Awful Interview: Matt Mullins

13 Jul

Photo by Layne Ransom

Matt Mullins, I never knew. I’ve met Matt Mullins. I see him in the backgrounds of photos from readings I wish I could’ve attended. Matt Mullins has a name much like Peter Davis’s, a name that demands entirety. Matt Mullins is reading in entirety at Vouched Presents DOGZPLOT Literature Party next Monday. You and your friends should be there in entirety.

Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your day job?

I’m from elsewhere. My day job used to involve whoring copy for the man. Now I’m a gardener, after a fashion.

I’m always intrigued by creative minds, how they do what they do. Where do you get your ideas? Do you have a Muse?

Every now and then I have this vision of breaking my right shin. A compound fracture of the tibia (also known as the shank bone). The idea of the bone just being suddenly snapped in half. This causes me to cringe. Understandably. I usually get the vision while I’m driving. I’m not sure why. I’ve broken my nose a few times playing sports and fighting. I’ve broken a couple toes, for which they can’t do anything, I guess, but no real bone-breaks to speak of. I keep thinking I’m too old now, too careful and hedgy to break a bone. But then again, things happen, don’t they?

What do you think about the word “soul”?

I try not to think about the word “soul” unless it appears directly in front of the word “food.”

Do you like rap music? Why/why not?

When I was a junior in high school I wrote this nasty ass rap song. I went to an all-boys Catholic boarding school, mind you. This was in 1984. The song fucking sucked. But it was also kind of badass if you think about it.

Why do you write? Is it to express yourself? To gaze lovingly at your navel? To incite a riot?

Back in the late eighties when I went to college at Michigan State people would riot whenever the football team won a big game. Or whenever they lost a big game. Or whenever they thought there should be a big game but there wasn’t. This was the very beginning of the whole riot if you win or lose or just for the hell of it phenomenon. These riots usually involved the occasional flipped car and always bonfires of stacked lawn furniture and mattresses and couches. Meanwhile, I was known for wandering off from a good party and showing up again a few hours later on a stolen bicycle. One night I wandered off from a good party, returned to find a riot in progress, and threw the bicycle I’d stolen into the bonfire because I thought I had something to say that hadn’t been said already.

Writers are supposed to know things and be political and stuff, right? What do you think about the war in Middle East?


Man, I love birds in art and literature. Do you love birds? Stars? The moon?

Don’t ask my friend Sean Lovelace about the moon. He’ll get all up in your grill about that shit. As for birds, here’s one of the bios I occasionally use: Today Matt Mullins put a fledgling Blue Jay back in its nest so it wouldn’t be killed by one of his cats (most likely Attila). This involved an extension ladder and a certain amount of personal danger. When he came back inside, his wife told him that fledgling birds sometimes purposefully leave the nest for the underbrush where they are fed by their parents for a few days until they are ready to fly. He doesn’t know if this is the case with Blue Jays.

Have you ever been to Indianapolis? What’s your impression of Indy, whether you’ve been here or not?

Ever since I moved to Indiana I’ve had this premonition that includes the infield of the Indianapolis Speedway, a Winnebago with a plywood deck nailed to the top, folding chairs, cheap beer, sunburn, and gravity of more than one kind.

What would you like to say to people about coming to see you read at the Vouched Presents: DOGZPLOT Literature Party?

If you’re thinking about coming to this reading you’re obviously a highly intelligent and/or stunningly beautiful and/or enviously handsome and/or sexy, charming, hip citizen of the new millennium. If you show up I’ll love your each and every molecule. Deeply. Regardless of if you show up or not, please buy my short story collection, Three Ways of the Saw. It comes out in early 2012 from Atticus Books. I need money for plywood. And birdseed. And to be fair, cat food.

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