It’s not often I get to play the straight man in interviews, but this week is an exception.Â I interviewed Tao Lin about his new book of poems, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, for Bookslut, and the results were characteristic:
Who do you imagine as the audience for your poems? Who are you writing for?
My target audience is 12-17 year-old children who exhibit signs of social anxiety. I imagine them sleeping in class in middle school while maintaining a B average. I imagine them in high school thinking â€œChuck Palahniuk is immatureâ€ while still enjoying his early works. I imagine them walking alone in gated communities listening to early Rilo Kiley.
My target audience is also 18-30 hipsters. I imagine them on the L train listening to some new NYC indie band on their iPod hating their life and feeling good and occasionally thinking â€œsteady cash flow without a real job would be goodâ€ while knowing it would just make their despair more noticeable to themselves, due to having less distractions from it, but also more amusing for everyoneâ€”something they value in life.
Read the whole thing!