ast Sunday (yes, sorry, it has been a hectic time lately) Eugene Ross of the Midnight Theatre hosted a book launch party in Stormwind. We got a taste of the poetry within and Mr. Ross also offered to sign copies of his new book, “Notes of a city boy”. After the official event I was lucky enough to have a chance to ask Mr. Ross a few more personal questions.

The book launch:

The event took place at Lion's Rest, for the readers who usually attend Mr. Wobblespring's Poetry nights then you know the spot. It was unfortunately a small crowd, perhaps due to the Halloween Party in Aerie Peaks, described elsewhere in the paper, (( HERE )) but I dare say some of Mr. Ross' most prominent fans had showed up, hungering for his words. And he started out with a small speech:
Good evening, everyone! I am more than honoured and very much humbled to see you here tonight. It warms my heart to know that there are still those who appreciates poetry in our little town. The book I'm launching tonight - "Notes of a City Boy' - is a result of a few months of observations and thoughts of exactly that - an ordinary Stormwind city boy. Ours being a city of great variety and many tribulations, it is, more often than not, a trove of interesting, funny and, at times, outright ridiculous situations, not to mention the sheer amount of different sort of sorts. It is the exact reason I love it, and so often write silly rhymed verses about it. So, again, thank you for being here, and let me and some of my friends from The Midnight Theatre recite you few poems from the book. I will begin with a frivolous little poem titled 'Lords and Ladies of Stormwind'.

Lords and Ladies of Stormwind:

After that initial greeting by Eugene Ross, the evening was kicked off and he went on to recite one of the poems from his new book:
Lords and Ladies of Stormwind: As sun goes down into the sea The slothful city comes to life With laughter of bourgeoisie The languorous capital revives The mighty lords from far and wide Pour into streets out every ditch Their swollen egoes matched by pride And endless crave to scratch that itch For all the martial skills obtained Blades honed and heavy armor donned It matters most what must be gained: The skittish fish that fill the pond And lo, the fish is there to catch! As deadly ladies make their way Through mighty lords all out to snatch Some of the goods that on display All ladies blessed with perfect forms Their hinds are bountiful and aptly ripe Eyelashes curled, orbs full of storm Breasts large regardless of the body type And so a game of cat and mouse starts Lords being vermin and the ladies - cats Both taking chances at each other's hearts The felines willing just as much as rats One single question lingers as to why For every common Joe and Jane the Plain Times more of lords are in supply With flocks of goddesses on every lane? With answer none we wait and see If simple folk would ever be as rife As sun goes down into the sea And slothful city comes to life.

Ross and friends:

With the reciting of his poem, Mr. Ross then asked his colleagues and friends from the Midnight Theatre to also recite poetry. The first one was Kyndon Lachlan who plays King Anduin and Lord Bastion Steelrod in the "Cabbage Ron" play, and who undoubtedly will feature in the Midnight Theatres next play as well. He is also a skilled bard and musician. After his recital, Miss Karaen Henderson recited a poem as well, she is relatively new to the Theatre group, and finally Kaorra, the stage director of Midnight Theatre delivered a stunning recital. With the three actor's recitals over, Mr. Ross finished off the official part of the event with a closing speech, and an actual book signing:
Thus ends our little night of poems. Allow me to reinstate my appreciation of all of you coming tonight. I do hope we meet again either at my next book launch, if it is to happen at all, or simply on the streets of our little town so full of everything. Please, come and receive your free signed "Note of a City Boy" either from me or Kaorra. Thank you!

The off-stage Eugene:

After receiving my three copies, one of which you, dear reader can win! (more on this later), we sat down to have a talk: E.Ross: Mister Lester! H. Lester: Mister Ross! E.Ross: I am finally free and at your service. H. Lester: The official stuff done with? E.Ross: Yes, and I am ready for you utterly. H. Lester: So Mister Ross, tell me about the first poem you ever made. E.Ross: Ah, where to begin... Well, the very first ones are usually the most embarrassing too. It was a poem about a merchant's daughter named Tiffany, who broke my heart and by doing so kickstarted my career as a layabout poet. I am not entirely sure if I should be thanking her, but here I am. H. Lester: How old were you? E.Ross: Fifteen at most. My dear uncle was and still is a poet in his own right, so he was the one who encouraged my lyrical inclinations, albeit against the will of my esteemed mother, who has always preferred seeing me among the clerical body. H. Lester: Did you show it to Tiffany? E.Ross: Alas, I barely dared to look at her after. She was a wilful little fox and never had patience for things sentimental. H. Lester: You are an avid member of Mister Wobblespring's Poetry society right? E.Ross: A regular contributor to his continuous effort to promote poetry in our town, yes. Mister Wobblespring offers, perhaps, the single best opportunity for aspiring poets to find their audience, and for that I am among many those thankful.

The unmasked Eugene:

H. Lester: How old are you Mister Ross? E.Ross: I'm well in my thirties, however, I do remain a glorified infant when it comes to all things adult and responsible. I suppose one has to be such to waste his years on rhymes and verses instead of on other more respected crafts. H. Lester: Family? wife? children? boyfriend? E.Ross: A disappointed mother, a nigh-constantly wandering poet uncle and The Midnight Theatre, members of which a consider among my family. As for a lady of choice, alas, I am lone and hurting. Which is quite alright, for it is what fuels my ennui and poetry more often than not. H. Lester: You don't think having a special someone would function as a muse? inspire your poetry to go in a different direction maybe? E.Ross: Ah, you see, I am very sceptical towards the concept of inspiration in general. It is hard work and plain old effort that gets my poems done, not swings of mood. So there isn't anyone who would constitute a muse in my life, nor will be, if things are my way.

