Sam Pink Interview :: Chop My Dick Off

Jordan Castro

Sam Pink {lives here}

When I was very young, my family – dad, mom, two brothers, aunt and uncle – took two trips to the same rented beach house in Hilton Head, South Carolina.  Once or twice each trip, my uncle would arrive at the beach after us with what looked, to a young and imaginative mind, like blood on his face, arms, hands and torso.  When, naturally, we asked about it, he told my brothers and me that he’d been wrestling alligators, but – not luckily, for he was strong and worked hard to do so – he won the fights.  I would look at his face, half knowing he was joking and half wanting to believe that it was real blood I was staring at, dripping from his lip like some dragon-like creature had in fact torn at his face during some little-kid-imaginary-knight-in-shining-armor-fairly-tale.

Sam Pink’s Person is like 8-year-old me deciding that my uncle is a liar, then, on accident, years later while at the beach on a cloudy day with friends I don’t really want to be around, seeing my uncle wrestling alligators for fun, and winning.

Via frantic-seeming, “humorously shitty” inner-dialogue, a fluent, consistent and innovative, in my view, prose style and [other things], Person floods an alienated heart with feelings of relief that the world and all it contains, while incredibly shitty, can be entertaining, funny and even awesome, due to it’s incredible shittiness.  It says “I’m a quiet, introverted person, living with a shitty roommate, in a shitty city, with shitty boots, but still, somehow, life is good,” and it shows us via the scenes in the novel.  It wrestles alligators for fun and tells the story while the wounds are still visible.  It, for lack of a better phrase, “kicks a lot of ass,” in my view, so I decided to ask Sam a bunch of questions, related and un-related to Person, to get in on some of the “kung fu thoughts” behind the aforementioned “ass kicking.”  The results seem just as sweet.

What were your goals while writing Person?  What are your goals in terms of “creating things” in general?

my goal while writing “Person” was to do something every night and then at a certain point decide to be done.  i think for the second part of the question, it seems like my goal in terms of creating things is “to make some sweet ass shit.”

Did you think about any specific books, either yours or others, while writing Person?  If so, which books and in what manner?

i’m not totally sure about this question but it seems like i’m not directly thinking about any other book while working on a book, i’m just following the suggestions/rules that seem to be happening as i read and re-read the word file.  like, i’ll think, “do [x]” and then do it.  and if i keep reading the word file over and over, eventually, only things that really matter will be there.  and even if i think, “do [x]” and it’s not what i want, i’ll eventually change it back.

What is one quality that you tend to like in a person?  Dislike?

for the quality i tend to dislike, i’d say, “sheet-stealer”, and for the quality i like, i’d say, “welcoming”

If you had to choose between “wanting sex,” to varying degrees, 78% of times, but no one ever wanting or consenting to have sex with you, or “chopping your dick off” but people wanting to have sex with you, to varying degrees, 78% of times, which would you choose and why?

probably chop my dick off.  i had a thought a few weeks ago about being myself but without any genitals, and it seemed nice to think about.  just like, being me but, with no major sex organs at all.

Do you like sports?  If so, which sports do you like and to what degree do you feel your affinity for those sports affects your prose style?

the only two sports that i enjoy watching and thinking about, are soccer, and boxing.  i would say that they affect my prose style in a way that any other interest does.  it’s like, i think about sweet ass boxers/past matches/upcoming matches, and it arouses the shit out of my bitch ass. and in that way, generates the same feelings about making books and other sweet ass shit for these “pinche guerros.”

What were your dietary and drug-use habits like the majority of times you worked on Person?

a lot of oatmeal, peanut butter, raw almonds, oranges, coffee, water, green tea, running every other day for 3-10 miles, going for long walks after taking the bus to a random stop, 9 hours of sleep a night, shadowboxing in the basement, push ups, writing every night, thinking about the book when not writing it, relatively little alcohol (but either beer, gin, or red wine when drinking), sometimes a small amount of marijuana, sometimes not, sometimes adderall and painkillers, cough syrup, morning glory seeds, klonopin, only listening to the album “Sucks Blood”, not showering a lot, wearing the same broke ass dickies, wearing the same broke ass boots, shaving my head, sleeping in a cold room on a sleeping bag, usually doing the writing at night, and overall, very little meaningful interaction outside of smelling the insides of my roommate’s cat’s ears.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about Person or [anything]?

no.  basically, i’d like for everyone to die.

March 4, 2011 3:01 pm

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