Kelly Haramis and Davis Schneiderman (who have a collaborative piece, “Backatcha,” in Issue 1, and are also married, collaboratively) are interviewed by Neil de la Flor (who, with Maureen Seaton and Kristine Snodgrass, has two collaborative pieces in Issue #1). Davis and Kelly’s New Year’s Resolutions may be found below, as well.
Neil de la Flor: Did y’all wet your pants when you wrote “Backatcha”? (I did, when I read it.) What possessed you?
Davis Schneiderman: My pants are generally soaking wet at all times. I have a system: Each morning, Kelly lovingly dips my slacks or trousers for the day into an ice bath prepared from cold mountain water frozen in the western Rockies and imported to our humble home by a team of trained Clydesdales. Then, I apply said pants and remain pleasantly shocked throughout most of the otherwise uneventful day.
Kelly Haramis: Yes. I spilled my extra-large soy chai latte on my lap. We were writing this in a coffee shop when a clown wearing sequined stirrups and “Mork and Mindy”-inspired rainbow suspenders crashed his canary yellow mini cooper into the storefront window.
ND: Are non sequiturs magic and do you think Morga [the protagonist of “Backatcha”] could be a magician and the answer to love?
Davis: Non sequiturs are magic in the same way that–look, a series of agrammatical clauses have adjusted the vertical hold that Morga uses to work her Arthurian charms. Yes, she is also Morgan le Fay, Morgane, Morgaine, and Morgana and–look, it’s like this, see. Magic is a combination of natural forces and human coincidental occurrences correlated together at the point of mystery. A distant hand, lifted? An unseen consciousness manipulating events? Unlikely–rather, the ordering of the semantic system produces real human affect by manipulating consciousness through the arrangement of the physical world. Words on the page, a la Beckett, are words in the world as the cold incantation of the sun on its last day, before all is darkness, save for the punctuated breath of the dying cyborg moment.
Kelly: Non sequiturs are like the answers in my Magic 8-Ball. Morga deemed herself a magician after she encased her feet in a block of ice and stood in Times Square for 60 seconds. As for love, she’s yet to date a supermodel.
ND: Who came up with the name Timmy “Douchebag” Ceebass, and why?
Kelly: Me. Three ex-boyfriends rolled into one. No, just three dudes from my improv class. Yes, one we really called Douchebag.
ND: Where do you collaborate? And, what are the rules?
Davis: In the bedroom, and there are no rules. Only safe words/phrases: “prestidigitation,” “prime meridian,” “robot from the future.”
Kelly: In elevators and airplane bathrooms. Rules? What rules?
ND: Gross! Is collaboration the origin of goosebumps?
Davis: Goose bumps, also called goose flesh, goose pimples, chill bumps, or the medical term cutis anserina, are the bumps on a person’s skin at the base of body hairs which may involuntarily develop when a person is cold or experiences strong emotions such as fear or awe. The reflex of producing goose bumps is known as horripilation, piloerection, or the pilomotor reflex. It occurs not only in humans but also in many other mammals; a prominent example are porcupines which raise their quills when threatened, or sea otters when they encounter sharks or other predators.
Kelly: No, but it may inspire another creepy children’s series.
ND: Are you ever afraid your children will read this and think, “Hot damn, these kids are nutz!”?
Davis: The two children, Athena, 3, and Kallista, 2, are already literary sophisticates. We retell the story of Gogol’s “The Nose” to them and they have developed a complex cosmology of their friends and relatives losing noses and having said noses reassemble on the wrong faces. Athena, particularly, rejects any story where the correct nose reattaches itself to the proper face, and prefers tales that end in a type of narrative deconstruction, where, as she says, “Daddy, I don’t want any noses to come back. No noses.” Kallista spends a good portion of each day pretending she is Alice (in Wonderland) and so considers me to be the White Rabbit or other characters as called for by the particular situation.
Kelly: We’re planning to bury all collaborations in a time capsule that Athena and Kallista won’t be able to open until they learn to tie their shoes, wash the dishes and grow money on trees.
ND: Who’s on top?
Davis: Kelly, right now.
Kelly: Can’t answer now…
ND: Oops. Wasn’t expecting that! Are pop-tarts 1) tarts, 2) pop art, or 3) steak tartar?
Davis: Long time vegetarian and healthy eater. No pop tarts.
Kelly: Apple tarts, popcorn and vegan steak tartar.
ND: Finish this off: Artifice (the journal and the aesthetic) is—?
Davis: Amazing, because they published my first collaboration with Kelly, which is a fun build-up to the release of my novel Drain in June 2010.
Kelly: Amazing because they published my first piece of fiction.
“Superman should resolve never to use his special reverse-time power
that he busts out in Superman: The Movie because I am tired of meeting
him in the past:
“I wish I had resolved to destroy my weather machine before its
corruption by North Korean spybots caused Al Gore to believe in global
“I resolve to absolve, circumvolve, convolve, devolve, disinvolve,
dissolve, evolve, exolve, intervolve, involve, persolve, preresolve,
redissolve, reinvolve, revolve and finally solve my inability to
really get my whites to sparkle”
I need to remember to record MTV’s “Jersey Shore”; get hired as a Fox
News contributor; and learn how to time travel.