SM: Where do you look to for relief from emotional distress?
JL: My life is fairly free of major strife and conflict, so emotional distress is usually the result of a lack of intellectual stimulation, as a by-product of doing too much grunt work. So I like to re-ignite my creative fuse by doing what I like to call “The Grand Tour”. This consists of taking the subway to the Public Library and trying to track down information on obscure painters (like John Martin (“The Deluge”), or Julius Klinger (“Humorous Pages”)); walking through the park to the Met Museum and wandering around there for a couple of hours; then down to Jim Hanley’s Universe to buy some comic books, then a nice dinner, then a revival at Film Forum (say, Orson Welles “The Stranger”).
SM: If you were seen looking at the sky, what would you likely be looking for?
JL: Not stars, in this town. Too much gegenschein. But if I’m looking at the sky I’m probably looking for stars anyway.
SM: If you were to illustrate a secret below a bridge, what, besides a lurking troll, would you be sure to include in your drawing?
JL: The first thing that leaps to mind lurking under a bridge is actually a camped-out homeless man, which is probably the origin of the troll archetype. But there’s nothing secret about that. So, let us say that the homeless man is furtively masturbating.
SM: When you get lost, what is usually your first course of action?
JL: Accelerated heart-rate, light sweat. Next, I try to obtain a map.
SM: In the middle of the interview, an anecdote is requested.
JL: This one doesn’t have much of a punch line, but I like the character. I had just biked into the city from Brooklyn with the express purpose of visiting The Complete Strategist in order to buy my wife a cribbage board. To set the scene, picture an unshaven, sweaty man in grubby pants and a sweatshirt locking his bike up in front of a store devoted to Role Playing Games.
Suddenly, a round-faced girl in a short skirt walked up to me and, in a working-class English accent asked me where she could buy some boots. “Boots?” I asked, about to send her down to West Ninth Street. “Fetish boots,” she replied. “Fetish Boots?” I echoed, thinking now of the Fluevog store in Soho. “Yeah,” she continued, “like, for go-go dancing, you know.” Aha! This woman was a stripper, fresh off the boat from the old country. I sent her to Crazy Fantasy in Greenwich Village. Only as I write this now, do I realize that I should have sent her to Empire Erotica on Thirty-third Street, two blocks away. Oh well.
SM: C.S. Lewis, William Blake & T.S. Eliot have commissioned a hot air balloon for a trip around the globe, but have unfortunately sprung a leak and landed their balloon atop the roof of your home. How will you be spending the rest of your afternoon?
JL: I expect that I will end up stuck in the kitchen making bacon-cornbread waffles for them while they sit in the dining room eating, drinking whiskey and talking. At least that’s what happened last week when Heinz Edelman, Georges Perec, and Abner Dean crashed through my front window in a Model-T Ford.
SM: What song would you like to hear when you encounter your worst enemy for the first time?
JL: “Deus Irae Psychedelico” by Ennio Morricone.
SM: What are you willing to stay up all night for?
JL: If recent history is any indication, to hang the work in an art show that opened the following day. But I might stay up for a film festival of rare movies that I’ve had a hell of a time tracking down: (Donald Cammel’s _The Demon Seed_, Polanski’s _Cul-de-Sac_)
SM: How would you say your name if we spoke by showing each other pictures?
JL: I think I could do it in one picture: a very small Greek man with one sandal.
SM: Please compose a brief poem or haiku on the subject of your choosing.
Spring (a haiku)
Springtime in New York.
Winter clothes come off to show
tightly clad boobies