HSFA grants permission to all publications who would like to publish this interview along with the picture associated with this interview. Views expressed in this interview are by Doc Dalton/The Depressed Poet.
Doc, thank you for agreeing to do this interview. You have described mental illness from your point of view in different ways, can I ask you to do that now.
I have said many times that Kryptonite is to superman as depression is to the average person who suffers from it. It removes your energy, thoughts, and any type of power you might have, and does so quickly and at times, without warning.
Mental illness is not a friend for sure and it can rip the heart and soul out of someone and leave you lying in your own world of insanity. It can isolate you from your own world and hold you captive for long periods of time until it decides to give you a brief release from your struggles.
The name The Depressed Poet, how did that come to be.
I have been hospitalized for depression a few times and one of those times a doctor suggested I try my hand at poetry. At that moment I thought he was crazy, but it turned out to be a positive thing for me because I became creative, I thought about things I had not thought about before and most importantly, it gave my mind a break from all the craziness and let the calm walk right in. So here I am, this depressed guy writing poetry and more and with that came the name, The Depressed Poet, which was given to me by a few friends and it just seemed to take on a life of its own and I am OK with it.
You have said that you do not consider yourself a great or even good writer. Why do you feel that way?
I am open and honest about everything. I do not hide the fact that I suffer from depression and other things as well. By lying, you not only hurt yourself, but in the process, you hurt others as well who maybe would like to do something like this to help ease their suffering. Do not lie, always give hope.
I say openly that I am not the smartest man in town, and I welcome that because smart is really overrated in my opinion. You spend most of your time thinking about nonsense that you never really cared about that much for in the first place. Take the proper steps to stop thinking for a bit, I understand that it might sound a little crazy but what you need to understand is that you, need to give your mind a chance to lay low and calm down. Many of us need that break. With mental illness, you need to take care of you first.
I am happy not being the smartest man. In my world the less I know the better and what I do know helps me get through my days, WHY? Because what I know really matters to me and I can use this little knowledge in many ways and in countless different conversations.
Has the pandemic played a major part in your life?
I had COVID-19 last March and it was terrible. They call it a pandemic, but the truth is, in the world of mental illness, it is an epidemic. More people have become depressed for many reasons such as the lock downs, jobs, not knowing what the future holds and who to believe and not believe because we all know we are getting lied to. The problem is, who and what are they lying about and who do we trust and not trust especially with a media who looks you dead in the eyes and lies straight to your face.
People are losing their minds over this. Youth suicide is at an all-time alarming rate. It has become un-controllable. So, try to imagine, everyone is getting lied to, no one knows who to believe or what to believe, their stress level becomes so high and for some, they take their own life. What happens if we ever prove that we were lied to. Should the liars be held accountable, and to what degree?
Your very straight to the point about your views on different topics. Do you think that might turn some people off?
Maybe I am a bit more vocal at times, but the truth is, I have reached an age where I understand that no matter how helpful you are in life to others, no matter how nice you are to people and how thoughtful you try to be to those in need, there will always be those who will find fault with you, judge you and not like you. It is just human nature. Personally, I do not get offended by that, I tend to look at it like this. For people to genuinely like me, they must first acquire a finer taste in their so-called personal judgment toward others. They need to re-set their personal, I am a jackass in the way I think clock. It is only when that takes place, will they understand the real me, and at that point, all will be OK. To me life is like a long bus ride and for those who like me, hop on and I hope we can enjoy the ride together and for those who do not like me, my personal space is overcrowded anyway. No harm, no fowl, just get the hell off my bus.
Besides poetry you are the host of The Coffee and Prayer Series. Can you tell us about that?
It is a simple podcast where I talk about several different topics that can range from kindness, compassion, love, friendship, and God. It is my way of trying to make a difference and it is also my own personal therapy to keep me on the straight and narrow. I enjoy it and get many nice messages from folks all over. So, it makes it worth-wild. I always say, its where a good cup of coffee and some quiet prayers, can change the world.
Does Doc Dalton have any hero’s in this world?
My dad, first and foremost. He was a walking, talking angel who lived on this planet. He would help anyone in need, and he did just that. The old saying that someone would give you their last dollar if you needed it. That was him. The best of the best and I miss him every day. My mom was another angel as well. Kind and compassionate. A good soul to say the least.
Two others that come to mind are Americana artist Ray Wylie Hubbard. He is one sick dude and I say that with a smile and with 100% respect. He does it his way and seems not to be held down by others. He is his own man and wears it well and I respect that. Anyone who can write a song called snake farm, is OK with me.
And there is Irish poet Pat Ingoldsby He write some stuff that is way out there and being I am a person who enjoys being way out there, I enjoy his words very much.
You say you are not a religious guy, but you are a God guy. How so?
To me manmade religion is just that, manmade. I always feel they have a secrete motive which starts with the fire and brimstone messages and ends with the collection basket. Spiritual leaders today are very outspoken and make it known that do not agree with each other’s teachings and say how the wrong messages are being delivered to people. Bottom-line, I can get to hell on my own and do not need any outside help to get there.
To be honest, there are many good ones, and I am lucky because I have a good Pastor who I trust. But when confusion sets in and you are not 100% sure who or what to believe, that is the time to sit down, fold your hands and Pray to God and ask him to step in and guide you in the right direction. Besides, it is supposed to be a personal relationship anyway, right. So, make it personal and make it personal with Jesus.
What is on the horizon for the depressed poet, Doc Dalton?
Write more poetry. I have a book coming out in March called, Simply Compassion. I plan on staying not the smartest man in town for a very long time. I like it that way and it took me a long time to understand me and accept me. I will continue that bus ride and hope to see you along the journey. The truth is, it is where I need to be right now.
if anyone would like to learn more about you, where can they go.
They can go to my website at, www.DocDalton.com, everything is right there for them.