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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Simultaneous Interview II

by John Bullock and R.A. Riekki

This simultaneous interview is between the Ghost Road Press authors John Bullock and R.A. Riekki. Bullock's novel Making Faces was released by Ghost Road in 2008, the same year they released Riekki's novel U.P.(

RIEKKI: Who are your favorite experimental authors?

BULLOCK: What do you mean by experimental? Everything's an experiment. Saying that, Penn and Teller, and that thing that Kris Angel does when he levitates in front of gobsmacked kids in the stret. That's what I want to make happen with words. So, basically, I'm my favorite experimental author, plus the great Finnish mambo king R. A. Rosnicky. He moves me. As does Jacqueline Susann. So, what's the prettiest skateboard you ever saw?

RIEKKI: Easy answer. The first one I ever owned. Let me just back up and say this though--the only reason that skateboarding is so huge nowadays is because of Back to the Future. Tony Hawk owes his life to Michael J. Fox and Robert Zemeckis. I bought a skateboard because of that movie. A cheap one, rickety, orange, but a weak orange, a cheap orange, and my mom has a photo of me on that thing, wobbling. Our street where I grew up wasn't made for skateboarding. It was bumpy and sandy and with that type of skateboard impossible to ride on. So that skateboard rotted. But despite being a lumpenproletariat skateboard, I'd have to say it did have an element of pretty to it. By the way, one of my fave experimental authors is Crispin Glover. See how things just came full circle. George McFly as center of universe. So, John Bullock, author of Making Faces, available at, you're currently reading The Kindness of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams. You could be reading the Bible or James Joyce or did I mention the Bible. Why are you spending all these hours reading The Kindess of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams. And one other thing, I heard you've been quoted as saying, "We could save the environment by doing one thing. Ending NASCAR. The most boring sport in the world that's not a sport that kills our environment for no reason except to make hillbillies have something to cheer for." Did you really say that? And don't you think you're being a little bit harsh

BULLOCK: I have sympathy for all kinds. That's why I'm reading this outdated Tennessee Williams biography, because I'm trying to learn something about the kindness of . . . hang on, it's Gordon Ramsay. TV. Peaches. "Will you stop that, for goodness' sake." Love handles. A baby rhino on my back. So, Tenneesse was this beautiful fierce flower like myself, amd I don't believe any purer poetry has been or could ever be writen for the canteen or bus stop or for a pair of zookeeper's pants. The Life of Kind Strangers is riddled with myxomatosis, which is like hallitosis for rabbits. "When was the last time you chopped a chilli?" "Never." "That's what worries me about chillies." I ask you. I'm scared of the fire too. Gorgeous smell, said Gordon Ramsay's zookeeper. Don't need to be scared of something. Just climb the ladder and . . . As the author of Making Faces and a big fan of the underground Finnish miracle "U. P. I'd like to know for certain whether Bruce Spunkstain died a slow, muscly but musicless death in an Illinois public library on Tuesday, or was I dreaming? Dies irae.

RIEKKI: Good question. I'm just not sure what it is. Which reminds me, any trepidations about writing experimental fiction? You're basically the Christoph Waltz of Ghost Road Press. How are you going to find an audience when the world loves Harry Potter and Twilight and shows about people dancing can't really dance that well. Please answer is seven words or less.

BULLOCK: I'm sick of these questions. Look, Making Faces is the best book ever written. If you haven't read it, you'll be doomed with a shower-less life. For God sake, what do you think this is? I'm sick of your questions. Go away.

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