Interview – Matthew van Ortton – the super tramp

Pic by Mark Ulyseas

It was nice to be in love with you
As if poetry was a kind of healing love
While you were still holding to your book
I thought we were like Karla and Lin
Beautiful bitter peach and lovesick crook

It was so nice to be with you old friend
Depression, migraines , pregnancy and loss
While you were holding god knows what
I knew I couldn’t comfort you, instead
I wrote poetry that wasn’t so good…

Matthew Van Ortton
Super Tramp & poet

There appears to be a new breed of scribes gallivanting the globe who are peddlers of prose and poetry. They tramp across countries in a makeshift bubble that, in a manner, preserves the integrity of their outpourings.

Their verse is childlike, naive and usually self obsessed. Inspiration is derived from intensely personal experiences with the opposite and/or same-sex. Some draw on the life and works of long dead poets imagining or attempting to ape the lifestyle of the illustrious; while at the same time desperately trying to carve a niche in the matrix of modern society.

Matthew is a tramp in the making, infected by the life of William Davies, the Super Tramp and Poet. I met him (Matthew) at Paulo’s Antique Bar in Bardez over a glass of Shiraz and a smoke from Hell to discuss his passion for composing 10 minute poems (poems that are conceived in ten minutes flat), bathroom rhymes and contemplative verse.

His spelling is atrocious…dictation a curious mix of Dutch and English…Bohemian in dress and an attitude to match. All in all an interesting individualist detached from the ebb and flow of the high street and its parading clones.

Born Matthew Malecki in Poland (1970). He has lived in Harlem (Holland), Reggio (Calareia, Italy), South Beach Florida (USA), Cornwall (UK) and elsewhere. He was married, fathered two children and divorced, leaving the comfort of home and hearth to travel the world. On the way he met a fine lady and set up home in Cornwall, only to leave all behind once again to circumnavigate village earth.

“I know this appears to be the actions of a deluded mind but this is not so. You see my grand mother was an Italian gypsy. Maybe I carry her spirit within me, a lust for the luscious life,  wanderlust that seduces one and diverts attention from the prosaic.”

Why do you write poetry?

Writing poetry is akin to floating, like a ship sailing on a quiet sea, the waves of inspiration caressing the bow of the vessel – my mind. Therefore, whenever I compose verse it instills a sense of quietude, and as each poem is born fresh from a fertile mind it is like a celebration of thought. The feeling is one of sheer pleasure.

And your inspiration, where does it come from?

There are two halves…one is from Leah, the woman I abandoned in Cornwall with the resultant residual vibrating emotions…and the second is from Nature, its beauty and tranquility.

Why do you write in English?

I speak and write in Italian, German, Polish and English. But I write in English because this language, for me, is the only one that has a versatility and subtlety that makes it an exciting medium for poetry.

What are you working on, now?

My first anthology of sixty poems – very personal. It reflects what happened to Leah and me with glimpses of Nature to convey the sense of peace that I have found.

You know love is peace – a state of existence, placidness of the soul that lulls one into the deep recesses of Oneness. Here in India I have found a love in the people that transcends their destitution – inspite of their poverty they smile at you and continue to maintain a happiness that defies logic.

After publication of your anthology, any future plans?

I’m a man
Without a plan
Interested in everything
Committed to nothing

Matthew is a poet that still needs to marinate in life to achieve maturity in verse and deed. And he will get there in time with quill in hand and peace in his heart, hopefully.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om