Check which is the shallow end and note the point where you will be out of your depth.
Who: Grant Maierhofer
Where: Moscow, Idaho, USA
Who are you?
My name is Grant Maierhofer.
Where are you from?
I’m originally from Wisconsin. I now live in Idaho in a town called Moscow.
Tell us about your most recent book?
The DW book is called Grobbing Thistle. It contains three works: my first poetry chapbook, now o.o.p. but initially published by Black Coffee Press, called Ode
to a Vincent Gallo Nightingale; a long poem that’s dedicated to/written after Tim Dlugos, called 'Seedbed'; and finally a novel, Give Up, that’s made from substantive cutting, hacking, revising, translating, and text manipulation done to a nastily sentimental book I wrote as a teenager. There’s also an essay, a kind of primer on the latter work, that in turn tries to account for the whole book.
What would you call your writing - poetry or prose or some mixture? Do you think much about these kinds of distinctions?
I prefer to think of most of what I’ve done as fiction. Over time my stance has
been that language itself is kind of built, fictional, whatever; and thus starting out thinking of anything I write as tied up in that feels best. Technically this book contains poems and a novel, but it all feels part and parcel with whatever I’m trying to do.
Can you say something fancy and clever and literary about your book?
It is an ode to stories heard of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and co early on when they’d beat themselves to pulps in performance for something approximating art.
What would you say to sell your book to the general public?
I too watch television constantly.
How does it differ to what you've written before or doesn't it?
It’s a bit more blatantly destructive than previous stuff. Over time whatever sentimentality I felt about writing, the writer, whatever, has kind of fled, and the work has thus reflected this. In that respect I see this work as more personal,
more reflective of how my brain is day to day, but it’s certainly more fucked than anything previous.
Can you tell us a bit about what you're working on next?
I’m currently in the final rewrite of a novel focusing on therapy, and a sort of cult figure on the order of R.D. Laing or B.F. Skinner and a range of his followers, called Flamingos. The book is due out this fall from ITNA Press. Also, I wrote a slim novella structured as a user’s manual for a saw, about someone who gets said saw and becomes psychotically obsessed with it, called PX138 3100 2686 User’s Manual that’ll be out from Solar Luxuriance in the coming months.
Heard any good music this year?
When I write or work on stuff I’ve tended to listen to Earth quite a bit. Far as newer stuff, a small wave of punk/hardcore has been coming out that I’m a big fan of.
Stuff like Institute, Condominium, L.O.T.I.O.N., and the like. In turn I’ve decided that a good deal of depressive, modern rap has a lot in common with black metal and whatnot, so I’ve been pretty fascinated by figures like Lil Ugly Mane, or Suicide Boys, or the older Low Down Da Sinista.
Do you fancy yourself as some kind of artist or what?
I was born in Wisconsin and I live in Idaho, so I don’t think I’ll ever speak in those terms, and I tend to cringe a bit when I think that way. I’ve convinced myself that fucking with language is as worthwhile a pursuit as just about anything, and operate thus.
Finally, have you read anything good this year?
I’m still kind of stuck obsessing over Gordon Lish and all his followers, so a lot of recent favorites lead to him. Jason Schwartz’ A German Picturesque was a recent example. Read Matthew Stokoe’s Cows which I found heavy; Brian Evenson’s Fugue State and blips of his online material, although to my mind there will never be a more perfect example of his strengths than Altmann’s Tongue. Good book on figures like Gertrude Stein up to Tan Lin called The Poetics of Information Overload. My tendency has been to let things pile up a bit, read from what draws me in and not curse myself for the resulting rate at which I finish whole books. In writing I appreciate the notion of disrupting language, convention, whatever; and I guess I feel the same in how writing can be read.
Grant Maierhofer's new book Grobbing Thistle is available from Dostoyevsky Wannabe here