A Fine Line is a book written from the perspective of a nihilist looking to find order in the chaos. Looking in all of the predetermined places gets him nowhere.
John Sutter: Is this a work of fiction? I mean, there’s a lot of things going on here people would pay good money for.
Ted Kouretas: Nothing is totally fictitious. Fiction always exists within reality.
JS: But is the narrator you?
TK: It’s a troubled me. Yes. Or rather, perhaps.
JS: When did you write most of the poems on here?
TK: Almost all of them were written in Greece. I was in the big city. Athens is a multi-faceted place. You go from luxury to misery in a small block’s walk. I experienced both. Most of the poems are attempts at acceptance. They ard actually me trying to make sense of things.
JS: Do you make sense of things?
TK: I have now. But lest we forget these were my carefree hedonistic years. I had no borders. At the time, I was addicted to sensual desire. I needed to experience all my needs. This takes you to dangerous places.
JS: But there’s a lot of nostalgia in many poems.
TK: We always opine for the good old days. We think we’ve leadnsd from them when in fact we’ve become corrupted from them. It’s more like the demoralizing mediocre old days. A ship of fools with all decks on board.
JS: So do the old memories free you somewhat?
TK: Hopefully. They have in real life. Eventually. Duting the writings of the poems, there was so much addiction. There was so much pain. It was a way out.
JS: How do you feel about the disclaimer from the publisher?
TK: I’d be scared shitless and covering all my bases too. As you know, there is no truth these days other than the one preached by a select few. The walls are crumbling and our defense mechanisms are rendered useless. It’s a very sad state of affairs.
JS: I’m not sure I understand. Do you believe in fake news then?
TK: People think Donald Trump created the fake news mentality. Fact is, he was the only one unfiltered enough to actually state a big truth. Like him or not.
JS: What was your purpose in writing this book of poetry?
TK: Let’s be honest. I’m taking a chance here. My favourite musical artist, Morrissey, has gotten in trouble so many times for showing points of view. He gets called a racist by putting in the brain of a young man who admires the National Front. Of course being a neo-Nazi is inexcusable. But it helps to know why. Everything is a pattern.
JS: A pattern?
TK: Yes. Recruiters always go after the most susceptible. There are recruiters for the army, for menial labour, for prostitution, for drug dealing, for killing. The weak and disenfranchised are easy prey. Through learning about them, perhaps we can help curb the problem. To answer your initial question, my main purpose for this book is for the common folks to experience the joys and tribulations in the fine line between insanity and creativity. They should get into the brain of the nihilistic protagonist and see how his thoughts play a major role in his seclusion. This is what leads and maintains addiction.
JS: Any takeaway from this book?
TK: Never think you know anything.
Ted Kouretas describes himself as a postmodern iconoclast bent on showing taboo truths. With this book, he gives us a glimpse.
John Sutter is a PostDoc litarature fellow from the University of Alabama.