Swimmers Club

Originally from Misfits Mag, 2016


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Municipal Pool

Check which is the shallow end and note the point where you will be out of your depth.


Who: Michael J Seidlinger
Where: Brooklyn, New York, USA
What: Writer, Editor, Publisher

So, who are you?

Michael. Not Micheal ‘cause that's somebody else.

Where are you from?


What do you do?

Spend way too much time writing/editing what I "think" I’m trying to say. 

What time is it where you are and what are you doing right now?

11:05PM, Sunday night, answering these questions while stupidly drinking lukewarm coffee.

Who or what are you influenced by?

The weird, the experimental, the surreal narratives that help confirm to me that the world is not a dull and meaningless place.

Are you one of those people who like really loves technology?

Without technology, many of us wouldn’t be where we are so yeah I’d score one for technology.

Heard any good music this year?

Been listening to a bunch of odder, more ambient stuff lately like Oh Hiroshima and Battles. Both are really inventive and just might be the sort of music that gets rid of that writers block and gets the creative juices flowing.

Do you read? Tell us about good books you read this year?

I'm always reading. Hell, I'm reading right now. You check out The Gloaming by Melanie Finn, out in September from Two Dollar Radio? Or I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid, out in June via Scout Press? The former is about a woman named Pilgrim whose husband cheats on her and, after a life-altering divorce, stumbles around aimlessly, booking a random flight to Africa where she ends up hanging in a town that is vexed/cursed by a witch doctor. The latter is this mind-altering literary thriller, the kind of thing that you'll devour in one sitting, about a man and a woman on the way to meet the man's parents while we see things from the perspective of the woman, known only as "the girlfriend," who is in a sort of state-of-the-union introspection, talking about how she is planning on ending their relationship. Of course, there's a lot more to it and it's satisfyingly creepy in so many ways.

What are you currently working on?

I’m finishing a novel that you could call David Fincher's The Game crossed with David Lynch's Blue Velvet with a dash of David Cronenberg's Videodrome on the side to spice and mix things up. Yes, I realize I just namedropped three directors whose first name is David.

'Every single commodity you produce is a piece of your own death'. Discuss?

Did I say that? Because I fucking agree with it either way. Everything you work on, be it creative or not, requires effort and time. The very fact that it requires both implies time you cannot take back, and energy expensed that you cannot somehow rewind goes into a project, an event, a conversation, a random hour of staring at the fucking wall or something. Everything you do contributes to your own inevitable death. The things you do, and work on, fill the duration between birth and death.

I, for one, am totally fine with death. It'll happen. I hope I can get in a few more novels, a few more amazing memories, maybe travel to Japan once or something, before I greet death but if it happens tonight or tomorrow, I won't die in regret. It would kind of suck, yeah, but nope, no regrets.

So do you fancy yourself as some kind of artist or what?

Yeah, sure, why the hell not? But I'd never introduce myself as an artist, if only because doing so a lot of people look at you like you’re an asshole; if they don't, they judge you as financially strapped and therefore lower than them.

'Quit... quit... you should quit... you should quit... you should... you should...'. Should you quit?

I've quit a lot of things and I'll probably quit answering these questions soon enough, it's cool. No worries.

Are you just in it for the money? 

There's money in this?

Can you give us the names of two other interesting people who you think we may not have heard of but should have heard of?

Well, I figure you're pretty "on the level" in regards to things going down in the literary scene right now but a few exciting new lit darlings that have wowed me recently include Elle Nash, Szilvia Molnar, and Deirdre Coyle.


Michael J Seidlinger's most recent book is Falter Kingdom (The Unnamed Press, 2016). He is also Publisher/Editor-in-Chief at Civil Coping Mechanisms, Book Reviews Editor at Electric Literature and works at Dzanc Books.