Ask the Author: Tyler Gobble

A poem from Tyler Gobble is featured in the May issue. He talks to us about grave dancing, the shame of relief, and the origins of his wonderful poem.

1. Whose grave would you dance on? What would you dance to?

OH MY GOODNESS. Let’s see: I’d think it’d be the graves of my first dogs, Bob and Tom. They’re a few feet under in our old backyard. They were wily pups, fun and stuff, like licking my toddler face and chasing me down the block. But one day, Dad brought home these sweet cardboard tubes, the kind steel gets wrapped around, and I set up this amazing tunnel system on the front lawn. These dogs chased me through it, which was sweet, until they decided to piss in it, which was lame. They were around awhile longer, until probably they pissed in the wrong person’s tunnel system, like some dude with a gun.

You know I wanna say “Who Let The Dog’s Out,” but I’ll go with “You Give Love A Bad Name” by Bon Jovi for other obvious reasons.

I think you wanted me to say a person, but I don’t know that many dead people I’m angry with. Most people I don’t like are still alive ;(

2. Are you often ashamedly relieved when something horrible happens and you find out it didn’t happen to you?

YES. Every night. I have these wicked dreams where books shelves are blazing and videos of me dancing to Hall and Oates are streaming on Youtube and everyone is boozing and laughing and singing without me. Then I wake up. I’m still alone, but I think, so is everyone else.

3. Where did “Portrait of a Dead Mother” come from?

My mom’s purple pants. And this other poem I wrote. After I got married at the sillyyoung age of 20, I went through this weird period of writing about my parents and being a parent (am not, will not be). The poem is this:

“On Parents”
Don’t die.

4. How would you hide the body?

Wuzz body? Any old body? I’d be nice for sure, maybe like ball pit at Mickey D’s or romance section at the local bookstore. Or maybe I’d build a big rocket and shoot it into space. Probably i’d just eat it.

5. What is the most evil thing you’ve laughed at?

Let’s call this accidental evil, but my fun-loving-totally-oblivious-sometimes-offensive-but-totally-well-intentioned uncle once offended this lady at an America’s Buffet in North Carolina. We were waiting outside and she comes out and he’s like LET’S MAKE CONVERSATION, so he says SAVE ANY FOR US? My mouth was laughing but my eyes were wuzzzzzzzzzzz? She scanned our whole family with one of those WTF smooshed faces. YIKES.

6. What color chalk would you want as your outline?

Brown, pure dirt. I feel like if Rambo felt it necessary to kill me then help out the police, he’d go with a big hunk of dirt. AND THAT’D BE FANTASTIC.

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