Michelle Tea Gets the Tea From … Sarah Galvin

Sarah Galvin wrote one of my favorite books of poetry, a gem called Ugly Time that you should get off your screen and purchase, like now. Ugly Time, and by extension Galvin, is perverse in the way children are perverse, like everything is silly and gross and sexy and there is no separation between your genitalia and gummy bears and the great sadness you feel when your feelings get hurt, and also, like, animals and the sky and the characters that populate our media-saturated lives. Ugly Time deals with sex and bodies and gentrification and loneliness and money and queerness, with cities and lovers and buildings. It is waiting for you to devour it.

Meanwhile, here are Sarah Galvin’s answers to my questions.

What is the most uncanny thing you’ve ever experienced?

Once I was exploring an abandoned house with a couple of friends, and one room of the house had nothing in it but washing machines that were all full of dry, old clothing. Like somebody was doing 12 loads of laundry at once and then disappeared. Also, my partner and I live in a building where a kid was murdered in the 1920s and they never found the murderer. One morning shortly after we moved in, we found a pair of bloody child-sized handprints on the wall by our door (OUTSIDE the door, thank god). No children live in the building.

What is in your bag right now?

Six dollars, a wallet, a book of matches that says “Honeyhole,” a pair of cameo cufflinks molded to look like the profiles of Alexander the Great and his wife.

What is the 15th photo on your phone?

How are you like your sun sign?

I don’t know much about astrology, but I know I am a typical Taurus: I love food and clothing and sex, I’m hedonistic to the point of being — well, have you ever fucked til you bled?

What are you reading right now? Watching? Listening to?

I am currently reading Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s forthcoming Sketchstasy about a genderqueer sex worker and drug addict in the mid-’90s and it’s AMAZING. (Pictured in my 15th phone photo.) Last show: Girls Season 6. Last song: “Utopia, Me Giorgio” by Giorgio Moroder.

What is the last meal you cooked?

The last meal I cooked was just stoned peanut butter and jelly toast, for me and my fiance. Yes, there was melted butter and crushed peanuts all over it. I am very serious about anything peanut butter goes on.

Where would you like to go on vacation right now?

If I could just go anywhere right now, either Cuba or India or Madagascar. Or Berlin, to live forever.

Tell me about getting to meet someone you idolize or admire.

I gave John Waters a copy of Ugly Time, my most recent poetry book, last winter, and he said I “turned out well.” Also, I got to interview my favorite comedian, Chris Fleming, last year and that was amazing.

What are you like when you’re sick?

I’m very emotionally vulnerable when I’m sick and want all the cuddles, from my fiance Mary Anne and my little cat, Loofah. I want to be held and fed soup while I read.

What are you obsessed with or inspired by right now?

I am obsessed with/inspired by Dina Martina’s song (perhaps it’s a cover, I’m not sure) “Pizzazz.”

What are you upset about right now?

I am upset about how late-stage capitalism is poisoning everything, and by how I have one leg shorter than the other and it ruins my shoes.

What is the last dream you remember?

The last dream I remember was of being fucked by the moon. It came closer and closer to earth until it pinned me down in this field and started vibrating. It was SO HOT.

Who are your queer ancestors?

Jean Genet, John Waters, Sylvester, that one probably trans pirate, Emily Dickinson, Kenneth Anger, Darby Crash.

What is your dream project?

My dream project is getting paid a living wage for any of the creative projects I’m already doing. I feel like I get to create something I care about, such as a poem, every day.

What are you doing this weekend?

This weekend I am GETTING MARRIED to the love of my life, visual artist, clothing designer and performance artist Mary Anne Carter.

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