INTERVIEW WITH DREW KALBACH, AUTHOR OF THINGS
hello everyone. i hope this post finds you well. it is with near tumultuous joy and ecstatic anticipation that i post this dialogue, and uncover the delicate chrysalis which blooms forth young drew kalbach. Mr. Kalbach, scribe of rhythmically sublime texts THEATER and THE ZEN OF CHAINSAWS AND ENORMOUS CLIPPERS, proved gracious, and trenchant beyond his authorship. following the break, for your edification, is the transcript of our mutually scintillating discussion of all things literary, including those marginal to the field (patricide, the loss of virginity and blue slurpees). please do indulge and find fancy.
HTMLGIANT: tell us a little about THEATRE (inspirations, conditions
surrounding its creation, hair style at time of creation, what kind of
food was eaten, dreams, hopes etc.)
THE ESTIMABLE MR KALBACH: I started writing THEATER last year. It was originally meant to be a
longer chapbook, but I started getting frustrated with parts of it and
ended up cutting something like 60% of the book. I saw that Scantily
Clad Press put out shorter style e-books and thought THEATER would fit
in. Andrew Lundwall (the editor) agreed, and here we are. I wrote most
of it sitting in my school’s library. People would walk behind me and
I would switch to my internet browser real fast because I was afraid
they would see that I was writing poetry in public and start to mock
me or something. I wrote most of it to impress girls. It didn’t work.
I drank a lot of coffee and ate a lot of M&Ms while writing. I think
that’s a winning combination. The middle section of THEATER is based
off of one night in particular, and I was trying to write through the
night without resorting to a narrative. I don’t know how successful I
HTMLGIANT: what is a scenario in a piece of writing that immediately
alienates or displeases you.
THE ESTIMABLE MR KALBACH: I don’t really know. Things written in a particular dialect, like
Huckleberry Finn or something, bother me. I can’t get into them. I
have a hard time deciphering the dialect in my head and I get really
bored with it. That’s a stupid example. Not many things immediately
alienate me to be honest. Boring, bland things alienate me. That’s it
HTMLGIANT: would you rather hit someone with a pool stick or a bottle and,
what would be your tag line when hitting the person.
THE ESTIMABLE MR KALBACH: I think I would go with the bottle. I think a bottle would provide
maximum damage, depending on the placement of the blow. Also, if the
bottle breaks, it would become a sharp edge with which I could stab my
opponent. Pool sticks do have some range, however, and can also be
turned into a short spear if broken correctly, but I think it’s more
difficult to get a good edge. Plus, there is something very intimate
about hitting someone with a bottle. You get to be close to them, to
almost smell their sweat. As for a tag line, I don’t think I’d say
anything. I think I’d just stand over them and breathe very heavily
and look at them with crazy eyes until they scream or cry or defecate.
HTMLGIANT: explain the benefits and drawbacks of wearing diapers at you age.
THE ESTIMABLE MR KALBACH: Benefit: instant gratification. Drawback: changing myself.
Benefit: getting hot chicks to change me. Drawback: getting my mother
to change me.
Benefit: ammunition to throw at strangers. Drawback: big, angry strangers.
HTMLGIANT: how old were you when you first had sex.
THE ESTIMABLE MR KALBACH: Fifteen. It was with my longterm (eight months, oh yeah, is that
longterm enough?) girlfriend of the time. I didn’t tell anyone about
it for a year or something like that. And my next girlfriend, who was
totally hotter, told me long after her and I dated that she would have
slept with me had I told her about my previous experience. Damn.
HTMLGIANT: if you had to kill your parents, how would you do it and what
would you wear?
THE ESTIMABLE MR KALBACH: I love my parents, so I would kill them in their sleep, with a
12-gauge. I would wear long black robes and I would chant something
from the Tibetan Book of the Dead while I did it.