Eugene the play-writer:

H. Lester: Which is a perfect segway to my next question. The characters in Cabbage Ron, any inspiration from real people? I mean, besides the King. E.Ross: How about everyone in Stormwind? I think we've all seen and met our Voidenias, Steelrods and Lady Highbreasts. This town is full of those who make ridiculously entertaining characters for a play. H. Lester: And Ron? E.Ross: Ron is an everyman, a perfect point of view character, a clean slate with limitless potential for development. And that is exactly what's I'm doing with him - developing. We will just have to see where it all leads. H. Lester: And the wise and devoted wife WHO WILL BE FINE?! E.Ross: Oh, yes, most certainly! H. Lester: She seems like the real hero of the play to me. E.Ross: Perhaps we will devote more time to her in the next chapter of Ron's tribulations. Time will tell. I admit the whole situation with Ron's family has kept me up more than one late evening. Perhaps it effects me more than it should.

The future of Eugene:

H. Lester: Mm. Speaking of, any time frame on that? when can the culture-hungering people of Azeroth expect the next play? E.Ross: Well, you see, the play I'm working on right now is a different story, albeit set in the same universe as Cabbage Ron. It is a tale of a young Draenei lady named Puuru, who sets out from Exodar to have adventures of her own. We are to expect more satire and good old irony in the vein of Cabbage Ron. So as soon I'm done writing that, I will continue Ron's story. H. Lester: That sounds thrilling, so we will see posters for a new play soon? E.Ross: I am not sure how soon exactly, but yes, please do stay tuned. The Midnight Theatre is not nearly done yet. H. Lester: You did two showings in Stormwind of Cabbage Ron, and one in Dalaran, opening it up for horde theatre-goers as well. Will the premiere of the next show be in Stormwind as well? or will you aim for catering to both factions from the get-go? E.Ross: What a wonderful question. We haven't thought about that yet, but I would imagine we want try to cover as wider audience as possible, so our "traditional rivals" are very much in the picture, given how well received Cabbage Ron was, despite some questionable moments from a Horde viewer's point of view. But humour prevails in the end, as politics and old wounds give in to laughter. H. Lester: Divina Foxheart, a bard, recently did a concert-tour played in various inns across Azaroth, perhaps an option for you? A meal, a good evening, and a theather show? I mean. Would you consider doing a tour with the next play? E.Ross: Ah, yes, of course, doing a tour sounds thrilling, even though I am hardly ever seen outside the walls of good old Windy. I would personally love to perform somewhere in the ancient ruins scattered around both continents. I find the image of it oddly appealing. H. Lester: More books in the future from your hand I assume? E.Ross: I would certainly hope so. As long as there are vacant benches in The Lion's Rest, there are opportunities for new poems. H. Lester: I know Zhakariah and Deedi are working on a book with their ghost-stories - in corporation with the paper. Your book is published by the Theatre right? E.Ross: They are? I am excited to hear that and wish them all the best. I cannot wait to read the book. As for the question, yes - "Notes of a City Boy" is published by The Theatre. H. Lester: You considering any sort of collaboration with other poets? a compilation of poems perhaps? E.Ross: I haven't really thought about that, but I am open to the idea. So if anyone out there interested in something of the sort - please do let me know. H. Lester: Those of us clever enough to be here tonight got a free copy of your book, where would other people go to get a copy? E.Ross: The book is sold in every book store in the city starting today. So if you consider supporting me or the poetic scene of Stormwind in general - please buy a copy. H. Lester: Anything you would like to add? E.Ross: Only my appreciation for giving me the opportunity to talk about my work in your wonderful newspaper, Mister Lester. I am your avid reader and always appreciate your patronage, be it of my poems or our plays. As for something for all the readers... please, do not be afraid of embracing your ordinary side. We do not have to be someone outrageously special to be special, as sometimes less means a whole lot more. H. Lester: That is very wholesome Mister Ross. Last question, are you alright with us bringing some excerpts from your book as part of the interview? E.Ross: I would love that, Mister Lester. Feel free to choose a couple of poems and share it with all your numerous readers. H. Lester: Alright. Thank you so much for your time Mister Ross. I really do look forward to the next from you. Please get in touch with us when there is news yes? E.Ross: Absolutely, Mister Lester. Thank you for having me tonight. The Lion's Roar is a delightful source of news, rumours and information, and I am glad to be a part of it to some degree. H. Lester: The pleasure is mine. Before I leave you all with another poem of Mister Eugene Ross, then lets speak about the competition. We have a signed copy of Eugene Ross' new book, “Notes of a city boy" - and all you have to do for a chance to win it is to fill in the little slip in the paper and either deliver it to our office during office hours, or send it as a letter. We will random pick a winner amongst the people taking part. And with that, here is another poem from the hands of Eugene Ross:
Nightwalk: Downed the last of it and went outside Through the sweaty alleys of the night Two thirds love, one third homicide Under the light of a passing meteorite I went to where the coffin fish sleep Carrying the dead inside back and forth Across the seas neither blue nor deep ‘Sir, I want to die exactly west by north’ A thousand steps above the shoreline I met an old dragon sitting on her perch She did a great job pretending genuine ‘I’m just a girl reading under the birch' In the land of stone and trees below it Shared a cigarette with another wreck Popular among ladies joke of a poet ‘Nothing better than a kiss on her neck’ Dirty and tired, I wound up in a church Priest gave me a slice of wine-soaked bread Then he confessed of his secret research ‘On why the important things are often unsaid’ Right outside I was cornered by the past The shadows of then, ghosts of long gone Constant reminders of all that had passed ‘Don’t you forget, we're keeping an eye on' I sat by the fountain of indifferent youth Listening to little things things silly and sweet I'm joke of a poet, the dragon of untruth Deathwishing soldier and priest of deceit.
((The full book can be read HERE ))