Jason Half-Pillow has been published in countless literary magazines that few people have read, and no one has read cover to cover, including their editors. Despite never fully reading his material, the editors at these journals maintain a very picky standard regarding the quality of work selected to be published.

Somehow, Jason Half-Pillow’s work keeps sneaking through. He likens it to "a slithering penis that comes in the night."

His writing has appeared in countless journals with the word "review" in their title. He lives in Vermont and likes "humping."

The Paris Review graphic logo - bird with a jester hat on holding a pen

INTERVIEWER

You have said that you are not "the typical writer of fiction." What did you mean by that?

HALF-PILLOW

That I’m not a woman and didn’t go to college in the Northeast and don’t have friends that I blew who work at places like the Mid-American Review who helped launch my career.

INTERVIEWER

Do you really think female writers blow their way into publication?

HALF-PILLOW

No, I think most women writers blow professors and assistant editors of all sorts but still never get published. All they get are chapped lips and a lot of bad memories. Editors fear that publishing their work would be bad for the reputation of their journal. In the end—which, incidentally, is where I think a lot of female writers take it when they’re not blowing someone (and some while they do)—the journals publish writers who tickle their aesthetic fancy. Or have a long-standing relationship with somebody.

Or are friends of the editors. A lot of women major in English and then get MFAs and form little gaggle mafias that exclude male writers that aren’t pretentious and vapid. These women suck dick recreationally for the most part.

INTERVIEWER

Vapid?

HALF-PILLOW

Yes, most women writers don’t understand that almost everything anyone says is ultimately vapid. Women in general do not grasp that everything in life is pointless, a vast, cosmic joke. They think that why they wrote a poem or story matters; they think the poem or story matters; they think they matter. They don’t seem to get that we’re all just biding time. They don’t get that all the great poets and writers of history, in the end, accomplished nothing, that no one knows who they are, that what they did does not matter, that nothing they did changed anything, that it really was all sound and fury—if not just whimpering—and that’s the best, the legends!

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As for your typical literary journal writer of today, their insignificance cannot be measured: we have yet to come up with a fraction small enough to adequately convey how little they matter, and we have no instruments capable of capturing the sheer magnitude of their invisibility.

Women are also exclusionary. Excluding people is a form of entertainment for them. They love nothing more than to exclude someone they included in the past. All the while they blather on and on, and bring new people into their little gaggles as others leave in tears, vowing some kind of revenge. Meanwhile, they keep on telling predictable stories that drip with conventionality.

INTERVIEWER

They’re not cynical…

HALF-PILLOW

Not at all. They want us to waste time and energy staring goo-goo eyed at them as they twitter on and on about pointless shit and get mad when you make little jokes after everything they say. They don’t seem to get that your jokes embellish the drab, insipid, quotidian non arc of their predictable stories. They’re basically shallow.

INTERVIEWER

You sound misogynistic.

HALF-PILLOW

Not at all. Men are dumb too but they keep their mouths more shut. They might yell out a few stupid things, but they don’t jabber on and on and on incessantly. Men know to keep quiet. They know to watch TV, to sit there and just shut up and let the professionals do the talking. And most of them are average—maybe not technically stupid, but still, pretty average.

INTERVIEWER

Why do you write? Why bother?

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HALF-PILLOW

Who says I do? Maybe I have a team of topless sweat shop dwarves cranking out shit on manual typewriters for me in my poorly ventilated basement?

Anyway, I do it to express my frustration, mostly with those who do. I guess I write in the hopes of discouraging others from writing—or to get literary journal editors to give it up, to quit. I see my role as that of the jeerer, the rotten tomato hurler, the class disrupter. I want them to leave the literary stage. I am doing what I can to keep all these vapid morons out there from expressing themselves.

No one gives a shit. The people writing the editors don’t care about the editors and the editors don’t care about them. It’s a big joke.

INTERVIEWER

Yet you’re published. Are you not part of the problem?

HALF-PILLOW

It’s not my fault. They keep publishing my work. They say "we won’t even read anything sexist" and so I send them a blowjob story featuring me and some total dingbat who can’t spell her own name—my way of telling them to fuck off and that they’re idiots—but then they turn around and publish it and some editor claims in an introduction that I am challenging a dominant paradigm!

They ask for "craft essays" about "the writer’s creative process," and I send them an essay about how I "craft" all of my poems with my running shorts at my ankles while my neighbor’s St. Bernard licks Jiffy Peanut Butter off my balls, and they publish it and even turn around and nominate it for some dumbass prize! I get a new writing prize every week!

They say they don’t want anything racist, so I download the Mandingo script and attach my name to it—next thing I know, it’s not only published, but some lesbian theatre troupe has put the thing on at Bowdin College to rave reviews.

No matter how hard I try, I just can’t fail!

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