How do you feel?

Like not enough everything and too much something.


How will you feel this afternoon?

I’m trying to live in the moment, man.

How is that going?

Not well.



Diet Coke.


Why else?

Scared of the moment.


Has the moment ever been kind to you?

Yes. This morning I did a metta meditation. I loved a man I love. I loved a woman named Kathleen, whom I feel neutral toward. I loved a boy I was mad at. I visualized an ice sculpture of this woman spouting water out of her head and down her body infinitely. Then I thought about putting her in a poem and realized she can’t be made of ice. She needs to be pink. I turned her into a Jolly Rancher woman spouting Jolly Rancher juice. Watermelon.


Do you think that makes you creative?

I hope you are impressed.


What else?

Projecting my script on the face of another human is not the vaccine for boredom, gravity or formaldehyde.



Sometimes it feels like it is.


What do you do then?

Make explosions, mostly in my heart and head—sometimes in my face. Try to learn from them.



Laugh at the words dirt nap.


Do you think you’re special?



Come on.

Ok yes. Sometimes I forget other people are real.


Don’t say that out loud.



But you are special.



Everyone is.



Why ugh?

‘Cause I want the most cake. I know you know that.



‘Cause it feels good for like 30 seconds.


Then what?

Then I want more cake.


Then what?

Then I try to get more and more and more cake, or make a cake happen, and inevitably get trapped in a cave of my own making.


How do you get out?

I use my voice. I cry out. Someone always comes and shines a light. Usually I am able to see it.


So why even try for the cake in the first place?

I don’t know. I’m just wired that way. I want serenity and it always seems like the cake will give me serenity.


What really gives you serenity?

Humility. Being a worker among workers. Humility is actually really beautiful when you can get it. It isn’t drudgery at all. I just always think it will be boring and so as soon as a cake appears on the horizon I go for the cake. Or I invent a cake. But humility is actually the real glitter.


Humility feels good?

It does. It feels great. It feels the best of them all.

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TNB Poetry features poems and self-interviews from some of the world's finest poets. Past and future writers include Catherine Tufariello, Lewis Turco, Timothy Steele, Amber Tamblyn and Wanda Coleman. Our editorial team comprises: UCHE OGBUJI (uche.ogbuji.net, @uogbuji) is a Nigerian-American poet, editor ( Kin) & computer engineer living near Boulder, Colorado, USA. His short collection of poems Ndewo, Colorado is available from Aldrich Press. RICH FERGUSON (YouTube) has been published and anthologized by various journals and presses. He is also a featured performer in the film, What About Me?. WENDY CHIN-TANNER is a poet, an editor (Kin), interviewer (Lantern), a sociology instructor (Cambridge, UK), and co-founder of A Wave Blue World, a publishing company for graphic novels. DENA RASH GUZMAN, is author of Life Cycle—Poems, Dog On A Chain Press, 2013, Founding Editor of Unshod Quills, Poetry Editor and Managing Director at HAL Publishing (Shanghai & Hong Kong). Uche, Wendy & Dena are founding members of The Stanza Massive poetry/media collective.

4 responses to “Melissa Broder: The TNB Self-Interview”

  1. Rich Boucher says:

    If things are not going well for me, from this moment forward,
    I think I’ll follow your lead here and blame Diet Coke.

    I love this interview! Thank you!

  2. […] interviewed myself about humility at The Nervous […]

  3. […] I actually interviewed myself pretty recently. You can check that out here. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Filed Under: Melissa Broder […]

  4. alex says:

    easy woman to fall in love with – someone to properly rip your heart up

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