Headquarters for Experimentalism

Interviewtf with duncan b. barlow

Before writing, duncan barlow was a touring musician who played with Endpoint, By The Grace of God, Guilt, the aasee lake, The Lull Account, Good Riddance, and many more. His interviews about music have been published in academic texts and magazines such as: Straight Edge: Clean-Living Youth, Hardcore Punk, and Social Change on Rutgers University Press, and We Owe You Nothing: Punk Planet Collected Interviews on Akashic., and Burning Fight on Revelation Records. He has one published novel (Super Cell Anemia) and two books forthcoming (All Possible Things on the Cupboard, 2016 and The City, Awake on Stalking Horse, 2017). His work has appeared in The Denver Quarterly, The Collagist, Banango Street, Calamari Press, The Apeiron Review, Meat for Tea, and Masque and Spectacle. He teaches creative writing and publishing at The University of South Dakota, where he is publisher at Astrophil Press and the managing editor at South Dakota Review. He has also edited for Tarpaulin Sky, The Bombay Gin, among others. 

What are some of your most important aesthetic influences?

duncan barlow
My influences are many. I love the imprisoning prose of Kafka, the wonder of Bruno Schulz, the darkness of Brian Evenson, the bloodiness of Cormac McCarthy, the sentences of Mary Caponegro. I’m influenced in one way or another by everything I see or read — constantly asking: “what it does to me as an observer and what I can learn from it?”

What’s your view on fracking, if done by elbow?

I’d have to say I’m against it. All of it. Especially, I suppose, by elbow because it would be the elbow of the poor, wearing them thin for the profits of a small percentage of people. Moreover, it’s not a solution to our need for renewable energy.

Would you like this interviewtf more if it had another title, like “No, Sir-iously,” or “’Have you explained your pupils to the cloud?’ I asked my ex-mom. But she was without vigor, she just stayed very calm and revised myhermy strangeness over and over again”?

Those would be fine titles. However, I’m happy with the current title as well. Your question does call into your relationship to the subject, that perhaps you find the title to be a sign without meaning, or at very least, that you find the meaning to be slightly problematic.

You don’t have to be gay to find penises fascinating. The comedy „Superbad,“ for instance, features some funky dickophilia moments. What do you think about enhancing (or encocking) classic films the way you enhance (or encock) newsies? Oskar Schindler smoking a dickarette, for fuck’s sake?

I find that men are very concerned with penises regardless of their sexuality.

What is the most (experimental) piece of art you’ve ever enjoyed?

Isn’t all art an experiment?

If 100 divided by 2 were 42, what would 3 times 1°1 be?

I’ll be frank, to think about this question would take up more time than I’m willing to forfeit to it. I’ll offer instead that I prefer pizza over things that are not pizza.

Who/what is the biggest dick in the universe? Whose asshole would it fit perfectly?

Donald Trump would fit nicely into a dumpster.

One TED talk a day keeps the _____________ away?

One TED talk a day keeps the critical thought away?

Which role will (or should) male genitalia play in the far future – dick-hacking, ass-splicing, bio-junk, interstellar engineering?

Urinating and recreational pun-based humor.

At which point does Bizarro become an unacceptable transgreßion?

Honestly, I’ve never taken on the title as a Bizarro writer, though my first book was on a press that claimed the classification. Perhaps my novel is a bit absurd at time, but it’s not really a piece of genre and therefore I don’t think it really fits neatly into any one category. However, that’s ultimately up to the reader to decide. I think the Bizarro genre is very interesting and I know some of the people really working diligently within its greater umbrella and they’re quite engaging and lovely writers.

Is it possible that music is totally overrated? Could one say the same about athlete’s dick?

I wouldn’t say music is overrated; my history is quite grounded in music actually. Perhaps our issue is more with the word “overrated,” as rating is essentially a subjective experience based on a collected grouping of ideas/concepts that one acquires over a lifetime, certain markers that s/he/ze is influenced into believing are the grading criteria by which to evaluate something. As for tinea cruris, that is a different matter altogether. Luckily there is a spray that kills that fungus.

Why doesn’t the Canadian tech-metal band Martyr get the attention they deserve so much?

It might have something to do with how outdated their website is? It’s hard to say why a band like Cryptopsy gets attention and a band like Martyr doesn’t. Perhaps it’s that some of the more popular tech-metal bands play faster?

How many spiders are needed to creep out one level-4 arachnophobe?


What is your favorite ____________?


Bonus question: What’s your take on the following 8 Nonsemes?

Eggs & bacon, funghitooth –
Fumzg lives in our garden.
Also, you’ll be all wrong
‘cause: eggs & bacon, labyrintooth.

There comes a weird time,
when odor becomes art,
when you’ll practice social criticism
by smelling DMT.

The following discrepancies I like to engage in
not without pride:
First I chop it wildly,
then I stitch it up.

I’ve decided
to include in most of my poems “print through”:
By applying pressure to the sailors,
we’ll print through the night.

By pressing the turbine
a tangerine occurs.
By pressing the charges:

My answer is most definitely to beware of the phoneme that bites a bit of coffee.

© Foto: db


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  1. Jacinto Aton August 18, 2021

    I agree, a very useful thought

  2. Ira Pulsifer September 2, 2021

    I apologize that I can’t help you. But I am sure that you will find the right solution.

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