In our continued effort to stay relevant, TLM sent our reknowed Ronald Templeton to the Brooklyn Book Festival. It’s been three weeks, and we haven’t heard from him. However, the following interview between Templeton, The Internet Poet and The Epic Poet was pieced together from several napkins. No one involved has any memory of this. However, it offers a unique inside perspective from the epicenter of the literary world.
Ronald Templeton: In one picture you can see Phil in dark glasses, holding a gun?
The Internet Poet: Yes. Or, if that was Phil, if it really and truly was, what would you say to him? After what he did I mean. After what we did. After all of that, and then the cab ride later. What would you say? Also, for the record, I do not think it is a gun that Phil is holding, if it is Phil. It probably is. But a gun? I don’t know.
The Epic Poet: I mean, he looks awfully innocent to be Phil. To make a long story short, Phil’s really pretty borderline. And by that I mean he microwaves popcorn and has several cats, all at the same time, if you know what I mean? Even then, let’s say it is Phil, by the time we got to the cab, Phil was on the run from the thugs down at Ugly Duckling.
The Internet Poet: Let’s be clear, just because they are eastern bloc refugees, I mean, let’s not assume they’re all thugs, right? I realize some things happened to you over there, but let’s get it straight: fine letter-pressed chapbooks were not what hurt you. But after Phil ran screaming past Ugly Duckling. Just. Are we sure this is Phil? Really?
Ronald Templeton: Do you have any brothers and sisters?
The Internet Poet: you know the answer to that question. I don’t even understand how you could ask that. How could you even ask that? Also, how is your family?
The Epic Poet: You two know eachother?
The Internet Poet: Templeton is merely a vessel.
Ronald Templeton: Nowhere near Dylan or something like that?
The Internet Poet: Do you even understand what this man is talking about anymore? Can we propose who else it might have been, if it was not Phil, which is a thing I still think is possible.
Also how is the novel coming? How is your health? Have the mountains spat on your loneliness yet? How do they compare to the festival? What about in the dark? In the rain? The grass (such as it is)? We apologize, probably, for the grass. The whole entire internet. I speak for them. I have their proxy. I can show it to you, if you’d like.
The Epic Poet: You are aware what he is referring to as his proxy, right?
The Internet Poet: Can we say ‘fuck’ here?
The Epic Poet: Yes, and probably smoke.
Ronald Templeton: I’d like to know about your life outside of playing. What kind of scene was that.
The Internet Poet: Templeton those weren’t complete sentences come back in ten minutes.
Ronald Templeton: Where did they turn up?
The Internet Poet: Alone. In the rain.
Ronald Templeton: How did he get lured away from the classical world?
The Internet Poet: I always felt it was foolishness and a lack of a high speed internet connection.
The Epic Poet: I’ve always believed that he lured the classical world away from them.
The Internet Poet: Yeah but from who? Wait. What? What in the world is the Epic Poet referring to?
The Epic Poet: I assumed we were talking about Seidel, no?
The Internet Poet: Phil? Phil Seidel? And his motorcycles full of ladies?
The Epic Poet: No. Frederick. You weren’t thinking about Frederick?
The Internet Poet: Man whatever I figure let the guy have his memories of vaginas and his hangers full of motorcycles and just be happy if he can, yknow?
The Epic Poet: Completely agree. I don’t think Fred was around anyway.
Ronald Templeton: When did you meet Kesey, and how?
The Internet Poet: In an AOL chatroom, I think in maybe 1996? Some time between 1995 and 1997 anyway. Those were my prime AOL chatroom years.
The Epic Poet: Agreed. AOL was an awakening for me. But I met Kesey at an Anarchist Fundraiser. It was a wonderful event. We had a long conversation about kerning. There was an instant connection. I did steal his date, but that’s okay because he tried to kill me. We haven’t spoken since.
Ronald Templeton: When did you get into all this fabulous equipment thing?
The Internet Poet: I’d say, again, broadband internet, but also SABRmetrics. Also when I got that disposable income. Also when I pretended to forget about my student loans. Also when the world spun and the sky cracked open and at one point or another everyone we all wept for just a moment, a single moment, together, in time.
The Epic Poet: That’s a reference to the ellipitcal poets…in case you missed it.
The Internet Poet: I have some fabulous equipment I can show you and yes it does include an elliptical.
Ronald Templeton: And you’re at the controls of the rocket ship, right?
The Epic Poet: Templeton, when I told you that, it was off the record. But now that you’ve brought it up. Yes, I’ve been invited to spend some time in space. Astrological Laureate is what they are calling the position. It is with the National Astrological and Stars Administration. A private company run by the Kennedy Trust. I’ll orbit for a few rounds, return. That’s why I was at the book festival, we were meeting with investors.
The Internet Poet: Why else does one visit the book festival save to meet with investors or investigate Phil?
The Epic Poet: It’s a very good point. Why are you here Templeton?
Ronald Templeton: The parties are well-remembered!
The Internet Poet: How is that an answer, Templeton? Where is the “I” located in that sentence, motherfucker?
Ronald Templeton: How many people came drifting in off the streets?
The Internet Poet: Hundreds. Answer us Templeton.
Ronald Templeton: One of the things with the communes that I have seen is that they’re unable to do anything about a person like that and they simply keep him there and everything goes bad.
Am I right in saying that the scene worked until it got invaded by the mass media and it wasn’t your scene that broke down as much as it got destroyed from the outside?
The Internet Poet: All scenes are like those things in plays where it says SCENE 2 when it sort of goes along and then the audience runs out of spaghetti and all hell breaks loose but it’s ok because we snuck out early and had a romantic candlelit pizza pie dinner and it was great.
The Epic Poet; It’s true. We spent the whole night arguing about the word chiffon, and spreading butter on napkins for no reason other than that we were very drunk and young and artistic.
The Internet Poet: What better reason does one need to be alive?