Welcome to the latest edition of > kill author. This time, instead of the usual guest introduction, we’re opening with the kind of feature many literary magazines often publish, but which we’ve so far completely avoided: an interview with a writer. Gregory Sherl obviously spotted this unfortunate omission in our content, because when we approached him to introduce this issue he offered us just such an interview. We waited with a growing sense of anticipation to discover the identity of the author who would be facing Gregory’s incisive, provocative and thoughtful questions. Then we received the article. So here it is: Gregory Sherl meets the one and only… Gregory Sherl.
What is your relationship with > kill author?
The first time I submitted I never heard back. (Picture us looking suitably ashamed; we were young and incompetent – Eds.) The second time I was kindly rejected. The third, they accepted four poems from my forthcoming MLP novel(la), “The Oregon Trail Is the Oregon Trail”. Then they were kind enough to accept a short fiction piece I wrote.
Did you really write a book where you numbered all the women you slept with?
I did. Yes.
The numbers don’t count that high…
You seem desperate to stay young.
I am desperate for a lot of things.
We should talk about > kill author #14, since this is an introduction.
What was the first line that jumped out at you?
“Ben Affleck, the actor, always delivers.” (“from L I T / N Y”/Durbin)
Here you go.
I could deliver that all night.
Which author were you not familiar with that you are glad you are now familiar with?
“No one wants harbors log-jammed by whale carcasses, highways strewn with monkeys caught in nets of ants, recording studio foam blocks soaked in star blood on their conscience.” (“Infestation”/Matos)
Tell us something about one of the contributors.
Parker Tettleton has a giant cock.
How do you know?
How do you not know?
It’s impossible to read a literary magazine and not see his name there.
He’s going to be famous. And not just for his cock.
J. Bradley and I are reading at the Stardust in Orlando on September 16.
That was cheap.
Hey, I’m doing this introduction for free, man.
Which author are you glad is dead?
Give me some lines from the issue you wished you wrote.
“I watch daytime TV and feel like a heart-shaped potato.” (“Wet With Money”/Pokrass)
“As I make them, I imagine I’m the greatest grilled cheese cook in the world.” (“Golden Brown”/Tadge)
“Never put a beer on the floor.” (“You Take Off My Shoes”/Tettleton)
“She’s a sound I’d like to produce.” (“from L I T / N Y”/Durbin)
“The movie of this poem is not going well.” (“Ars Poetica”/Matos)
“There is also a mirrorball in my stomach, shining out.” (“I Am a Man With a Fractured Skull”/Collins)
“On hot summer days, people always remark: it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” (“A Gesture Will Form.”/Dawson)
“Last year it was monkeys eating ants with sharp sticks, and the year before that a host of pop stars singing their own songs.” (“Infestation”/Matos)
“I worry about sounds that glow.” (“Bald Tires”/Samuel)
“‘We lived on flowers,’ the man said. ‘No rain.’” (“Phase Change”/Svalina)
“I require so little of myself in an age where nearly everyone is famous online.” (“On a Cellular Level”/Martin)
“Their father goes upstairs, trying to stomp, but the new carpet absorbs his weight and makes a faint squeak toy sound.” (“Evolution”/Michalski)
“We’re not good at me.” (“& A”/Tettleton)
“I betray my husband with a dog… by loving a dog—not the way stupid people think, by kissing his glossy ears.” (“Red Cigarettes”/Pokrass)
What do you hope your girlfriend will say to you when you wake up next to her tomorrow morning?
“I’d rather be wet than covered.” (“Drops”/Tettleton)
Is there a conversation you wish you had?
“I stole and later sold my ex’s clothes and books to a secondhand store.”
“I once told my ex that I masturbated to photos of her and her mom.”
“That’s not really comparable.”
“What you mean is, I win.”
(“Kris and Tyler Compete”/Halston)
What, in the issue, did you read over and over, loved immensely, but never really “got”?
“Dissolving Face” by Gary J. Shipley.
This self-interview is almost done and you haven’t said shit.
Tell me something true.
“Whole books are written in lipstick about it.” (“As Daisy Esplanod”/Samuel)
Say something literary.
The penultimate stanza is the second to last stanza in a poem.
No wonder you never finished your MFA.
I love spending the day looking at myself in mirrors.
Are you still thinking about Parker Tettleton?
“That spot will be sticky later.” (“A Gesture Will Form.”/Dawson)
Any last words?
Any alternate last words?
“One day, I’ll tell you how you were made. One day.” (“Raymond Carver’s Dance Party”/Bradley)
This was decent, I suppose.
Gregory Sherl’s poetry collection, “Heavy Petting” (YesYes Books, 2011) is now available for pre-order.