Interview w/ Steve Almond • Author, “The Evil B.B. Chow”

SM: If you were heard to exclaim, “There it is!”, what would you most likely be pointing at?

SA: My masculinity. It’s always such a thrill when that shy, little bugger makes an appearance in public.

SM: What is your first reaction to a still body of water?

SA: To jump on top of her and see if I can get her mov—oh, wait, you said “a still body of water.” Generally speaking, if it looks free of sewage and the weather is warm enough, I jump in.

SM: What is something you’d like people to know about you?

SA: That I’m left-handed. Also: everything I write is, in a basic emotional way, the truth.

SM: What’s the first thing you want to know about a stranger?

SA: What music they listen to.

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

SA: I’m on an airplane heading down to Carrollton, Georgia, where I’m scheduled to read to a pack of freshmen at West Georgia State. (For reasons that are utterly beyond me, they’re using Candyfreak as one of the required texts down there, for freshman comp.) Anyway, it’s the day after the election and most of the folks around here are totally dispirited. I’m flying into Washington, D.C., so of course we’ve been delayed for an hour on the ground. The plane is small, the A/C has been turned off. Sitting next to me is a very fat guy in a pinstripe suit.
He’s just nodded off and he’s making some of the most horrific snoring noises I’ve ever heard. I’m pretty sure he’s a Republican, and I’ve got a good mind to dip his fingers in warm water. But: 1) I don’t know for sure that he’s a Republican. He just has that jowly, self-satisfied look; 2) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you; and 3) I don’t have any warm water.

SM: C.S. Lewis, William Blake and T.S. Eliot have all gone forward in time to the distant future to fight ….. (please insert a who, what and why)

SA: The Iron Mike Tyson Schwarzenegger Cyborg.

SM: When was the last time you yelled really loud in public?

SA: Last Friday. I helped organize a benefit concert/costume party for my favorite band on earth, Boris McCutcheon and the Salt Licks. I always scream like a purty little girl at his shows.

SM: If societal norms allowed men to cry like babies, what would you cry about?

SA: Our nation’s capacities for mercy.

SM: What is one thing you are certain of?

SA: There is no God. There are only people and their (holy) wishes.

SM: What is an aspect of our culture you are willing to pretend to know something about to strangers?

SA: The nature of political conflicts in Africa. Like most American lefties, I try to care. But I don’t really know shit.

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Interview w/ Derrick Brown • Poet