What’s the meanest thing you have ever done?

Christ. I haven’t done it yet. But since I daydream about it so often, I guess I can just put it out there: I intend to find my paternal grandmother’s ashes and piss on them. Twice. I told my dad about this. He thinks it’s pretty ambitious.


The nicest?

Married someone I only half-liked.


Have you ever shoplifted?

Yes. It used to be what me and my girlfriends did after school. We planned the stores we were going to hit, the way regular people decide where they’re going to eat. “No, I’m not in the mood to go to Marshall’s. Let’s go to Payless instead.” Terrible. We were on the honor roll, too. Which is funny, the way Catholic school kids on heroin is funny.

The one time I got caught was at Stater Bros.’ grocery store. I stole a box of Jell-O Pudding Pops. I went to juvie for it. So embarrassing (although not half as bad as my uncle who got busted for stealing a Thigh Master.)


How do you find time to write with five children?

I wait until everyone is asleep. Then I try to pound out as many poems as possible, which is why I honestly can’t remember writing some of my own poems. I’ll come across one on the computer and assume my boo wrote it.


It’s made clear through your poems that you are obsessed with three main topics: Bestiality, Mermaid Abuse, and Parental Hate. Anything else you want to include?

No, that pretty much covers it. Although, I should put out there, I do not hate my dad. He’s come a long way. We both have. My mother, however, can go ahead and get chomped down by a dinosaur for all I care. I’ll always have issues with mermaids because I am filled with ocean envy (I am afraid of it, therefore love it.) Bestiality has always amused me. I’ll just leave it at that.


Well, now I have to ask – If you had to have sex with any animal, what would it be?

Heh, “had.” Okay. So, if I had to have sex with an animal, it would be a giant dog. Like a Great Dane or Mastiff. Or one of those Scottish dogs … what is that breed? With a mustache? And they look good in Sherlock Holmes hats? The breed escapes me. I’ll come back to that later.


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RACHEL MCKIBBENS was born a few blocks from Disneyland, which explains her inability to get along with stepmothers. She recently moved to upstate New York with her ginormous family. Despite not having an MFA, her poems and short stories have snuck into numerous publications, including The American Poetry Journal, Wicked Alice, The New York Quarterly, The Acentos Review, Melusine, H_ngm_n, The London Magazine, and several fun anthologies. In 2009, she became the Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion, which amuses her to no end. She has shared stages with Nikki Giovanni, Kanye West, Billy Collins, Martin Espada, Ellyn Maybe, Eve Ensler, and Nick Flynn. McKibbens is also a New York Foundation for the Arts poetry fellow and her first collection of poems, Pink Elephant (Cypher Books) was released on Halloween of 2009. www.rachelmckibbens.com

14 responses to “Rachel McKibbens: The TNB Self-Interview”

  1. I once got caught shoplifting a Saturday Night Fever cassette from some discount bin. That was pretty fucken embarrassing. But I think Jell-O Pudding Pops might top that one.

  2. sheree says:

    Scottish Terrier is the breed you’re thinking of. When I was about five or six a great dane kept knocking me down and humping the hell out of me. No matter how hard I tried I could not escape that damn dog. Finally after the neighbor collected his composure from his hysterical laughter over the sight of it, he jumped the fence and carried me to saftey. I hate those dogs to this day. Don’t trust’em. Sneaky bastards.

    Great post. Thanks for the read.

    • rachel mcK says:

      I’ve only seen mastiffs in person; the great dane eludes me. I am the Pepe LePew of Great Danes. Which of course, drives me batty. But I am sorry for your childhood trauma involving said beast, and I promise, if I should ever cross one’s path, I will do everything in my power to devastate his heart, in your honor.

  3. A Thigh Master? as Lady Bracknell might say. Your uncle must have been wearing a massive shirt.

    • rachel mcK says:

      Steve, it is worse than that. He didn’t steal it from a store. No, sir. He was riding his bike through a neighborhood and spotted it in an open garage. He pulled in and tucked it under his arm and its owner came charging after him, knocking him off his wheels. THEN she made a citizen’s arrest. So, my uncle not only got put away for stealing a USED thigh master (thank you, three strikes law!) but he was apprehended by a spandex’d woman with stone-like thighs. Beautiful.

  4. Marni Grossman says:

    I’m surprised more people aren’t obsessed with mermaids and bestiality, Rachel.

  5. OK, so you can’t use “s” HTML tags. Sorry. Rachel, please delete my last comment (and this one).

  6. […] RACHEL McKIBBENS on Rachel McKibbens […]

  7. jaha says:

    haaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    jaha zainabu

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