1. What’re your 5 favorite bands?
The Replacements, Big Star, Sparklehorse, Husker Du, and The Bay City Rollers. Oh! And EVERY fucking incarnation of Frank Black possible (The Pixies, The Catholics, et al.). I also love Django Reinhardt and Sidney Bechet and frequently write to their music, as well as the GENIUS exotica of Martin Denny from 1957. My latest musical obsession is a band called, “The Lava Children.” SO. FUCKING. BRILLIANT.
2. Do you have any body art done? (scarification, branding, tattoo’s, piercings)
Standard Mediterranean female piercing — ears, at age two, whilst sitting on a utility stool in the kitchen in Rochester, New York — with ice, thread, a clothespin, a needle, and homemade spaghetti sauce simmering in the background. No tats to date. I got a husband born and bred in the educated, Ivy League, Upper Middle Class who would blow about a thousand fucking gaskets if his piece-of-shit High School Drop-Out Working Class Wife from Fresno came home with a tattoo. Now, under most circumstances, I would tell a bitch to go fuck himself — but this battle really isn’t all that interesting to me…and, really, he axes SO little of my fatass. So I just keep feedin’ him chili-dogs and lettin’ shit slide. And besides…he’s cute and he can fuck. Surely that must be worth something to you people.
3. Name the one emotion that you battle with almost daily to control.
Oh, this one’s EASY — and can be vehemently verified by every single person in my inner circle: UNBRIDLED capacity for amazement, joy, wonder, and profundity — to the point of unstoppable tears over hearing a single, perfect, inspired note or riff in a song (“I Want You Back” by Michael Jackson), or reading a sublime poem that takes my breath away (“Breasts” by Charles Simic, “Hawk Roosting” by Ted Hughes, or “60 Yard Pass” by Charles Bukowski), or seeing an old woman pass me on the street and literally being unable to see her as she is — but to see her only as she once was: a little girl, with her whole life ahead of her.
4. Name 3 of your favorite books.
Oh, Christ…only three? Okay: “Cat’s Eye” by the indomitable Maggie Atwood, and “Revolution of the Mind” by Mark Polizotti (the story of Andre Breton and the Surrealists). Oh, yeah — and “The Great Gatsby” by Scott Fitzgerald, and “Capote” by Gerald Clarke, “Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This?” by Marion Meade, “The Portable Dorothy Parker” by Dorothy Parker, “Bitter Fame” by Anne Stevenson, “Europe” by Norman Davies, “The Crusades” by Zoe Oldenbourg, and “Everybody Was So Young: Gerald and Sara Murphy, a Lost Generation Love Story” by Amanda Vaill. And “The Chronicles of Narnia” by CS Lewis. Sorry…I can’t do just three — I am a filthy book whore of the highest order. I am the fucking VICEROY of book whores.
5. Are you close to your parents?
Even though we all live in different cities — and even on different coasts — yes…I feel close to my parents in my heart.
6. Any siblings?
Oh, YEAH. GET READY:
EIGHT siblings…three brothers and five sisters…TEN if you count my two step-sisters, which I do. My parents REALLY liked to fuck — sometimes even each other. What can I say?
7. Any children or pets?
Yes, three darling larvae I grew in my bery own bagine…and an adorable chihuahua girl who is the SUN and MOON in my goddamned sky.