Your Name: Phil West
Your Nickname: Pony
Born (place and year): Santa Monica, CA., November 17, 1968
Day Job: Graduate Student / Writing Consultant
Formative Childhood Experience: Running nude through my neighborhood while other kids chanted "Streaker!" (Age 5, Simi Valley, CA.)
Your Interests include: Noise rock, basketball, coffee, writing, nail polish, kissing my girlfriend, vodka tonics, smoking, baseball, baseball players who smoke (e.g. the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies), contemporary art, fully functional appliances, insanely spicy food.
Last Book Read: Lipstick Traces by Greil Marcus
Ambition: To teach, to write, and to eventually pay off my credit card bills.
Recent Accomplishment: Drove home from the Albuquerque Poetry Festival with a screw embedded in my left front tire for 700 miles and lived.
Prized Possessions: My computer, my bike, my trusty car, and my pen.
When you started Slamming: August, 1994
One-sentence description of your Slam style: Fast, frenetic, often pop cultural, and caffeine-crafted.
Influences (poetic and otherwise): Allen Ginsberg, Frank O'Hara, Susan Mitchell, Pavement, Sonic Youth, Pixies, Lester Bangs, Buddha, Chogyam Trungpa, virutally everything in Austin, the hypno-dreadlocks of Danny Solis, the whole slam community, bearers of chocolate and cigarettes, people who talk loud enough to be overheard and compellingly enough to be worth hearing.
Favorite Slam Poet: Beth Lisick
Favorite Cartoon: South Park / Milk & Cheese
Favorite Episode of M.A.S.H.: The one where Klinger wears a fur coat for an entire summer day.
Phil (at far left) in Seattle, 1988, (age 19) as lead singer of Neurotic Party. It was my first band. We were Goth. Can you tell? Eric Cooley (the guy who looks like Robert Smith here) is STILL in a Goth band, a decade later.
Phil in 1994, with Madison poet Ken Hunt, at an Austin bookstore. We were members of everyone's favorite slow dissonant noise-rock band, Self-Help Seminar, which explains why we're so at home and at-ease in this particular setting.
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