Earth Goat: So what have you been working on lately?
El Gordo De Amore: Still working on the fifth draft of my novel. I really like it -- even if no one else ever does, I've written something that I can believe in my own little mind is something really beautiful. Maybe I'll end up giving it to my son. Considering all the silliness and crappiness in publishing, and records and movies for that matter, I'm feeling really ambivalent about sending it out into the world. And even if my work never sees the light of day, I've always wanted to be Guided by Voices, not Matchbox 20.
EG: Even with all your monkeys and zombies and what not, you don't consider yourself as someone trying to write for the popular audience?
EA: Not really. One of the things that was hard about being in the Workshop was the idea you had to succeed at something (namely publishing), and it was a hard vibe to fight. I really base all my feelings of self worth on my teaching now, not my writing, which I think makes the writing better, strangely enough. The stories and novel I've been working on are completely done for themselves, not because I want someone to like me, or praise me, or give me money, or whatever. As goofball and Hallmarkian as it may sound, I just want my son to be proud of me. Screw everyone else.
EG: Interesting. Please touch my nipples.
EA: Err -- O.K.
EG: I'm glad we're sharing this moment. Do you consider yourself avant garde in any way? Or do you think you're working within the tradition, or as your own little island?
EA: (unintelligible on tape -- noise that sounds like a duck. Loud bang.)
EG: Has your writing changed since your graduation from the Writers Workshop?
EA: Well, sure -- I'm a lot less self conscious. I just write things that entertain me -- I have an entire story cycle about a guy with a stinky foot problem. Again, probably something for my son. Maybe I'll make a cartoon for him out of it.
EG: Put your hand back on my nipples, you dirty chimp. So, being out of the Workshop has been good for you?
EA: Uh -- Well, I've written a lot more than I used to. I used to spend too much time --
EG: Start twirling them. Twirl my erasers of love!
EA: O.K. Um, I used to spend too much time just trying to write any idea that I had. In a lot of ways, it was like the 1 million half-thought-out five-second punk songs I make up when I play my guitar. A lot of ideas -- little followthrough.
EG: Yes. Follow through. Follow through. What do you mean exactly? Are you comparing the work you did in the Workshop to guitar practice? Call me Bonnie.
EA: Well -- Bonnie -- the thing was, I basically, I guess I, well, I had a burning need to --
EG: I am having a burning need right now. Twirl faster. Sharpen my love erasers!
EA: Urr, well, sure, um -- I guess an idea I thought was cool would, well, um, pop up into my head --
EG: Pop! Head! Followthrough! Twirl faster, you stinky bitch.
EA: --And, well, O.K., well, I, I would turn in a lot of unfinished ideas --
EG: Faster! Don't leave Bonnie unfinished! Follow through!
EA: -- and (unintelligible on tape)
EG: Bonnie! Bonnie! Bonnie!
(unintellgible noises and a loud banging sound).