Interview w/ Derrick Brown • Poet

SM: Please describe an impressionable moment from your childhood.

DB: My father was watching television when arguing with my mother. He threw something at her that cut open her chest. Lotsa blood. He went back to watching different strokes. I can’t remember what episode. I was 11.

SM: When was the last time you got lost?

DB: In Boise Idaho, after a poetry show with my buddy, Joel Chmara at a club called the funny bone. A fan dragged us to a bar, got us wasted and left. Last thing I remember, as we stumbled all around the city till dawn was launching a palm tree in a planter down the stairs at his face.

SM: Please recommend some components we could put together to make a trap for catching ghosts.

1. In a vial of 1 part Demi Moore’s DNA, place three parts of Whoopi Goldberg blood.
2. Begin making a clay pot and pour the mixture upon the wet clay.
3. Force baby into a corner.
4. When the ghost appears, stab it hard in the vagina.
5. Put it in a sea shell.
6. Have the time of your life.

SM: How would you recommend we undo our shackles, distract the hangman and escape the noose, right in front of the sheriff, the mayor, and nearly the whole damn town?

The plan is this:
Face, you bring the van around the back and distract the guards in bikinis, if you know what I mean. B.A., light the blowtorch with your dragon breath to undo the shackles. Murdock, you wait on the stuntman’s launch deck and fly through the air yelling ‘Cockadoodle doo, Bitches!’ to distract the guards.
Me, I will light a cigar and mail it to Castro.

SM: In the middle of the interview, an anecdote is requested.

DB: When I was in the 82nd airborne at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, I was asked to come down for a date at Clemson University. We went dancing. It is a bad idea to dance and chew bubblegum. As I sang “The Humpty Dance is your cha…,” the gum fell right into her long black hair. I did a double take and said, “Whoa, did you see that? (Pause) Oh my God. Someone just threw gum in your hair. I’ll kill him.” I then cut it out with a key and was called on that day, a hero.

SM: Please give an example of a perceived Synesthesia you’ve experienced. (Synesthesia is a crossing of senses i.e., tasting shapes, seeing smells, etc.)

DB: A few years ago I could hear ‘Yellow’ on every radio station. England must pay dearly for that.

SM: When was the last time you had to take an unexpected walk?

DB: After a fist fight in a coffee shop in Santa Cruz. Everyone wanted to talk to me and it was just making me more angry.

SM: If the trees kept everyone’s secrets, what sort of tree would you tell your secrets to, and why?

DB: I would tell my secrets to the tree of knowledge of good and evil because then my name would be Adam. I would ask the snake what it thought of incest.

SM: How do you plan on celebrating your 100th birthday?

DB: Resurrecting the bones of Willard Scott and handing them to the monkeys playing on my monolith. I would then crap myself in the produce aisle and blame it on the smell of fresh prunes.

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


I miss Sonny Bono
only Cher can turn back time
Froze by surgery