Author Dossier 7: Melissa Goodrich

Melissa Goodrich enlivens the Artifice blog this week.

She is that handprint in the mirror she swears she didn’t put there, the canoe in the canal, the underbelly of the stone so glad to be turned over.  She does that MFA thing at Arizona. Her fiction appears in PANK, Phoebe, American Short Fiction, and in Artifice 4 (!) alongside friend and old prof, Joe Scapellato.


1. Preferred type of apocalypse (plague, nuclear holocaust, ice age, etc.):

Ice age. I like the image of us (whoever the us is) circled around a fire, the front of our bodies thawed, the backs of us freezing, frozen, our hair brittle to snap, our backbones, and how there are no body boundaries; we’d all be rediscovered some thou-million years later pressed and inseparable as bricks.

2. Preferred post-apocalyptic city:

Well not New York. And not London. And certainly not Des Moines.

3. Preferred anti-zombie weapon:

A hanzo sword.  A gun.  A taser.  Two tasers.  (Let’s face it, I’ve seen Zombieland, I know I’m on the A list to die.)

4. Top five necessities to bring to the fallout shelter:

A piano.  A water bottle.  Scissors.  Some cereal.  George Saunders.

5. Describe said fallout shelter:

Dark and tight as a fist.  It’s a miracle we squeeze in the piano, a miracle we could carry it so far, as pianos always are.  We make cave-drawings with our fingers and some soot.  We pee in the corner of the room, where it’s unbearably rank.  It’s pretty cold.  We’re pretty hungry.  Thank God there’s at least two of us, to tell stories, and to sing Regina Spektor, and to make shit up.

6. Who would be in your post-apocalyptic gang?

Ira Glass.  Daniel Day Lewis, although he’s scary.  I think he’d scare the zombies off.  Natalie Portman, to make me lithe and brave and beautiful.  My younger sister, so I’m not the child.  (Why is it, when we get to pick a gang, we pick people impossible to know to gang up with us?)

7. You’re the new charismatic leader of a cult of your choosing. What do you wear to your first meeting?  It’s the post-apocalypse, and I have wardrobe options.  For the first time ever.  I pick your hat up off your head and wear it.  I knot a blouse above my navel so my stomach shows.  A long skirt, so I move seemingly without feet, I move like fog.

8. Spirit guide?

The wolf.  She is sleeksmart, gunning through her woods.  She holds the moon up with her howl.  She wades all the way into the river to drink.

9. If you had to eat another author (in Artifice 4 or otherwise) who would it be and why?

Joseph Scapellato, of course.  He has this post-apocalyptic mustache, no zombie could break through, and by eating it, you ingest those special properties.  (Also, he probably tastes Southwest and warm and filling.  A burrito with whimsy, that sauce.)

10.  Sigmund Freud had a morbid fear of ferns. Elaborate.

They are so utterly meticulous.  They are so utterly alive.

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