Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Few Questions for Meg Pokrass

I recently had the idea to start asking people a few cryptic, almost random, questions, ones with pronouns that didn't have references, a kind of flash interview.  The first person I contacted was Meg Pokrass, a writer that I've admired for a while.  The author of Damn Sure Right with Press 53, Meg is a master of the flash fiction form.   Her second collection, “Happy Upside Down,” will be released in the Fall of 2013. 

How did it happen?

How did I become a flash fiction writer and editor… 
Well, I wrote poetry for 20 years and never really did much with it. Did corporate work, which I did not like. Then I got physically sick, very sick… for 4 years with an autonomic nervous system disorder called RSD. I could not walk and was in excruciating pain. That was about 5 years ago. When I got better, short stories flew out of me onto paper and I submitted them to journals. As you know I write flash fiction, which is like miniature stories, and often a hybrid of prose poetry. 
How? No logical explanation. I think my brain changed through the trauma of the illness. Most of my life, I have had talent but no belief in it. I have chronic anxiety.
I’ve become fearless about writing and publishing my work. It wards off worry.

Describe a recent dream.

Holes in Keds Dream
Barney, my mom’s best friend checking out holes in my Keds. Suggesting they were a sign of poverty. Mom singing, trying to distract us. She never wanted to say to us, her kids, the words “we are poor.” Suddenly, it was clear this was not Barney, it was my father who had been gone for years. He had a hawkish nose, thin blond hair. Looked nothing like Barney and was not sweet. He yelled at mom to stop singing. My sisters and I were all crying. He said the holes in my shoes and in all of our shoes… would never get better.

So what would you do now?

Same thing. I’d run through fire to stay creative.

What question couldn’t you answer?

What are you going to do about becoming financially comfortable, Meg? Do you have any innovative business ideas? I mean, you can’t make money writing flash fiction…

Name it!

 Okay. Here is one innovative idea Joe… and I do not think it has been done before:
I could start a call-in literary sex chat line which involves trained actresses playing characters from classic novels. Call it Literary Orgasms. Let’s start with Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott (as an example).
 Maybe it would go like this:

HORNY LITERARY CALLER: Hello, I would like to speak with Meg, Jo, Beth or Amy please. 

PHONE REP: Thank you for calling Literary Orgasms.
For Meg, Jo, Beth or Amy, any of the March sisters: you pay $7 per minute. 
Add Marmee and it goes up to $12. 
Professor Bhaer. $16. 
Alternatively, you can talk to all of the March sisters at once, add Marmee for a one-time promotion, that is today only for $100. 
All conversations are confidential. 
Visa or Mastercard?

For more information about Meg Pokrass, her website is:

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