Well blow me down, it’s already Friday - again! And that means the regular piece that you all enjoy, which is, of course, our Friday Feature. Each week we get to root through a Proser’s life, loves and linguistic leanings; and this week we have a smasher for you. Prosers, please be upstanding for @Bunny
P: What is your given name and your Proser username?
B: My ‘given name’, bestowed upon me by one of my best friends Stacia, and the family Tattoo Artist, my aunt Isabelle, is 'Bunny' Villaire. For Prose I go as Bunny.
Legally my name is Josh Villaire, but that name don't mean squat to me anymore.
Bunny is my spirit name, and I can see myself going by it until I'm a funny old man.
I imagine myself living by the lake, and someone yells out "Hey, Bunny!", and my funny old ears perk up.
I'm in the process of legally changing it, but what's in a name?
P: Where do you live?
B: I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but I’m really into moving around (upward and outward!), and my bands gearing up for a nationwide tour, (if not international) coming up real soon(at the latest, next Christmas). My band Tail From the Crypt is an underground Darkwave English and French bilingual band. We have electronic elements, and I have had to learn many new instruments for our band lately, so we can be as minimal as possible. The musical learning has consumed a great amount of my free time, much to my pleasure. We just recently had a release party for both our first full length Cd and our vinyl Ep, and now have a most righteous obligation to get our wild brand of sound out to anyone in earshot. Please give us a listen at:
P: What is your occupation?
B: I’m a starving artist. I live to write poetry, and maka the music. When I was homeless years ago, all I had was poetry and my band, and the Muse never dared leave my side. It’s always been my go to.
Rock’n’roll has teased my soul, and I like it. I’m also a Yoga instructor, and I do a little of that on the side. Got my start in that by teaching women at a Recovery Center.
Yoga is so very important in helping me calm my soul in times of psychic assault. Psychic assault comes from everywhere with our modern ongoing encroachment of technology.
P: What is your relationship with writing and how has it evolved?
B: I would say my writing really took off with my intial obsession with William S. Burroughs, and the beats in highschool.
Even before that I had a poem published in a compilation book at 13.
But then there was a magical copy of Leonard Cohen’s Best Of from the 60s to the 70s on Cd that mysteriously just appeared on my kitchen table for no other reason but to get my wheels spinning.
Beyond that, probably the most inspiring music that got my mind soaring, and my gums flapping was the all instrumental band Future Sound of London that I began singing to in my teens before I started any band. The lack of vocals was truly inspiring because I could insert myself between the lines.
I’ve sang and wrote for many various bands since 2001 to now, pretty much nonstop.
I’ve also attended poetry readings and performed performance art(shudder!) or what I like to call it ‘self sacrifice’.
"For similar reasons, Grand Rapids native Josh Villaire began incorporating elements of performance art into concerts with his now-defunct music ensemble, Coin. Today, Villaire is involved in Butoh and other projects he describes as “experimental theater,” but he shuns the label “performance artist.”
“I prefer ‘self-sacrifice.’” Villaire said. “That’s what it is.”
He continued: “You’re up there ripping your heart out in front of people. And if they don’t like it, maybe it’s because they’re looking into a dark side of their soul that they don’t like. That’s what I like about it.”
At first glance, Villaire’s take might seem a little self-indulgent (yet another reason some members of the general population might employ the word “crap” rather than working out an understanding of a performance art piece). But Villaire doesn’t see it that way. Posing a challenge to audience members, as he explained, is a way of gifting them with something to think about.
“It’s kind of like the stuff Andy Kauffman used to do,” Villaire said. “You never know if people are going to like it, and that’s so much better than people just clapping without even thinking about it.
“Maybe they’re angry when they go home, but at least they’re thinking about why they’re angry.”
---From Grand Rapids Magazine, 2004
Well for the past couple of years now I’ve been forcing myself to write at least one poem a day. I believe that this strictness to my routine has helped my writing grow immensely.
I have written a large body of songs for my various bands, always in the role of singer song-writer in all my projects. It’s only recently that I have just started to become a musician as well learning drum machine and keys, although one could say that the voice in itself is one of the most magnificent instruments. I’ve always been drawn to the rawer, content heavy writers like Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, and Marianne Faithful.
