the interviewer asks tough questions


The Interviewer Asks Tough Questions

When did you learn to spell onomatopoeia, before or after you learned what it means?

Do you keep an index file?

What’s in it?

Who’s in it?

How many late-night phone calls have you made to Lyn Lifshin?

Are you a dues-paying member of PEN?

Do you own a computer?

Why the index cards then?

Do you send hate mail to Mark Zuckerberg?

Does Mark answer?

Have you ever written a sonnet?

A quatrain?

A ballad?

An anagram?

A Horatian ode?

A dirge, elegy, lament?

Are you a danger to society?

Do you think you measure up to Billy Collins?

Why do you insist on calling Bukowski Charles?

Are you in it for the money?

Can you recite poems from memory?

Do you believe in God?

Are you a threat to society?

Did Lyn Lifshin hang up on you?

Is there a difference between a threat and a danger?

Did you drink with Bukowski?

Chase women?


Are you working on a new book?

Do you dream?

Do you have illegitimate children?

Do they influence your writing?

Do you wake up screaming?

Go to sleep screaming?

What was it like in the Tiger Cage?

Did you plagiarize William Blake?

What was it like in the seminary?

Did you plagiarize God?

What was it like in the gutter?

Working Bourbon Street?

Doing time in Angola?

Sleeping with Lyn Lifshin?

Plagiarizing William Blake?

Getting investigated by the FBI?

Homeland Security?


The local sheriff?

Why do you marry women who can’t speak English?

Women who can?

Who are multi-lingual?

Deaf mutes?

Do you pay child support for your illegitimate children?

Do they write poetry?

Speak English?

Know your whereabouts?

Do they go to sleep screaming?

Do you ever have writer’s block?

Writer’s cramp?

Have you ever been bit by a snake?

Was it in a Tiger Cage?

Is global warming a hoax?

Why are your hands sweating?

What’s that in your pocket?

Was your mother Creole?

Is Lyn Lifshin the mother of one of your illegitimate children?

Of all of them?

Did she write your poems for you?

Did you write hers?

Did either of you write poetry before your illegitimate child/children were born?

Did your illegitimate child/children write your poems for you?

Do you keep him/her/them locked in the basement?

In a shed?

Has this been a bonding experience for you and Lyn?

Not to get personal, but where were you born?

Was a midwife present?

Was she a voodoo witch?

An illegal immigrant?

Do you have black blood?



Are you an illegal immigrant?

Are you willing to do a joint interview with Lyn and as many of your illegitimate children as we can round up?

What are your plans for the future?

What are Lyn’s?

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