Thomas Barranca is a NYC-based poet who started writing fiction at a young age. “I remember having a creative writing outlet in middle school and it was a major influence in my ability to write from early on,” Barranca explains. “When I got to college I took a poetry class, and I had only written fiction by that point. When I learned that poetry didn’t always follow guidelines and I could break the rules of fiction, I realized how important that was. Poetry became fun for me. I discovered it helped me grapple with my raw thoughts, and I know I would have become a different person without it.”

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Barranca produced a short film, nine minutes in length, which he describes as a Video Poem. A little over a year ago, he wrote a spoken word piece called I want to know what love is, Don’t try to show me and performed it at different venues across Brooklyn. He describes wanting to turn the Poem into a film in an effort to cross the genres into one to “hopefully [draw] new inspiration into both genres, and [give] life to other poets who feel that poetry is slowly becoming overlooked in a world where everything is now on the internet and moving at a pace too quickly for words.”

“Poetry in my opinion has become niche and exclusive, the majority of what gets published speaks to a handful rather than the masses, and I’m hoping to inspire other poets to acknowledge that and try to change it.”

Check out the video and interview below to learn more:

 

Do you think the future of poetry will begin to incorporate video? Do you think video is the future of content consumption in general?

I don’t want to speak on behalf of the future of all poetry, but I do believe that more poetry will begin to find its way into other mediums. I think that in order for it to stay relevant and continue to serve an important role in our society it’s almost forced to incorporate itself into other art forms. Poetry in my opinion has become niche and exclusive, the majority of what gets published speaks to a handful rather than the masses, and I’m hoping to inspire other poets to acknowledge that and try to change it.

I don’t think video is the future of content consumption, instead I believe it is currently the dominant form of content consumption. In the future the only thing that I believe will eclipse the popularity of video content is virtual reality technology, which has recently been receiving more attention and more funding from major corporations around the world. So maybe in the future poetry will have to find it’s way into the realm of virtual reality as well.

Would you mind discussing some of your past experiences with intimacy? Were there particular experiences that inspired you to create this project?

I can’t say that any one experience with intimacy was the inspiration for the project, rather it was a build up of experiences over time that shaped my views about it and led me to create this poem. I will say that there were one or two relationships in particular that shook me, causing me to question my views and to realize that I had not formed my own opinions about intimacy, rather that I was exhibiting learned behavior.

What is your experience with dating in New York City? What is your favorite thing about it and the thing you dislike the most?

I’d say after a solid many years dating as an adult in New York City that I still feel like I know nothing. I am useless when it comes to navigating my own dating life, but I can easily look at a friend’s and tell them exactly step by step what they should do. Ironic right? Isn’t that how most people feel? I don’t know, but I think it’s common.

I’d say my favorite thing is that there’s always someone new. And my least favorite thing is that there’s always someone new.

How do you search for meaning within a capitalist society? How has capitalism impacted you personally?

I think in our society it’s sometimes hard to separate where capitalism ends and the real art begins. We are surrounded constantly by advertisements, symbols, and branding. The term “sellout” is used often and not fondly. But I think in capitalism there lies a great challenge to remember that money is ultimately meaningless, and that art (good art) is ultimately meaningful and if you can find a way to marry those ideas without losing your voice then what you are creating is valid no matter how much you get paid to do it. There is meaning everywhere, you just have to decide how you choose to translate it.

What does Valentine’s Day mean to you?

Valentine’s Day to me means a boost in the economy. But like I said in a previous answer there is meaning everywhere, and I do think it’s beautiful we have a day centered around celebrating love, however I think it’s become too focused on celebrating monogamous romantic love, instead of all kinds of love.

Do you have any upcoming projects in the works or things you would like to share with the community?

Yes. Thanks for asking. I am working on a novel, and a collection of poems simultaneously. No one has agreed to publish them yet so don’t get too excited, but I’m hopeful I’ll get the chance to share both with the world and the community. Keep an eye out for me if you liked this video, I have a lot more to say.

For more information please visit thebarrancabeat.com

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Posture’s third print issue — The Boss Issue — is now available for purchaseThis 168-page magazine features exclusive interviews with artists, theorists, activists, and nightlife icons. The conversations dive deep into ideas of leadership, success, and organizing in queer/trans/non-binary and WOC communities. This issue also represents a new design direction for Posture, one that reflects the mission and purpose of the publication.

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