DeWitt Brinson: What poets do you read today that you would like to sleep with?

Mark Baumer: All my favorite poets used to live in the same town as me. About a year ago they all moved away. It would be nice if we could all live in the same bed again. The greatest forty-five minutes of my life involved a poet named Darren Angle. We kicked the same brick four billion times.

DB: To what age would you like to live and how would you like to die?

MB: The other day I decided that fourteen is the golden age to be alive. Every fourteen year old is the best person in the history of the world. Everyone who is older than fourteen is just trying to figure out how to live the rest of their years as a non-fourteen year old.

DB: I first read your poems on my phone. Instead of separate pieces, they all read as one. I thought it was like I could read a whole book of this. Would you ever consider that or what is lost by doing that?

MB: I wrote some of those phones on my poem. Someday I am going to publish a book of phones. There is a full-length manuscript of these phones in my poem.

DB: Do you play a lot of video games?

MB: I am not very good at video games. I once played halo with seven other lamb steaks, but I couldn’t do anything except spin in circles.

DB: These poems do a lot of work on the sentence level. You set up an expectation and then twist it. But I think it's the flirtation with narrative that interests me the most. What do you find most appealing about your own poems?

MB: I don’t really know what my poems do or what they’re supposed to do. I just play with them until they get sick of me and take their ball home.

DB: If you could be a superhero, what would your super powers be?

MB: I want to eat every piece of plastic in the world.

DB: If you ever became a rich, famous poet what country would you live in?

MB: I’ve only ever lived in America. Maybe I could be the trophy poet of Antarctica or the moon. Nicolas Cage will probably be dead by the time I am a rich, famous poet. I would like to buy his head when I become a rich, famous poet. Then I would stretch his face around my moderately sized home and live inside Nicolas Cage’s face.

DB: Where do you write your poems (mostly, I mean)? 

MB: Sometimes I write poems inside Nicolas Cage’s face.

DB: Vampires or Norse Gods?

MB: It is almost time for me to go to bed. I like that movie where the vampire yawns and a tomato plant grows out of his mouth, but the vampire’s heart lives inside one of the tomatoes and a beetle eats the tomato and turns into a human named David.

DB: Have you ever had to watch someone read your poetry? How does that make you feel?

MB: I’ve never watched myself play basketball. I wish I was a professional basketball player.



interviewed by the tender, young, virile writer

DeWitt Brinson

Mark Baumer was born in Omaha, Japan and has lived mostly inside the president of the United States while the president was still six years old. His most recent books are small gardens that he pretends are tiny castles that exist inside the only walnut that will be alive after the world dies. He has only lived three percent of his life. There are ninety-hundred and seventy things left for him to accomplish.