excerpts from ‘everything’ an ebook by buttercup
habitat issue four
ultimately it won’t matter
anonymous interview with stephen michael mcdowell
interviewer: what art form was the first one you passionately pursued?
stephen: probably drawing, i used to talk a lot as a kid and my mom eventually realized that if she put a piece of construction paper and a crayon/colored pencil in front of me, i’d keep talking but less coherently and scribble until what i was ‘working out’ in my head became something visual
i can’t remember not being interested in storytelling but the first outlet i had besides rambling about imaginary things, drawing was my first ‘major’ outlet, i think
interviewer: what is your creative process regarding writing? what kind of environment do u like to create for yrself?
stephen: tried remembering the last three or so poems i wrote, think i wrote them either lying on my futon or at my dining room table w my parents present for the latter. i don’t feel constrained re environment really unless i’m in a public space w/o access to a smartphone or laptop. if i feel interested in writing something i usually write it ‘somewhere’. in terms of longer writing i.e. a short story or novella, i usually have an extended amount of ‘free time’ and binge-write something that seems affecting, i.e. a story about a previous relationship or emotionally traumatizing event i experienced, and then i either fictionalize it or edit it down to a poem
i think trying to discern whether i feel interested enough in the thoughts or events i’m preoccupied by enough to convey them through narrative is something i think about when discerning ‘what to write’
then once i have begun writing them i feel interested in discerning what seems ‘traumatic enough for effect’ then editing it in a way that seems more ‘objective’ re the occurrence rather than my emotional state/perception of the occurrence
interviewer: do u feel like u then use writing as a form of therapy?
stephen: no. i feel incapable of discerning ‘therapy’ from any other type of aggressive output. so no. i think writing is ‘something i feel aware of and therefore do’, similar to filmmaking, music, and acting in that respect. doing those things allows my brain to ‘cope with’ trauma, so maybe it is similar to therapy but i don’t consider it that. i also enjoy manipulating language in a manner that seems enjoyable to other people, so combining the aggressive output mechanism and the enjoying manipulating thought mechanism and i think one can discern the concept of ‘literature’ from that dual ‘complex’ if that is something that exists in the human brain
interviewer: do you ever feel drawn to write things not ‘based on’ personal experience
stephen: yes. i spent the majority of my childhood and teenage years christian and extremely preoccupied with nearly exclusively imaginary concepts/aspect of the human experience that were foreign to me. now that i’ve grown up and have experienced extreme states via drugs, actual brain trauma, and extreme emotions via relationships and things like abandonment, these foreign concepts seem more applicable to my life than they seem like ‘stories’, so i prefer to write things resembling ‘stories’ about memories i have. however, i spent a long time constructing a fantasy/sci-fi world that is, in my mind, still intact and completely isolated from reality as it exists. i am capable of writing ‘fiction’ i just feel disinterested and have subsequently constructed a value system where ‘high fiction’, i.e. any sort of story that is constructed by ‘found’ information and not experiences, seem destructive to the human experience in general, because fiction seems like something that dissociates people from whats ‘actually happening’ around them. this seems useful as a ‘coping mechanism’ maybe, but for people who have some understanding of the scientific basis for trauma, hallucination, imagination, and ‘concrete reality’ it seems ‘insane’ to me to spend copious amounts of time constructing something entirely fictional, so i try to avoid doing it
interviewer: how has your religious background influenced your writing?
stephen: i feel like i am in a constant struggle to differentiate between abstract and imaginary thought that is ‘fixed’ in the context of the religious myths i spent a lot of time memorizing and understanding the complexities of and the ‘actual reality’ i live in that is extremely dissimilar. the way in which having been a ‘religious fanatic’ or something has affected my writing seems indiscernibly immense. i feel like the entire basis for my struggle as an author and poet is surrounded by problems of trying to discern what’s ‘really happening’ and can be confirmed by others vs what’s ‘completely imagined’ because my brain is capable of interpreting things based on angels vs demons vs science vs existential hyper reality
remembered that word association game i initiated
word association game
message me or reply to this post with one word
after i have accumulated 15-30 of them i will make a post
containing the 15-30 words, who sent them (anons included)
and the first word i thought upon seeing each
only rule is 1 word per tumblr account
- problems — aluminum
- penthouse — corporeal
- drastic — morphological
- fruitbat — linguini
- assassination — antwerp
- punish — me
- bevel — queef
- squamous — mcclintock
- zcxqffffffffffffffffffff — rabbit
- suckers — ativan
- heedless — clambering
- grief — trampoline
- somnolence — quickshit
Seasonal Asshole Disorder v. 2. Not pictured is Peter B.D.
tweets of the week
compiled by https://twitter.com/cdankland
Sam Pink & I are nearing completion of our new Young Family album, King Cobra, slated for release sometime in April//May. We are currently looking for people who would be interested in helping with distribution & press for both the upcoming release & a remastered version of our first EP, You Ruined It. If you are interested in writing a review, want hard copies of the music, or if you would like to do an interview with Sam & me, please email either one of us via [kellyschirmann at gmail] or [sampinkisalive at gmail]. Thank you, we love you, Young Family 2k13, PDX//CHI, crunk-hymns, mom hugs, 40oz