Interview with Sean Kilpatrick

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CPR: An excerpt from your poem “victimolgy” from your book fuckscapes that came out earlier this year will be featured in the 25th issue of Columbia Poetry Review. Could you discuss your process for crafting this piece?
Sean Kilpatrick: Yessir, this poem is composed of the few somewhat better lines taken from discarded poems over the years yanked through their stoma into an also ugly composite both pining and Pantera-esque; no girls I like like me. The woman this might be about turned psychologist.
CPR: I’m intrigued by your answer because I was curious as to how much emphasis you place on revision in your work. I am also interested in the tension you create using sexuality/gender. Can we talk about that? Can we talk about the cover of fuckscapes? There’s definitely some dominance being asserted there, no? Porno facials and stuff.
SK: Full emphasis on revision, hurt the piece. I want fuckscapes cut so bad it thinks sleep’s too dark. I’m trying for these poems as Lara Glenum’s mashed with and warring Gordon Massman’s offspring’d with Blake Butler’s heart, Danielle Pafunda’s knife, and Johannes Göransson is Lord. I was lucky to land David Peak and Ben Spivey’s Blue Square Press. Ken Baumann’s cover is the perfect beauty. Being amalgam, my poems here can’t dominate from their lack. It’s through hatred alone that they anywhere become. My voice wants for hate from rejected worship, weak and simple, scat about the clothes. Nothing can be dominated from below. The violent tone, as it is much meant, and therefore unfriendly reading, comes from a past of having too much loved the wrong people. All movement means porno. Do cumshots subordinate their landing space? I always fluke my origin where without casting. Ah, but if poetry could retaliate.
CPR: Some seem to revel in their drenching, a give-and-take kind-of worship. The right person’s rubbing petroleum jelly into their face somewhere waiting. Anywho, This hate that your voice wants is evident and presented in such a way that some would call fuckscapes absurdist. Do you consider yourself an absurdist? How does the term “language poetry” hit the gut in your pecker? Is this kind of name calling helpful or damaging?
SK: Any damage is radiant. I crave that absurd mantle. Going outside equals absurd. Some people pretend their pieces ain’t using language – wows my prostate. Oprah wins. Writers have a causeless pincer. We’re together at the bottom. fuckscapes addresses holes and peckers addressing. Pointless, yes. Absurd for absurd sake, please. Is the writer implicated, a wrongness? Appearing to goddamn ever win? I hope the work never in any method wins. I am implicated negative in its composure. How is the poet’s well being possible once? Better bowing in the worst said, away from reason, stupid. There’s our collective suffered sex.
CPR: My prostate wows with yours in classrooms. You’re in the MA program at Eastern Michigan University where you also edit BathHouse Journal. What’s the scene, both in the classroom and at BathHouse? Have you found value in the program?
SK: College for poesy’s rarely worth debt. Eastern’s program, however, has an abnormal focus in the avant garde, probably my only academic chance, and Christine Hume is amazing. Elsewise, my stint at BathHouse Journal was compromised. Yet worth the handful of folks I was put in contact with and admire. I need a job. No hope.
CPR: Do you think the current literary scene is accepting of the avant garde? What journals/magazines rev your libido? Also, sentence: friend or foe? What sets of compromises did you face specifically at BathHouse Journal? I want as much dirt as you’re comfortable slinging.
SK: I have no bitch for magazines. So many fuck, avant garde or not. Look at that No Colony and that New York Tyrant and that Unsaid and that Fence and that Boston Review and that Annalemma, that Sleepingfish, that Everyday Genius, that Hobart, Juked, Spork, Tarpaulin Sky, Opium, Salt Hill. Look at that master Matt Bell doing that Collagist. That Mud Luscious. That Wave Books. Look at that Action Books as upon god. Even Poetry Magazine put out that brilliant Patricia Lockwood, which means they know. I gush for the sentence, but my prose is slow. No bad pee for BathHouse Journal now, just didn’t get all my pickies picked; enough good that it feels sexy, including yourself.
CPR: Awww, thanks man. Putting together a magazine with so many different and strong minded people challenges a slack jaw, yes it does. You grew up in and around Detroit. Has place played a role in your language/attitude/overall badassness?
SK: Grew up in a moderate Detroit ghetto by Seven Mile. I do scant direct autobiography. I hope to write an absurdist memoir, go after the old personal voice people fetishize. Plays an itsy roll in the language maybe. Can be fun to discuss, getting one’s ass in a continual rock-stoned and beat through babyhood. Helped humble and I recommend. I know people would benefit. A fun brag at the littlest. Maybe my blood-focus, misanthropy, and nihilism originate here. I am grateful. As a white person, I take without consequence. Luckily poetry has no consequence. It has a lot of white people trying to siphon who or who doesn’t have privilege and what that means and what what means. Who the fuck cares what any white person has to say about politics or class-systems or crossing the street? Who the fuck tittles their verse. Serious serious serious serious.
CPR: I grew up around the same area and even before the crash of ’08, it always felt like a dying thing, robust in its decay. But living in Chicago now, I find myself sticking up for the area when some yuppie fed with a golden spoon starts the dis. So for me, I feel some allegiance with the city in terms of its existence in a marginalized sense. Brunch isn’t as big there. So, besides the hopeful job getting after you graduate, any major plans?
SK: We’re in the decay club. Hard not to recognize yuppie-ness as the worst crime where we been, or anything anyone does who breathes. I hate stuff not previously exploded. Applying to community colleges now. Edited a devotional slash psychology manuscript. What do you plan after Columbia? Which future isn’t suicide? I’m writing a book with my boo Elizabeth Mikesch and another (very slowly, my fault) with Sam Pink, a poetry manuscript implicating my anus as its own race, maybe gender, and a short novel five years in.
CPR: After I finish up with Columbia teach I guess…community college instead. But I want to live in Alaska for a year, too, and get a backyard somewhere to bbq some meat and poems in this fashion and have people love me. I admire the risks you take in your writing. When you sit down to compose a piece, what is at stake?
SK: First I inflate my cushion. Pop the wine. Ponder some fashionable crit. Random book reviews loving yet stern. Insert monocle with KY. Crack each knuckle, a forty minute process. Then I endeavor to change the world by humming a thought loose. Yes, the world goes purr and I blink. Usually lost is a square centimeter of my prepuce. Really the starving find themselves full by the closer. My consecutive hugs assist. Ah, but my alphabet is the loss of everyone who’s touched me. So the groins.
CPR: Any good movies/tv/music/artists etc. that inspire you? Oooooo sorry for jumping around but I just remembered I wanted to ask you about Anatomy Courses, a collaboration with Blake Butler. How did this go down, i.e. who decided to initially start the project? What was the process?
SK: Movies get my butter. Here’s who’ve kept me alive: Gaspar Noé, Andrzej Żulawski, David Lynch, Seijun Suzuki, Luis Buñuel, the movie Little Murders. Blake Butler as well. We started talking when I submitted to Lamination Colony around 2007. He suggested we write and sent the first page. He writes fast and best. To keep pace, I bathed in meth. Lots of rewriting for the slightest approach of me to his genius. We found Satan. Cameron Pierce, Lazy Fascist Press, beautified it, amazing cover by Matthew Revert.
CPR: Yes, the cover is good to look at. Sean, I want to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I look forward to your future work. Any last thoughts? Thanks again, my penis thanks you as well for the excitement.
SK: Thank you, goodsir, really appreciate it. Wanted to thank James Greer and Chris Vola for their wonderful kind reviews of fuckscapes.