Interview w/ Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz • Poet

SM: When was the last time you were down on your luck?

CA: How about right now? I spent about nine hours last night watching the election results, hoping for a E.T. like resurrection of Kerry, and after falling asleep on the couch, I woke up to see the that only change was Ohio going from being a red state back to being a blank state. Then after watching Kerry’s sad sack concession speech this afternoon, I took a walk and noticed that all of New York City is beginning to look like an outtake of “Dawn of the Dead” — people with strange vacant looks in their dark circled-eyes stumbling around confused and wishing they had blood.
Plus, I’ve got to get an endoscopy tomorrow. The only thing left is for me now is to witness a puppy being run over. If I could be any creature, I think I’d Grumpy Bear.

SM: Given the current global exchange rates, what is something you know of that is still not for sale under any circumstances?

CA: My boyfriend Shappy’s enormous collection of 70s pop culture memoribilia. Believe me, I’ve tried to explain to him about how you can sell things like Hamburglar collectible glassware and vintage KISS birthday napkins, as opposed to only buying them, but there apparently I’m wrong.

SM: What do you find to be your most valuable possession (physical or abstract)?

CA: My inability to distinguish whether I love something for kitsch value or honestly truly love it (see next question for more).

SM: What do you seek out to remedy melancholy?

CA: Dachshunds. Those ridiculous little german dogs never cease to brighten my mood. First off, they look absolutely ridiculous. They are the VW Bugs of dogs — you can’t help but smile at them and wonder who thought that up. But what’s great about dachshunds is that their ridiculousness has purpose. They were bred to crawl into holes and kill badgers, hence the long bodies, short legs and tenaciously adorable personalities. So not only do dachshunds provide me with an intitial hilarious thrill at the site of them, but they also serve to remind me that the various ridiculous things in my life — whether circumstantial or self-created — probably have a bigger purpose than I can foresee at the moment. But mostly, they just look ridiculous. I mean really really ridiculous and awesome.

SM: Please enliven our evening/morning/afternoon with an anecdote.

CA: Have you ever just had one of those boring afternoons where you just decide to google something just for the hell of it? Mostly, these experiences fall into the looking-up-the-ex-boyfriend catergory, but every once in while, you just spontaneous sort reading information on… something. While, one day, my ‘something’ — fairly inexplicably — was serial killers. I have no idea what the catalyst, but boy howdy, can reading about serial killers become addictive. Those followed two solid days of serial killer reading sessions– utterly unbeknownst to my work, of course. Well, the following week, I meet up with a more established writer friend/mentor who was pitching a TV show to a cable network, and wanted to know if I wanted in on writing the show with him — a first for me! “What’s the show about?” I ask him. “It’s about a women who used to track down serial killers.” And of course, I was in complete shock. “Ohmigosh, I was just reading all about serial killers recently.” “Really?” he replied, “That’s great!” And soon I was happily recounting some of the more gruesome stories — including this story of this novice serial killer who forgot about rigor mortis in his plan of burying a young man in his floor boards. So once the guy stiffened up in flat position, the killer thought just leaning him against the wall for a while would make him eventually curve. Not a chance. Meanwhile, this crazy serial killer is walking around with an upright corpse leaned up against his apartment wall for three days before he started to think of a plan B. My writer pal loved this! So I kept telling him even more crazy stories, and I think, I crossed the threshold of “wow, that’s interesting!” to “whoa,why are you so interested in this stuff anyway?” I suddenly felt incredibly self conscious about how much I just monologued off on this guy about ritual rape and killing, and decided to just wrap it up and quick. The guy never followed up with more serial killer questions, and we just continue — perhaps a little awkwardly — on with the rest of the show ideas. Anyway, who knows what is going to happen with the show, but for the time being, I’m more concerned that this guy thinks I’m serial killer. So now, whenever I talk to him, I try to soften up his vision of me with battery of goofy jokes. But I’m beginning to think it’s only making me look like MORE of serial killer. I mean, John Wayne Gacy was a clown in his offtime too, right?

SM: How do you feel most days, just walking down the street?

CA: Pretty good. If there is a dachshund walking around, very good.

SM: What was your last good deed?

CA: To cheer up my boyfriend, who was also depressed about the Kerry loss and also likes dachshunds, I sent him this instantly cheering picture of a morbidly obese but the nonethess merry doxie.

SM: What should people know about you?

CA: My website — — does a good job of explaining me, and I don’t mean my bio page. I mean that the fact that through my website you can read my mom’s weekly conservative political column, buy the book I wrote about working for the porn industry, read about my day’s exploits in my comic diary form and see the photos and bios of my geek street gang, the Nerd Thugz, among other things, shows what a crazy nerdy mother-loving lady I is.

SM: Please compose a brief poem or haiku on the subject of your choosing.

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
God who?
Oh, that’s right, I don’t exist in your modern world.