DeWitt Brinson: I once made a joke about having sex with a cat while dating a person who had been bullied in high-school, though I did not realize it, with the accusation that she had sex with cats. Do people actually have sex with cats? If so, do you know anyone who has done that? Please elaborate.

Tracey Duncan: To answer your question briefly: yes. People do have sex with cats. A quick google search will yield elucidation on multiple approaches to this practice. Frankly, I got freaked out at the consent waiver and opted out. Q-tip sex with cats, as discussed in my poem, is far more widespread than it should be. The problem is that q-tip sex with cats is a broken practice. It works only temporarily, and the impact on your relationship with your cat is permanently affected. I do not recommend it. 

DB: Write a word on your body, then respond to this question.

TD: I wrote the word "bravo" on my left forearm. Weirdly, I already have a tattoo there with words on it. The tattooed words are not in English. They are in Indian Sanskrit. They translate roughly to: Clarity of mind is achieved by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, joyfulness toward the virtuous, and detachment from the wicked. So, BRAVO if you can actually achieve these things.  

DB: In exactly 24 words, what makes a system successful?

TD: A system is successful if it is able to either break down or resolve binary distinctions. A very successful system will eventually become unnecessary. 

DB: What is the intersection of intellect and emotion?

TD: The intersection of intellect and emotion is the same location where S. Carrolton and  Claiborne meet (in New Orleans). They meet, seemingly, without each other's consent. They run parallel for miles and miles and there is no obvious need for them to meet. But they do. And when they do, you will be confused. You will think you were on intellect, but really you were on emotion, or vice versa. It will become very hard for you to tell the difference between the two. Claiborne and Carrolton have the same number of letters and they both start with C, so they have some superficial things in common that makes them appear to be compatible. Don't be fooled. The categories of intellect and emotion break down once they meet. This is a successful system.

DB: When I read these poems, I felt like the times I tried to do something really nice for someone and it made me learn something I didn't want to learn. Why do I feel this way?

TD: Because you are smart. These poems are about learning things you don't want to learn. Learning things that you don't want to leads either to breakthrough or breakdown and either is preferable to neither.  

DB: What don't you like about your writing?

TD: I don't like reading it out loud. It makes me feel nervous and agitated. Other than that, I'm okay with my writing. It doesn't always do what I want it to, but I am impressed with its rebellious spirit.

DB: How many fights have you been in?

TD: I have been in many organized fights as a boxer and a roller derby queen, and even more as a person that has intimate relationships with other people. But you want to know about the fistfights, I imagine. I have been in two physical altercations with the same person. I was sleeping with her boyfriend. His name was Squid. She found us in bed and picked me up and threw me across a room. It didn't really hurt and it made me find her kind of attractive. A couple weeks later she broke in to the house I was staying in with Squid. I was lying on the floor. She jumped on top of me, pinning me down, and punched me in the face about a hundred thousand times. She also ripped out all my earrings on one ear. I had ten. Then my roommate, Steve, pointed a gun at her. That didn't help because she was having a lot of fun punching me, so he fired the gun in the air and then she got upset and left. I did not find her attractive after that. 

DB: You stand in a wide hallway. It's raining outside. Somewhere down the hallway a cat is discussing the weather with your Mother. When you look down, why is there blood on your shirt?

TD: Wrath of Khan. I had a slimy truth-telling earwig implanted by a superhuman in space and it was wreaking havoc on my brain and so my nose started to bleed. Happens all the time, I just need a tissue, thanks. 

DB: What's the best advice you've ever followed?

TD: When I was fifteen and I was trying to decide what kind of person to be, my friend Heather Lundy told me that I never actually have to make a decision. She was right. I haven't made a decision since. 

DB: What is the connection of the mind, the body, and the something else?

TD: The something else is the important thing, here. The mind and the body are childish and demanding, and when they get together they try to boss you around. The something else is way bigger than them. I'd go with that.



interviewed by the tender, young, virile writer

DeWitt Brinson

Tracey Duncan is a tillandsia bromeliad that blooms in early July. She tolerates heat and humidity well, and prefers subtropical climes. She has a fragrance that some consider pungent, but others find delightful. She once had her roots epoxied to the inside of a nautilus shell, but the adhesive turned out to be caustic. She has been traveling ever since her nautilus liberation, often carried from frond to frond in the gentle jaws of her faithful Catahoula.