Today, a special treat, a Potty Mouth Interview with Maureen Seaton. Woo hoo! I can’t believe she’s agreed to a Potty Mouth Interview, which will Shirley ruin her career as a writer, but may do wonders for her lifetime goal of becoming a trucker. In any case, Mo’s a big deal, a big inspiration for LGBT writers and Non LGBT writers, little girls like me, boys who want to be girls, girls who want to be boys, and everyone else. She is magic and the wand of the good witch Glinda—but without the stupid crown. She has a potty mouth too and maybe she’ll let it rip. In any case, Maureen Seaton is the person most responsible for this series, so any lawsuits please direct to her. I had to blame someone besides Maria Callas and mom. Enjoy.
Almost Dorothy: You are not from outer space, but I get the sense you’ve traveled to hell and back. Worth the trip?
Maureen Seaton: Once I climbed to the roof of a dune shack near P-town (that was the year of my imaginary lover) and I found a planet that reminded me of home (not Pluto, although who doesn’t admire an imposter). It was in the day when someone could just walk up to an empty dune shack with her lover, open the door, and have sex by the wood-burning stove. (My lover replaced the wood, of course. She was nothing if not ethical.)
Then recently there was a five-foot iguana about to be creamed on the Florida turnpike near Homestead, where pirates retire–and there I was at the wheel of the Chevy that would cream the poor bastard. (This is memoir, but I’m lying right now. About what, I wonder.) Our eyes met. Our hearts beat solipsistically.
To answer: Yes I am. Yes I did. And ham.
AD: Why is Mars so important to y/our solar system?
MS: As the past Potty Mouths Anonymous President, she swears like a bulldagger from Brooklyn, thereby alienating all who might harm us.
AD: Do you know what love is all about?
MS: Choose one or two:
AD: Best television ever?
MS: My TV is little and round. It squints at me and says, “Hello, my pretty, what can I do for you tonight?” Thus: Joan of Arcadia, Veronica Mars, and Wonder Falls, just a small sample of my “TV Land Abecedarium.”
MS: An oxymoron. (Not you, wigged and slippered one.)
AD: If you could be time, what century would you be? And why?
MS: The century of sursurrealism appeals to me, as does the century of monks. The century of Zorro would have been nice, as the century of fractals has been gratuitous. The century of drive-ins was fun and the century of junk food without reprisal would be sweet(er). I would be any of these and all of these. Or the century of Steve, the century of Sinéad O’Connor’s coat, the century for sex and bivalves. My reason is eponymous.
AD: Ever been lost in a cave?
MS: (Not knowing how to adequately interpret the young Almost Dorothy’s somewhat pottyish, if completely Oz-induced queer-y, she chose the easier softer reply, a flash of bilingualism, a feign (hold your ears) of cunnilingualism. In this way she was lost, but only with that butch, Becky Thatcher.)
AD: What makes all that glitters gold?
And when you think about it, what makes George and Gregg gastronomical and garrulous, galvanized by the grease and glycerin in the god-awful grinders?
I think Magritte said it best.
AD: (I don’t wanna’ talk about it. Sorry, I’m listening to the Indigo Girls.) In any case, explain the power of the word (not the action) fuck and how it helps you talk about it?
I’ve always wanted to willfully misinterpret a question from a bewitched persona non au gratin.
Now Mars brushes her teeth and tells me about her dream last night, which had something to do with me in my white Lanz of Salzburg nightgown (circa 1990), which I wore on a train between Chicago and New York, mis-thinking I was sexy. While Mars was wrestling with all that flannel, the attendant outside our roomette must have been listening. When we pulled into Penn Station he offered to carry our bags, all the time smirking and clearing his throat. Like we’d ever give him a tip after that. Fucking asshole.
MAUREEN SEATON’S recent publications include her sixth solo poetry collection Cave of the Yellow Volkswagen (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2009), a poetry chapbook America Loves Carney (Sow’s Ear, 2009), and a memoir Sex Talks to Girls (University of Wisconsin Press, 2008), winner of the Lambda Literary Award. Her previous collections include Venus Examines Her Breast (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2004), winner of the Publisher Triangle’s Audre Lorde Award; Little Ice Age (Invisible Cities Press, 2001); and Furious Cooking (University of Iowa Press, 1996), winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize and the Lambda Literary Award. She co-edited, with Denise Duhamel and David Trinidad, the anthology Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry (Soft Skull Press, 2006). Her work, both solo and collaborative, has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Republic, The Paris Review, Green Mountains Review, Prairie Schooner, and BLOOM, among other journals. The recipient of an NEA Fellowship in poetry and two Pushcart Prizes for individual poems, Seaton teaches poetry, literary collage, and collaboration at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.