It struck me recently that stony-faced misanthropy is but one of my personal aspects and in truth I have occasional access to a wide group of interesting fellow bipeds. I intend to corner these unfortunates and siphon their personal truths in the nicest possible way for your edification. And because everyone loves the sound of their own voice I will start with myself. If you've ever imagined interviewing someone else, I can tell you its vexed. You can almost hear the dry squeal of arsecheeks converging in that most primordial of mammalian defensive manoeuvres. No one wants to give up their age or drop the dime about their coworkers/industry, sound like a smartypants or come off like a cud-munching dunce; in short, people are hedgers and fibbers and want to hear everything back before you work it up, so they can qualify and contradict themselves. But I am an interpersonal fascist (yes, I'm making that word my bitch) and will permit no such fappery.
Do you interview people in your head, perhaps in the bath/on the bus/on the toilet? I would love to hear those pick-axe questions you've always wanted to club someone with. Suggestions welcome.
DISTRIBUTION New Zealand. Southern bits (various).
DESCRIBE YOUR FIELD Writing. Photography. Design.
WERE YOU BORN DOING THIS OR IS IT SOMETHING YOU PICKED UP ON THE ROAD? I think I was born doing this. Born wanting words, anyway. Ask anyone who was made to read the same Golden Book to me for the 756th time.
IF YOUR WORK WAS A LARGE, COMPREHENSIVE VISUAL, WHAT SORT OF COLOURS, SHAPES AND TEXTURES WOULD WE SEE? This isn't as cool a question as I hoped. I'm a synesthete and I'm still getting nothing. Bugger! Umm... Black with peacocks? A sort of scalloped texture? Is sequiny a word? Spikes. Like a great big dress by Alexander McQueen.
IF YOUR WORK WAS A SOUND, WHAT WOULD WE HEAR? I think someone in Siouxsie and the Banshees once said something about making a guitarist interpret the sound of a horse falling over a cliff. Replace horse with upright piano and cliff with the steps outside the big Library in Wellington. That plus a two finger chord on my shitty old Eko played hard + Boss silver fuzz pedal through a crap practice amp. Plus koto.
WHAT DOES IT SMELL LIKE? Michaelia Doltsopa flowers and freshly cut bamboo stems.
IS IT HOT OR COLD? ASSIGN A MEAN TEMPERATURE. Slightly colder than is comfortable; round about 12 degrees C in a Tshirt, interspersed with equatorial lacunae.
USE THREE WORDS TO DESCRIBE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT WHAT YOU DO Consuming. Pointless. Rapturous.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT IT? Inhabiting the bodies of others like some creepy pervy demon.
WHAT DISMAYS YOU? The thought of everything I could be missing while wondering what someone in my head would do.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT YOUR WORK? That its lonely. Or tortured.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE AT ONE WITH (YOUR THING) OR DOES IT STILL SEEM STRANGE TO YOU? Another question that doesn't work in practice. Abandon.
YOUR PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL MOMENT Watching my partner smile as he read the last sentence of the book and knowing it was finished. I think I cried.
WHY ARE YOU STILL DOING THIS? Because I'd die if I couldn't.
FREESTYLE/MANIFESTO/ANYTHING TO ADD- I am so privileged to be writing without commercial imperative or deadline, and to have had so long to develop the craft. I think of the hundreds of millennia behind every one of us and remind myself that the story is everything and always has been; that we are handed these words with our DNA. I think of Byron lying in bed at Missolonghi and wonder if he was ever lucid enough to know he hadn't pissed it all away like everyone said he would. When its my turn, I want to think basta! Not alors.