Who is your imagined audience? Does it coincide at all with the real one?
My imaginary audience is filled with the writers-William H. Gass, Janet Malcolm, Slavoj Žižek-who I imagine would be most appalled by my writing. If any of them are members of my actual audience, the world is even more mysterious and terrifying than I thought.
What Is Your Favorite Negative Emotion?
Growing up, there were times when I took Catholicism seriously, and the idea that one pays for one's mistakes, dearly and forever, took root somewhere deep inside me. Guilt will always be the warm home I can return to. When I was around ten years old I had recurring Cubist nightmares in which no recognizable people or objects appeared. There was only the certainty, set to the wide heartbeat rhythm of a migraine, that I had fallen short and the entire world would now end because of it.
Sexy and dangerous, or brilliant and kind?
Dangerous and Kind.
Are you okay with blood?
A teacher once pointed to the veins beneath the translucent white skin of my forearm and told me that our blood is blue when not exposed to oxygen. How beautiful, if this were true, but I never believed it. After I wrote the last two sentences, I typed the question into Google and was disappointed to find out that I've been right all along. Human blood-whether coursing through you, or pouring out of you-is always that same insistent, predictable red.
What are you so afraid of?
I used to install glass in homes and businesses, and the job covered my hands with cuts that bled more than they hurt. We all knew that a break at the wrong time could really slice us up, but I was much more afraid of the guys I worked with. They were the kind of men who finished eighteen-packs by themselves and pulled fence posts out of the ground to beat their enemies with. I was the kind of man who fell in love with the saturated opaque sky blue of the rubber handles on a pair of pliers (years later Maggie Nelson's Bluets would, for me, speak to this specific brand of plier blue), and I did my best to keep this sort of thing to myself.