Self-Interview: Connor Goodwin


Connor Goodwin's works "The Cost of Malaria," "The Hunger Games," "Cul de Sac," and "Hypomania" were featured in the debut edition of Chronopolis. 

Q.

 

Right now I'm really into Scott McClanahan and Sam Pink.  They're both super regional writers - WV and Chicago respectively - and v funny.

 

 

Q.

 

I wrote "Hypomania" after reading Italo Calvino's If on a winter night a traveler. The most obvious thing I picked up from him was the second person.  Not only the narrative form, but also how he uses it.  I imagine myself slipping smokily inside the reader’s head and pulling all the right levers and gears to really get him/her going. 

 

 

Q. 

 

"The Cost of Malaria" is copy/ pasted from Kenneth Goldsmith.  Something I'd think he'd be proud of, but his reaction to Shia LaBeouf's recent theatrics has me unsure.  Maybe I'm a bad plagiarist too.  But so, I had just finished Uncreative Writing and loved it.  That, among other things, really opened up a whole field of possibilities for what might be called “literature.”  For example, a daily food log could be a kind of narrative.  When you really get into it you see there are a lot of interesting/difficult choices to be made – even when simply recording what you ate.  Do you organize by meal?  Do you detail portions?  Is that drunken tuna melt breakfast since its past midnight?  Or a late night snack of yesterday?  I had a food log for almost four months before I lost interest. 

 

 

Q.

 

So then, for Malaria, I copy/ pasted a text I found online after googling something like "cost of malaria pills."   The page was a bunch of garbled medical nonsense, which the poem still is, but w some changes one might call "literary."  I don't necessarily expect readers to take their time w this one, but there are some interesting/ funny moments for those who do.  I probably wouldn't read it if I just happened upon it. 

 

The other two poems, "Cul de Sac" and "The Hunger Games", are what I like to call: Netflix poems: I write them while I watch some movie on Netflix and later edit.  They are usually v image-heavy.  With "Hunger Games" I tried to be more funny/ ironic; because of its popularity I imagine.  Seems silly to be sincere to these now-ubiquitous images -- or at least, its easier to be ironic with that sort of thing. 

 

 

Q.

 

Stole this from DFW's short story "Asset."  Hilarious short story btw.  It also just looks visually appealing.  If you haven’t noticed, I tend to regurgitate whatever I’m reading at the time. 

 

 

Q.

 

V important. I’ve come into contact w a lot of lit figures/ magazines that I would’ve never known otherwise.

I see it as an integral part of my lit career. Take for example my CTA acct.  Its like a metro poem the Oulipo would do. One tweet per ride on public transit.

Sheila Heti is doing a cool series over at the Believer on her top 10 favorite twitter users.  I’ve enjoyed the interviews so far. 

 

 

Q.

 

Jimmy Chen

Gene Morgan

Sam

Bonita Brown

Melissa Broder

xTx

Juliet Escoria

Christopher Higgs

Christian Bök

Connor Goodwin can't stop. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in HTMLgiant, Another Chicago Magazine, and Sliced Bread. You can find him @condorgoodwing & cgoodwing.blogspot.com.

 

