Blake Wallin is the author of the full-length poetry collections No Sign on the Island (Bottlecap Press) and Occipital Love (Ghost City Press), as well as the chapbook Otherwise Jesus (Ghost City Press). He recently attended the Kennedy Center’s 2018 Playwriting Intensive at the beginning of June and will attend Virginia Quarterly Review’s 2018 Writer’s Retreat for poetry at the beginning of August. He is an MFA candidate in poetry at George Mason University.


tell us about your favorite glove compartment

  • I was kind of romantic growing up, so the first glove compartment I ever emotionally connected to was the one in that Death Cab song “Title and Registration” off their album Transatlanticism, you know, because “behind its doors, there’s nothing to keep my fingers warm.” It’s also just a good way to introduce a song about miscommunication and missed chances, and leads to the more driving lyrics as the instrumental gets more driving. Just a damn good song to be honest.


recommended ingredients for a horrible salad

  • I guess for this one it would depend on who I was preparing it for. Like, one of my sisters has a paralyzing fear of mayo, so I would probably add that to her salad to make it horrible. If spiting someone xenophobic, I would add distinctive ingredients from a particular culture I know they hate. Or like, have one of those Hallmark cards at the bottom of the salad that says “Immigrants Are More Important Than You” when you open it.


best date night ever with a creepy ventriloquist’s dummy

  • I guess it would be if the dummy somehow took on a life of its own and we ran off together, leaving the sad handless ventriloquist picking up the check and crying into expensive napkins.


tell us what the joy of surfing is all about

  • It’s the waves coming up and licking your feet as the surfboard coasts along the surf of the wave, the crest above you and everything behind you, including personal problems and everything escapism doesn’t encompass. It’s about triumphing over the adversity of life by substituting that adversity with a natural stand-in that holds no qualms with you but could still kill you if you’re not careful and respectful. It’s about life, love, and being the catalyst for really bad writing. Sometimes I do intentionally bad writing, and I think some of the worst I’ve ever written has been about surfing.


ah, summer nights getting eaten alive by giant notebooks with potatoes for teeth, right?

  • That’s still pretty raw for me.


favorite malt shop

  • I went on a lot of a Montgomery church’s youth group trips growing up, and malt shops always broke up the monotony and problems quite nicely, so I’m going to go with the Varsity in Atlanta near Georgia Tech.


favorite sleeves

  • Baggy but soft, ruffly but not too ostentatious. Think Chalamet’s character in Call Me By Your Name.


haunted gummy worms

  • I feel like this concept would only work in a movie theater. Like because you wouldn’t be able to tell that they’re haunted because of the dim movie theater. Otherwise you’d just look at it and do whatever the hell you want with it, and the horror would be completely null and void, a soft candy howling evilly into the void.


your favorite homework assignment in third grade

  • I don’t have a favorite homework assignment, but I do have a favorite assignment. My third grade teacher never wanted to teach plant biology, so she had us go in her office separately to work on that. I would love to be separate from the class for that hour; it was a sacred hour.


naps you’ve been dreaming about

  • Taking a nap in a park in Barcelona.


various glowing things

  • My face always, just my face, it glows. Probably anglerfish would by my favorite, although I think jellyfish are easily more elegant. Anything that shines amidst deep-sea darkness has always held this certain fascination with me. Endless dark and then, boom, light.


vintage hockey masks are very scary indeed!

  • I’m not going to be one of those people who says, “Oh, the Halloween mask is soooo much scarier than the Friday the 13th mask” because, yeah, no shit, it’s attached to a better franchise. Favorite movie mask is the eye-hand guy in Pan’s Labyrinth, by far.


favorite things to do in a swamp

  • Snorkel.


why mops are fun to play with

  • Because if you’re mopping, you hate your life. When you’re dancing, you do not hate your life. If you’re dancing when you mop, you start hating your life less. If you start singing, all the better.



psssst.  more blake wallin enjoyment available here: