In a narcissistic slight of hand actor Michael O’Keefe interviews himself about his poems, Christmas and other matters significant to him and him alone.
Q.: Michael, nice to have you here.
A.: Pleasure to be had and here.
Q.: You’ve published a book of poems recently.
A.: You’re quite right about that.
Q.: But enough about poetry tell me about the meaning of life.
A.: Hey, let’s get back to poetry, Interlocutor. Unemployed actors know very little about the meaning of life. They can’t even hold a job in the real world. That’s why they became actors in the first place.
Q.: How did you become an actor?
A.: I was dropped as a child.
Q: And why publish a book of poems?
A.: I thought you’d never ask.
Q.: Oh, I wouldn’t leave you hanging.
A.: No, but you sure can’t interrupt a guy who’s trying his best to say something about poetry.
Q.: Sorry. I’m all ears. Tell us about your poems.
A.: The book is called “Swimming From Under My Father,” and…
Q.: Why not just “Swimming Under,” or “Swimming From?” Why “Swimming From Under…?”
A.: Oh for Christ’s sake. Can’t you keep quiet?
Q.: I hardly think using Christ’s name in vain on Christmas Eve is an appropriate way to celebrate the holiday.
A.: And I don’t badgering me with interruptions is the way to interview me about my writing.
Q.: I’ll be the judge of that. Your first blog for BAP was about Christmas and Barbara Stanwyck. Do you think the reason you’re single at your advanced age has anything to do with an inability to connect with someone in the real world? And isn’t that why you hold Ms. Stanwyck in such high esteem? She is, after all, only an illusory presence for you.
A.: Advanced age? Have you ever been knocked cold by an interviewee? Because, Brother, I am about to sock you in the jaw.
Q.: Whatsa matter? Did that hit close to the bone?
A significant pause ensues as Mr. O’Keefe waits for Mr. O’Keefe to collect his thoughts and regain his composure.
A.: William Carlos Williams once said that while it is difficult to get the news from poetry men die miserable deaths every day from lack of what is found in its pages.
Q.: (In an Irish brogue) Did he now?
A.: When you did become Irish?
Q.: (Continuing the Irish brogue through out the rest) Ach, get away. Sure, I’ve been this way all along.
A.: Look, I only have so much time. Can we please just settle into a conversation about my poems?
Q.: I’ll not be badgered by ye, ye unemployed actor with yer high falutin’ book a poems. Poems is it? What’s next? Philosophy? From an actor yet. Bollocks!
A.: God, you’re a nuisance. What does “Bollocks” mean anyway? I hear Irish and English people use it frequently but no one’s ever made clear what it means.
Q.: It means, “testicles” ya ignorant git.
A.: Gross. How the hell did that ever make it into the lexicon of modern speech?
Q.: Oh no ya don’t. I’ll be asking the questions around here, Mr. Fancypants.
A.: These are jeans.
Q.: And I’ll wager ya spent hundreds of dollars on them.
A.: What if I did?
Q.: Yer not a real poet. Real poets suffer fer their art. You wouldn’t find Jane Hirshfield or Henri Cole in a pair of jeans that cost hundreds of dollars.
A.: Perhaps you’re right about that.
Q.: A course I’m right. And that’s all the time and space we have.
A.: I thought space-time was unlimited. Kind of like a fourth dimension. I’ve heard string theorists go on about it.
Q.: Brilliant! Next time I’ll interview one a dem. Tune in next time for, “String Theory. Math or Religion? You decide.”
A.: Oh, bollocks.