INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL JAMES MARTIN
(interview after break, we discuss whether or not shoes with pumps work or not).
1. describe your writing habit, in terms of time, goal, general amount of anger etc.
I wrote quickly until the beginning of ’09. One sitting usually. Then I’d edit for months. Maybe. I used to write completely on computer. Switched to notebook. Filled up about 6 moleskines and a bunch of legals before some jerkface living in my shelter stole my backpack last year. Took everything. When Katrina went down my pops, who’s a writer, who used to play for the Saints back in the day, told me make back ups of everything. Seriously, he said. So now I write on paper, then transfer to computer, then save on my ipod, and email a copy to some digital post. Yeah… it’s hard to write on computer unless I’m doing the Virginia Woolf stream of consciousness thing.
My writing periods have extended to match the depths of my anger. Which is kinda deep. So I take longer now. I’m in love with everything. And so very angry at it. Like writing. It pisses me off but I love it so much that I want to smack it across the face. I treat my lady-friends in a nicer manner. I’m either not as angry as I seem, or more angry than apparent even to I. Goals are arbitrary. I wanna accomplish “A” for whatever reason. Hopefully “E” and “Z” appear. Maybe it all begins to use a word I stumbled upon. Like Ventricle. It sounds dirty. These days, for a particular book project I’m dating, I’m after form. Such as a recent Ghazal on how much I fucking hate love. Oi.
2. did you ever believe, even when younger, that basketball shoes that had the pumping mechanism could actually make you jump higher.
Hell yes. Don’t they? They don’t? Anyway, they’d make your feet feel all snug. And if they didn’t really have your size, you could adjust it via the pump-pump. I fucked mine up by pumping too much and then a plume of white shoe-dust flew into my face.
3. what is the greatest accidental combination of foods you have ever experienced.
I was living in my moms old house, living off unemployment, but ‘living’ is laughable, right? I was surviving, barely. The fridge was keeping just the shelves cold. Found some tuna in a can. Had a fistful of spaghetti noodles. Some canned tomatoes with onions and stuff. I think I even had some Top Ramen powder. No idea why there was a drawer of powder and only that. But I cooked up those bad boys and had myself a meal. Wasn’t accidental. I do nothing on accident. I trip and flip right back onto my feet.
4. list the drugs you have taken.
Alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana. I call it the triumvir. That’s all I really needed, back in the day. I’m sober now. Wait, I accidentally smoked some coke laced marijuana my homeboy’s girlfriend sold me. This was years ago. Hmm. I also onced tried half a pill of oxycotin. To get technical, I take advil or cough medicine when I’m sick. So I’m not completely sober. But, you know…
5. what is the book that irreversibly changed your attitude toward writing and how.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle. Made me want to write (beyond the film Demon Knight, which did the same). I mean, that shit is just genius. I read it I’m not sure how many times. I know I read it until I was in high school. Or jr. high. See, it was simple. And funny. Dealt with ‘adult’ topics such as acceptance versus assilmilation, believing anything is impossble in the presence of great depseration, the idea you don’t have to be related by blood to be considered family. We’re all the same, essentially. Even a friggin mouse (which is true). Take an animal, put it on the edge of a cliff, and the animal will know that that is a huge drop. Try and push that creature off the edge and it’ll fight you because ‘they know’. Like we do. And the book put clear images in your head. I mean, it made me feel very cool on my PowerWheel, and the combination of that, plus the skill of how it was written… realized the power of it all….
6. provide a blurb for yourself relating to your sleeping ability
Ground my teeth in my sleep, so loud it woke up my mom in her bedroom across the hall. Used to pee the bed beyond an acceptable age, but not beyond elementary school. Used to sleep walk. Before the Northridge earthquake I dreamt I was an ancient fisherman hunting a shark with a spear, and when I threw the spear I became the shark and was pierced by the spear — at this moment I woke up and the earth was shaking. My sister said I was shaking before the earth shook. I dream the future often. And it comes true. My ratio, if ratio’d, would be 10 : 7.43
7. if you ever found a hole that you could throw things or people into to make them disappear forever, what would you throw into the hole and why.
Nothing. Anything which makes me feel the need to throw it in this hole, I was obsessing over beforehand. Anything I throw in that hole I will think about until I die. Not really making it disa-anything.
8. do you ever freak out if your pants or shirt get stuck when you are taking them off. how do you deal with it.
I chose the ‘or shirt’ — my pants never get stuck. When I was smaller I’d freak out, start thrashing my arms to deal with it. I was or maybe am still claustrophobic. Afraid of clauses.
9. this is a guest question: “what happened to htmlgiant.”