Who Are You?: Steve Burt
Where Are You?: In our living room at the northern end of Manhattan, in the one-bedroom apartment I share with my sweetie,my favorite of all the places I've lived; on a Saturday afternoon while she's at work; listening to a compilation of fluffy guitar bands (mostly) called Mystique.
What Are You?: 28 years old; a graduate student in English; happy, usually; privileged, rather; worried, frequently.
What do you make?: Poems; book reviews; drafts and notes (too often) for academic articles and a thesis; zines (not often enough); Thai food (VERY badly, so far); money by editing book reviews for a trade magazine; colorful packages to send people I like (not enough of those either).
What do you love?: My sweetie (we're getting married)-- but she's not a what, she's a who; the "whats" would include, today: getting stuff in the mail; the discontinued Sanrio character Winkipinki, a cat who paints red and blue plaid; most of the prose and many of the poems of Randall Jarrell; most of New York, especially the visually busy blocks with five-and-six story apartment buildings and the overhead 1/9 line down the hill from me, in a part of town most of my friends have never seen, especially in light rain; all the large cities I've actually been in; John Ashbery's _April Galleons_; old records by Game Theory and the Pet Shop Boys; new records by Sleepyhead and My Favorite.
What do you hate?: Automobiles; having to clean things; my fear of aging; long guitar solos; the way wanting to be a college professor has made me organize the rest of my life, losing track of a couple valuable parts of it in the process.
What do you listen to?: At the moment, Sleepyhead; over the past week, Sarge; Blueboy; Bruce Springsteen's _Nebraska_; the Big Ol' Box of 60s Soul; Heavenly; Oval; Statuesque; the New London, Connecticut punk band the Reducers; all my Fat Tulips singles; college radio when I can actually get it.
What do you watch?: (television) Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (film) All the movies my sweetie wants to see, which is fine with me; I keep trying to see lots of teen movies and to rent the back catalog of the French director Eric Rohmer, and usually no one I know wants to see either. Oh, and our cats. We have two. They're fun to watch.
What do you drink?: Obscure ales when feasible; amaretto sours; too much coffee and not enough milk; gallons and gallons of ginger beer.
What do you smoke?: Other people's cigarettes, I'm afraid.
What do you take?: Very few naps; almost all the excuses I'm offered, since I'd rather blame myself for stuff; office supplies from work; pounds and pounds of books around with me in a beat-up blue backpack with Belle & Sebastian, Third Sex, and graduate student unionization pins on it.
What do you believe in?: The integrity of my friends and the worth of art. Gee, that sounds pompous. I think I do, though.
When We Were 16Where were you?: Living on the leafy northern edge of Washington, DC, going to high school.
What were you?: Uh, a high school student; nervous; wanting to be cool in contradictory ways; realizing I liked my favorite poets even more than I liked science fiction.
What did you wear?: An elaborately-painted denim jacket, which got vandalized after I dropped a chocolate bar down the front shirt pocket of somebody I didn't like, not realizing that in the heat the melting chocolate would not only inconvenience him but ruin his shirt and his day. I learned a lesson, painted another jacket (with Deadhead iconography and the seven green stripes symbolic of the Waterboys), and got lots of unearned sympathy, since I didn't tell anyone who I thought cut the first jacket apart, or why.
What did you listen to?: Laura Nyro, King Crimson, and Yes. And the Waterboys.
What did you watch?: Movies at the Biograph Theatre in Georgetown.
What did you love?: My classmate Sally Grant, but she's not a what either. Hm. The novels of Samuel R Delany.
What did you hate?: Drum machines, for reasons I can barely imagine now.
What did you drink?: Mountain Dew.
What did you smoke?: Pot, for the first time; and clove cigarettes.
What did you take?: Lots and lots of pens from desks and classrooms, since I was always losing them.
What did you want to be?: Admired; a pop songwriter; a poet. No, really.
Who did you fight?: Physically? No one. I didn't realize how odd the comparative nonviolence at my high school was till slightly later.
Who/What did you believe in?: Good question. Music? Other people's opinions?
Where did you go?: To the used bookshops of Dupont Circle, again and again.
What did you learn?: How to smoke; when to shut up and listen; who the Smiths were; what certain people I cared about actually cared for; the difference between shame and guilt.