HTMLGIANT: describe the current internet literary scene in the form of a parable
THE ESTIMABLE MR KALBACH: I’m starting to hate ‘internet literary scene.’ I feel like looking at
it that way makes what we do somewhat less serious because it’s just
the internet. But I feel like a lot of things are less serious on the
internet somehow. I don’t think our writing is any less serious than
writing that appears in print form though. And I know a lot of
‘internet writers’ have books and chapbooks in print form. I don’t
know. I know I’m not the first person to gripe with ‘internet literary
scene.’ Parable: Sam Pink is walking down the street and he finds an
injured bear. Sam Pink walks up to the bear and says, “Bear, what the
shit, are you injured?” and the bear says, “Yes Sam Pink, I broke my
leg.” Then, the bear mauls Sam Pink and rips out Sam’s eyes. Moral of
the story: talking bears are real assholes.
HTMLGIANT: how will the world end and what color are god’s eyes.
THE ESTIMABLE MR KALBACH: I think the world will end when all of the stars have finally
exhausted their fuel and gone black. The universe will then either
continue to drift apart, or it will reach a point where the gravity of
all of the matter in the universe will cause it to collapse back on
itself. I believe the former, that the universe will just drift apart.
How will my world end? Probably in the back of a Taco Bell restaurant
with a pimp named Jim and three prostitutes. God’s eyes are mauve.
HTMLGIANT: what do you hope to accomplish in your lifetime as a writer?
THE ESTIMABLE MR KALBACH: I want to publish widely. I want to make a living teaching. I want to
supplement that living with my writing. I don’t know how realistic any
of this is, I’m young, I have a long way to go. But I know I’ll be
taking the MFA route soon enough. I don’t expect fame or money. I
think I will feel accomplished when people say “I’ve heard of Drew
Kalbach, he wrote [blank]. That was great, I love him.” I don’t know
how realistic that is. I don’t count that as fame. Fame is when people
recognize me in malls and little girls scream and chase after me with
HTMLGIANT: if you could create a poster, what would be on the poster.
THE ESTIMABLE MR KALBACH: It would be my face, drinking a blue Slurpee.
HTMLGIANT: what is the best way to deal with someone who keeps looking at
you on a bus.
THE ESTIMABLE MR KALBACH: I usually just ignore them. I stare out the window or I look down at
the floor. I don’t think I mind staring. I like the people on the
subway that tell jokes or sing or yell about Jesus. I think those
people are entertaining. The Broad Street Line in Philadelphia is
great for that kind of crazy. A teacher told me a story one time about
how him and some friends were on the subway when a guy started to
harass them for change. Another guy spoke up for them, and told the
original harasser that he is the reason people hate going on the
subway, and that he should leave my teacher and his friend’s alone.
Well, the original harasser didn’t like that, so he stabbed the guy
and ran off the next stop. My teacher said that the man was wearing a
white suit, and the blood just drenched the white suit. He said it was
unbelievable. The guy lived, he thinks. I’ve never been able to forget
that image, though. A man in a white suit, bleeding on the subway.
HTMLGIANT: name some illegal things you have done and what they have added
to your life.
THE ESTIMABLE MR KALBACH: I don’t know. I’ve smoked pot, but that didn’t really do much for me.
I never understood the draw. It’s not my thing. When I was younger,
some friends and I accidentally started a small forest fire while
playing with a homemade molotov cocktail. That taught me not to play
with molotov cocktails in forests. Actually, I think we burned
something like twenty square feet, maybe more. We thought that if we
broke the cocktail by a river then it wouldn’t be a problem. I guess
we didn’t account for the enormous dry bushes all over the place.
HTMLGIANT: remember the song, “hunger strike” by the band “temple of the dog?”
THE ESTIMABLE MR KALBACH: No.
HTMLGIANT: give us a short autobiography in the form of a myth.
THE ESTIMABLE MR KALBACH: Drew Charles sprung forth from his mother’s bosom fully grown in 1988.
Thenceforward he sat in his house and did things on the computer,
wrote a poem or two, some short stories, and occasionally masturbated.
Also, he ran track, and he was pretty damn good at it. He doesn’t run
anymore. He misses the running, actually, and is thinking of starting
up again, maybe after he goes to the post office.
HTMLGIANT: don’ tyou just fucking hate me.
THE ESTIMABLE MR KALBACH: No, more like a strong dislike. Hate is too good of a word for you, Sam Pink.