and Write Like Markson on my left.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I’ve done some traveling but not much. I sell lots of books in Toronto and have been interviewed by Toronto radio stations. I’d love to visit and if I like it, I will stay. Relocate to Canada and everything. Anybody available willing to let me couch-surf or sponsor me? Any literature loving beautiful Canadian women looking for an American husband?
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Michelle Gengnagel. She was the model as well as the designer. Very talented woman.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Editing. Really. Chopping it down.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned so much. Are you kidding me?
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Shut the fuck up and write your book. Try to do a page a day. Talking about the book you’re writing isn’t writing. Read and reread authors you want to emulate. Read authors who make you want to write. Then write. No excuses.
…Why are you talking to me for? Go home and write. Also, don’t be too grandiose in your plans and ambitions regarding your writing. My favorite David Markson quote in regards to writing appears in his novel, Springer’s Progress.
“Play a little. WIth luck a phrase or three worth some lonely pretty girl’s midnight underling.”
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. I love you. You make me so happy. Really appreciate you choosing to spend time with my words. It humbles me because your time is so valuable.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
My first favorite novel that changed my life was The Razor’s Edge, followed by On the Road, both when I was 16 and it changed my life.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Meditating, exercise, The Beat Generation, journaling, food, Jazz, but mostly I write. Never go more than a few hours without writing.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
ID/Discovery detective, crime documentary-type shows. I almost never go to the movies but when I do, it’s always art films, classics, documentaries and foreign films. My favorite move is ‘Reprise’ from Norway. And I liked ‘Searching for Sugarman,’ but rarely go to the movies. I
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music –
I like all music but mostly Jazz. I get made fun of for wearing orange all the time. I love Italian food but love all food.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I studied to be an actor but don’t know if that would’ve made me happy. Probably would’ve worked in sales.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Google my unusual name, Ezekiel Tyrus, ‘Getting to Know Ezekiel Tyrus’ is my website and features my blog but my Tumblr is cool, always looking for new friends on Facebook and Twitter. Add me, follow me, let’s be friends.