Ode to Odes // Alexander Russell

Ode to Drinking Coffee Slowly and Finding It
Cold. Ode to My Three Oranges.
Ode to the Rotting Fruit I Didn’t Eat.
Ode to Change. Ode to the Homeless.
Ode to Change In a Homeless Man’s
Hands. Ode to Handling Handlebar Hotsauce.
Ode to Handlebars on a Sunny Day. Laughing
As My Handlebar Hands Come Off 
the Handles, Metaphorically Speaking.
Ode to Biking. Ode to Biking in the Fog.
To Fading Into the Distance. To Being
Laconic All Winter. Ode to Losing 
Friends Through A Hole In Yr Pocket. 
Ode to My Teeth Falling Out.
Ode to Kissing You During a Howling 
Bloody Nose. To the Stranger Asking 
About Death. To Lobotomizing Propriety 
and Misanthrope Anxiety. Ode to the Moment 
Before We Die. 
Ode to Seeking Inspiration in the Strangest Of Places.
Ode to Sleeping On the Floor. Counting 
Nails in the Wood. Being Both
the Nail and the Wood. Ode to Death
Poems. Ode to Every Year of Yr Life.
Ode to Seeing Yr Father in the Bathroom Mirror.
Recalling Childhood In the Living Room’s
Stare. To Trying to Cultivate A Garden 
In Yr Mind. To Destroying Yr Ego. 
Ode to Being Exhausted at Having To Explain
The Kind of Things You Think About.
Ode to Breaking Self-Made Shackles.
Ode to Drawing Yrself In the Left Hand Margin of
Yr Crumpled Spiral Notebook With the Word 
“Class Notes” Written in Red Pen On the Front.
Ode to Dreaming That We’re All Still 
Friends. Ode to Seeing My Grandfather In the
Afterlife. Ode to Never Being Bored. Ode 
to Erasing the Kitchen Wall’s Unfortunate
Whiteboard. Ode to Paying Bills. To
Drinking and Inhaling Cheap Thrills. To
Getting Paid and Getting Laid
Off. To Not Recognizing Yrself After A Week
Or So But Who’s Really Counting? to Holding Yr Head
In Yr Hands. To Watching Movies In Bed. To Spending
More Time On the Mattress Than Anything Else.
Ode to Google Searching Porn and Writing Some
Scribbles In the Bathroom Stall of Yr Old High School
About Prom. To You Being So Small. To
the Two of Us. To the Digging Mystery of
Our Lives Unfolding In Someone Else's Blind Hands.
To Painting the Walls and Then Sitting Down and Watching Them Fade.
Ode to Death.
Ode to Nothing Being the Obverse Face of Something.

 

Alex recently graduated with a degree in Art and a minor in English from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. He makes a multitude of things certain people might consider art and can usually be found playing drums, writing poems, or soaking up awe-inspiring movies/films/images. He has a website as well as a Twitter account.

 

Day One // Billy Clem

But, Doctor, I have a terrible gag reflex and can’t swallow so many pills or any at all much less twenty or more per day, so many shapes, the long horse pills and the tiny dots like cheap candies you’d lick from a white strip that looks like fly paper, and so many blues and reds of alarm that something went wrong just once and I didn’t know and everything has changed now that the good times are over I won’t find love for sure and I’ll have to live alone and die in a Hospice, god and government willing, after years—or is it months?—of tests to count viral loads, my whole life depending upon bright, pretty, manufactured poisons, rigorous, impossible diet and nutrition, tri-monthly and sooner-than-later monthly and finally daily blood draws, the goodwill of phlebotomists, nurses, and doctors, the openness of other guys at clubs or on-line who will be in short supply like my T-cells once they find out that my name is registered forever on the Illinois Safety List, when insurance and Medicaid applications go rejected time and again, when I can’t get or hold down a job and must beg friends, former lovers and hook-ups or even acquaintances to take me in and let me rest on their couches otherwise I’ll be forced to sell my ass or tired, sore mouth on the street for a moment’s shelter or just a small meal or a little weed to take the edge off when no one decent will speak to me, my family less than before—if that’s even possible—or when strangers avert their wide-eyed faces in disgust from my plague-purple-blotchy skin and my thinness conjuring concentration camps or, charitably, I guess, week six, round four of chemo, the thrush disabling me from screaming it’s not my fault though no one will hear knowing what they don’t know from TV and cheap talk and failing ever to ask how or why, or, god forbid, do something about it before I’m just another case, another statistic, before I’ve fallen forever into public domain. 

 

Billy Clem teaches writing and literature outside Chicago. His work has appeared in Counterexample Poetics, Radical Teacher, Moon City Review, and Elder Mountain.