Rooftop Flower Girl
Sitting on the rooftop ledge
She threw petals to the wind
Watching as they slowly floated
A soft rain of color
Covered the street below
To her world of black and grays
Sheldon Stout was born in Enid, Oklahoma (OK). He grew up in Medford, OK and currently resides in Alva, OK with his wife Bethany and his four daughters: Amber, Autumn, Isabella and Zowie. He has written three books of poetry: Pop, Punk or Pulp Poetry?: A Collection of Poetry by Sheldon S. Stout , Call It What You Will, and Mystical Tales of the Lost & Found: The Poetry & Prose of Sheldon S. Stout
Why poetry? In Jr. High I wanted to be a rock star. So I started writing songs. None were very good. Then we had to write stories for an English class. So I wrote some stories. I continued writing throughout Jr. High and high school but it wasn’t until I was a Junior in high school that I started getting into poetry. It was in Mrs. Innis’s English class in 1988-89 that I really found my calling, so to speak. We had to write some poems and I got a good response from the teachers and other students. So I wrote more. I found it to be a nice escape from my problems and a good way to vent my frustrations with the world.
Where do you get most of your inspiration? I can find inspiration just about anywhere. I like to people-watch, read, watch movies and TV…but I find most of my inspiration in music. I like musicians like The Flaming Lips, Pink Floyd, Stardeath & White Dwarfs, The Beatles, Michael Hedges and Rush. Bands that are not afraid to break away from the norm and try something different. I like music, well just about anything really, that challenges me to think or look at things differently. I tend to seek out people and things that go against the grain. That is what sparks my imagination: diversity.
Do you feel that living in Oklahoma shades your impression of the world? I think living anywhere for a long period of time will shade your impression of the world. Growing up in small town Oklahoma in the 70s and 80s, I do feel like I was sheltered a bit because our resources were so limited. Sure I read and watched TV but we really had no diversity. We weren’t exposed to everything say someone growing up in OKC or Tulsa would see. And unlike the kids today we had no internet. I always tried to keep my mind as open as possible but it wasn’t always easy. It is not hard to get out-casted in a small town. So a lot of my thoughts and ideas had to be held back for fear of what everyone else would think. As I got older I learned not to care what “They” thought. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing but I feel I can express myself freely, and isn’t that what it is all about?
Interview w/Sheldon Stout by Joey Rodman, for the Red Dirt Chronicles