DeWitt Brinson: What scares you?

Kristin Sanders: Everything I read whenever I read the news.  The American meat production industry.  People who keep secrets, who deal in shame.  Loss.

DB: What motivates you?

KS: I have a shirt from a shop here in New Orleans that says, “A GIRL IS A GUN.”  What motivates me is how many women love this shirt when I wear it.  I guess it’s nice to be reminded of our power.

DB: What is power?

KS: I have no idea, but I would like to add an addendum to question number one, another thing that scares me: not having power over myself.

DB: When you feel guilty, how do you react?

KS: I get real mean.

DB: Have you ever pretended you were a boy?

KS: Yes, whenever I’m not busy pretending to be a girl.

DB: What's your favorite scent?

KS: Chloé perfume.  I remember smelling it years ago on one woman in particular who is very womanly, very beautiful, and she has an English accent to boot.  I remember thinking I could not pull it off because I’m not that womanly, but I stored it in my memory: to purchase when I am no longer a girl.  And then my heart was officially, hugely broken for the first time and so I bought the perfume and so I started writing these poems.  Now when I wear the perfume I don’t like it as much.  It was about the desire all along.

DB: When I cry in public, I feel embarrassed? Why is that?

KS: Funny, the last time I saw you, DeWitt, I was crying in public, in Chicago in March, and I took a taxi alone to my hotel room so no one would see me.  Crying in taxis is really therapeutic; it’s the perfect amount of public/private.  And I think maybe you cried that night, too?  Or you left very soon after me?  I think we should have just gone to the corner of the bar and cried together.  We shouldn’t feel embarrassed about our feelings, and I think we actually aren’t that embarrassed when it really comes down to it, which is why we are writers. 

DB: What's the worst thing about country music?

KS: There’s no worst thing about country music, I truly love country music: what it says and what it refuses to say.  It’s so polite.  It’s so impolite.  I am utterly devoted to it, to who it made me become.  I have loved it all my life.  And this—speaking of secrets, of shame—brings me back to your very first question.  Sometimes we fall in love with what scares us most.

DB: I think these read like fairy tales, why do I think that?

KS: Because your mind moves in fairy tales.  Because my mind is always in the gutter.  Because there is really no difference between the two; all of the characters, the scenes, are the same.

DB: What's the most beautiful part of your body?

KS: The feminist in me says my brain; the pornographer in me says I’ll just zoom out and let the audience decide.



interviewed by the tender, young, virile writer

DeWitt Brinson

Kristin Sanders lives in New Orleans and teaches at Loyola University.  She is the author of the chapbook "Orthorexia" (dancing girl press).  Her work has appeared in journals such as Octopus, Everyday Genius, elimae, Strange Machine, and HTMLGIANT.