What inspired you to become a writer? My alienation with just about everybody except my first muse, who encouraged my writing, which was mostly horrible at that time. And she had good taste. It’s a paradox I’ll always grapple with.
At what age did you start submitting words for publication? 20—college lit mag.
Who and what were some of your influences? Corso, Ginsberg, Bukowski, Ferlinghetti, Merwin, James Tate, Philip Levine, Stephen Dobyns, Strand, Whitman, Dylan. Plus folk music, chess, people who farted until the sun turned blue, and a muskrat named Sammy, who taught me how to speak Egyptian. Oh, and a beautiful angel of a Maine Coon named Annie who coached me how to be humble.
What languages do you speak? English, Pig Latin, six years of shitty German learned in high school and college, and ten or twelve words of Russian learned in six weeks. I’m a late bloomer.
Do you prefer to read poetry, fiction, or non-fiction for personal enjoyment? Poetry mostly, a little non-fiction and fiction, Classics Illustrateds, Sears Catalogues, The Athiest’s Bible, and books on kumquats.
What are your favorite bands? Though I prefer singer-songwriters to bands, I’ll try to name a few: The Band (of course), Stones, Airplane, Butterfield Blues Band, Hot Tuna, Country Joe and the Fish, Creedence, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Mazzy Star, The Handsome Family, Velvet Underground, Dire Straits, The Carter Family, Monkey Pissers vs. the Turd Tappers, and The Halloween Stud Muffins. Others, too. I love music.
Who are your favorite writers? Besides those named above, Kim Addonizio, Frank Stanford, Denise Duhamel, Diane Seuss, Terrance Hayes, Jim Harrison, Thomas Lux. And more.
Do you play any instruments? The kazoo if I’m motivated.
What is your favorite beverage or drug while writing? Whatever’s available—Mexicokes, Zeros, $20 bottles of wine, tea, tap water.
Do you drive or prefer public transportation? Drive or walk.
What is the best car you’ve ever owned? Corolla. But I owned two junker Caddies; one saved me when I kissed a concrete wall after it hit an oil slick and then gave its life for me. Those two were my favorites, but not necessarily the best.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I’ve never traveled, but I suppose a planet not in our solar system that has all women on it.
· If could live in or visit another time, when would it be? The Romantic era: I’d teach a few of those fuckers something with my sauve Bukowskian dialect.
Please, tell us about the place where you live? What’s Memphis like, lots of musicians? A good poetry reading scene? Tons of music—fuck, it’s Elvis and Blues country. I got to see Leonard Cohen do splits at the age of 78 or so at the Orpheum. Poetry readings, not so much, especially since the Trumpdemic. But back in the day of the 70s and 80s through the aughts, almost every big shot poet and fiction writer showed up at the university to read his words.
Do you have anything special that you would like to share with the Ppigpenn audience? My three newest books are Waiting for the Needle Rain and American Maniac, both from Hekate Publishing, and Confessional, from Cyberwit.net. Also, don’t hitchhike in Alaska, don’t take candy from children or old men, and know, that somewhere, the perfect poem waits for you in its immortal, shameless glory.
Do you prefer older women? What age range? Immortal women from another solar system’s planet.
What do think about presses, such as Print on Demand or Web Blogs? Which do you prefer? PoD—I prefer to hold something in my hand and feel the fresh ink on my fingers, but I’ll take anything I can get.
Thanks David. Thank you.
American Sniper by David Spicer is a rough ride, be prepared. “To Memphis with Southern Comfort and a .357. Filled with motherfuckers playing Russian Roulette eating mustard sandwiches. Sweet young things with hair like baked carrots and eyes blue as a new yacht.” Spicer shoots hard and doesn’t miss. His tales are of primal tribulation. He’s a cat, I’d want watching my six when the shit hits the fan and it always does. I highly recommend David’s book, he is a force to be reckoned with. “Goodnight Jesus.”
Catfish McDaris 8-30-2020
He picked me up near Portland,
wouldn’t let me out until Memphis.
Mozart wafted from the stereo.
I couldn’t eat or sleep,
pissed my pants twice,
had to drive his white Cadillac
as he guzzled Southern Comfort.
He wore mirrored Foster Grants,
made me listen to dirty jokes.
When he drove he cussed
Toyotas going the speed limit:
I ought to ram ‘em in the ass.
He grabbed at my crotch,
I tried to jump out
but he pulled a .357
from his Hong Kong suit,
shoved the barrel into my ear and said,
You want your brains for dinner, kid?
I ate my sweat instead.
I got even, though:
I stole his poems.
I knew a woman
who talked like Elmer Fudd.
crowded the universe, she set type.
She bilked me out of fifteen grand
and called me delicious.
Said she used to be a genetics engineer
with twenty-three aliases.
After she jilted scores of gamblers,
she drifted past the river’s casinos
and opened a hash-house beer joint.
Her own boss,
she didn’t cater to anyone
but a dog named Slow.
I miss that fifteen grand
and I’m not delicious anymore.
For My Outlaw Lady
Your brains are beautiful
as the black hair over
those shoulders, a man’s leather jacket
toughening the nowhere night.
What’s next, outlaw lady?
When will you kill the bastard
who lied, shoot the fucker
with a double barrel?
Or kick him in the balls
until he dies? Forget him,
crazy cunt, come with me,
I have money—
we’ll make the day wish
it had wings, and
when the bullets are gone
we’ll steal the moon
and raise hell,
a holiday of lust named for us.