Live Questions from Dead Poets: Allen Ginsberg “Interviews” Tyler Stoddard Smith

tyler smith waking 500x333 Live Questions from Dead Poets: Allen Ginsberg Interviews Tyler Stoddard Smith

Tyler Stoddard Smith’s new/first book, Whore Stories: A Revealing History of the World’s Oldest Profession, is pretty awesome. (Who among you doesn’t want to read about Maya Angelou’s place the long history of hooking?) The book is so awesome that we didn’t feel qualified to interview Smith about it. So we sent Allen Ginsberg to do the job. Posthumously. (They met in real life, once, and Ginsberg peed on Smith’s foot.) How’d that work out for us, dispatching a dead Beat poet to interview a living writer about hookers? Check out the interview below, you literary John.

When will we end the human war?

Wow. So I guess no softballs. But I guess it’s a legitimate question. It’s like Plato said, “Only the dead have seen the end of war,” so not this week, or next. Maybe when everybody in the world finally has access to Cheers reruns and/or water. Unless of course we’re talking about the human war on publishing; the perils faced by libraries, digital blitzkrieg, and so on. I could tell you some stor…

When will you be angelic?

I’m sorry, When? That’s like asking, “Where will I be a stool sample?” I’m starting to feel like you didn’t even prepare for this interview. Here I get all worked up and nervous about talking to you, and you nod-off into metaphysical arcana. If you’re looking for an exact time, though, I can try to be moderately benevolent between now and the rest of this interview.

When will you take off your clothes?

You’re taunting me now. But I’ll indulge you. Now. (Smith gets nude.)

When will you look at yourself through the grave?

You know, of all the people to bust on somebody for looking unfit and wan, you’re one to talk. I’ve seen that picture of you eating Corn Flakes, looking like some jonquil, post-doctoral Sasquatch. Look, now we’re both feeling shame, and I’ve panicked and stolen a Faulkner word. Maybe this is how poetry happens. What do you think?

When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?

Nice dodge. This is harder than I’d anticipated. As for the Trotskyites, I’m flattered, but you’re eating mescaline. Who are these Trotskyites, and do they really number in the millions? I know he got stabbed with an ice pick at a donkey show. Let’s see iPad…vanguard parties, Bolsheviks, continuing revolution. Why on Earth are these Trotskyites mine? I feel like they’ve been sorely misled, as most of my continuing revolution involves indigestion and social anxiety. So no, I’m not worthy of them, but I do appreciate their intensity. If only communists had disposable income.

Why are your libraries full of tears?

9781440536052 Live Questions from Dead Poets: Allen Ginsberg Interviews Tyler Stoddard SmithAre you saying my books are sad? I do like the Russians. Or is that a question about how digitalization and a lack of state funding; the strain it puts on public libraries around the country and so forth? Have you gone cross-eyed, sir? I’m here to talk about issues! And my book, Whore Stories: A Revealing History of the World’s Oldest Profession. You haven’t mentioned it once!

When will you send your eggs to India?

It’s like your mind is just going off in any direction without a care for the architecture or art of interview. I feel like I could just leave you here and you’d do better on your own. I don’t even have any eggs. Shit, that reminds me. I need eggs. Look, If you’re going to go free associate in the 8th dimension, I’m going to make a grocery list.

When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks?

Let’s walk over to Whole Foods and see how that works out for you.

allen ginsberg 150x150 Live Questions from Dead Poets: Allen Ginsberg Interviews Tyler Stoddard SmithAre you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?

You’re the deranged bastard who asked to buy turnips with your eyelids. Look, everybody needs to be taught a lesson sometimes. You can’t go around acting like a turkey for all your life.

Are you going to let your emotional life be run by Time Magazine?

It’s Us Weekly, not Time. Do your research. And I don’t “let” it run my emotional life. To the contrary: my emotional life is ruled under its tyranny. (mumbles) Impulse buys.

How can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?

I ought to take you outside and push your face in, you self-centered old goat. My silly mood? I’m here trying to talk about my book, and the next thing I know, I’m getting slapped around for being nude in Whole Foods.

Is this correct?

You were there, man. Shit. And I forgot the eggs.

Allen Ginsberg’s questions for Tyler Stoddard Smith were selected from his poem “America.”

Photo of Allen Ginsberg taken by Robert Birnbaum.

We don’t want to know where the photo of Smith in bed came from.

Posted in Author Interviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Rex Adonis

    I don’t understand stars. Two stars? This dude’s funny, and the dead guy is crazy. I’ll give them five.

  • Brad Goins

    It’s too deep for me.