At the same time, I cherish the ambiguous writers like William S. Burroughs, and Captain Beefheart. Rules are made to be broken when it comes to writing, and attempting various ways of producing literature.
I have self-published a zine of writing with a co-editor friend named Kevin Hovey.
Together we focused on writing inspired by the nostalgic aura of trains, and train tracks. This venture, which landed us both in jail for breaking and entering on a train yard, was entitled ‘Track Marks’, and I’m still quite fond of it and the idea. It was a collection of short stories, and poems, and art. The newest zine that I’m now obsessed with completing is called ‘The Hairy Exchange’, and this newest project will be writing mostly focused on hard to find records(vinyl) and different avenues of acquiring vinyl, as well as incredibly strange music, and the history of the people behind it. There will also be stories of the cheapest record various collectors have ever bought, mainly the ones that are personal favorites in their collection.
The zine will also be rife with conspiracy stories, and perhaps some underground culture news.
P: What value does reading add to both your personal and professional life?
B: I remember a teacher once telling me that you should read more then you write, which I would agree with. Every time I read something I immediately find myself more inspired to write, and more inspired to speak my mind. Writing isn’t like most television. It doesn’t intimidate, it inspires, as long as you give it a chance. Although television nowadays has taken the form of Art House movies in the 90s. Reading literature, especially in physical book form, is a very engaging activity, because it allows you to form your own images.
P: Can you describe your current literary ventures and what can we look forward to in future posts?
B: I’m currently writing a short story about a desert grifter right now who has a scam going with some prostitutes somewhere in California, and I feel my writing pushing towards a kind of Kafkaesque dark comedy region. Perhaps it’s in my blood, but I love the dark, and I’m feeling progressively driven towards that kind of formula of revelling in the unexpected, and championing the humor of the mundane and how it erupts into beautiful chaos. There's nothing more interesting to me than investigating the nuances of chaos.
P: What do you love about Prose?
B: I love the opportunity to meet so many of my ilk and breed. The writer in general is quite an interesting animal, and any chance I can get to break bread, and share thoughts with kindred souls is my cup of Whiskey.
P: Is there one book that you would recommend everybody should read before they die?
B: Amerika by Franz Kafka.
P: Do you have an unsung hero who got you into reading and/or writing?
B: My uncle Lou Villaire had a compilation book of poetry published when I was a preteen. I always looked to him as a great influence with his book ‘Worldings’, and many of his friends and connections from when he was in the poetry group the Twilight Tribe.
P: Describe yourself in three words!
B: Challenging, cryptic, and opaque.
P: Is there one quote, from a writer or otherwise, that sums you up?
B: “Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly”
P: What is your favourite music, and do you write or read to it?
B: I favor many musical genres. I’m an avid record junkie, addicted to many various styles of music, but the one style of music I’ve perhaps been most obsessed with lately is Italian Disco. Italian Disco is similar to Space Disco, but worlds away from American Disco. Lately I’ve been really in Funk also, and been trying hungrily to track down all the best Chaka Khan records.
P: You climb out of a time machine into a dystopian future with no books. What do you tell them?
B: I think that the best thing to do in that situation would be to write a book. Maybe one with dirty pictures in it so's you can get their attention if their all deteriorated in the mental department. Whatever can get them reading again, and realizing it's vital importance in the scheme of things.
P: Do you have a favourite place to read and write?
B: I love to write under bridges, and underpasses. I love finding magical environments that resonant with the rebel, and the loner. The process of finding a secret place where you can feel comfortable writing can be quite rewarding as well. From experience, I've found that the best way to generate new writing material is by taking a long walk. This is where a tape recorder to record your thoughts comes in handy.
P: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you/your work/social media accounts?
B: I'd like to reiterate that my vinyl record, and my full length CD I just released with my band Tail From the Crypt is some of the best stuff (writing and otherwise) I've ever been a part of.
Both are available for listening and purchase at:
And that’s how you do a Friday Feature. Do your Prose thang and like, follow, love and interact with Bunny – and buy his record (do you ship to the UK? – PaulDChambers). Thanks for your answers, Bunny! You really gave in that.
If you are a regular user of Prose and want to feature, or you know someone that does (or should), then do please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org