is as known for his devastatingly insightful, humorous
and irascible commentary on NPR as he is for his incredible
poetry. Born and raised in Transylvania, he professes
his great love for his adopted home, America, in the
thickest, sexiest accent I have ever heard.
Our paths crossed a year ago. Andrei had been escorted
to Magic Gardens by his friends when a book tour brought
him to Portland. He is a fan of all things sensual,
naughty and late-nite and so fit right in at Old Town's
finest strip club. But even this professionally libidinous
intellectual was knocked off his chair when a stripper
recited one of his poems from the stage. Later he
asked one of the gals to go to an after hours club
with him. She declined, saying she had to go home
and edit her documentary. Andrei was convinced that
Magic Gardens was the best strip club in the world.
We met shortly thereafter. He was in town on another
book tour with his movable feast of friends. Andrei
collects bizarre geniuses like I at one time collected
Strawberry Shortcake dolls. He lives for it. When
he took me out to dinner, he told me about his recent
affairs with dwarves, amputees, and the librarian-lady-from-last-night.
When I admitted that I'd never been to an S &
M recommittal ceremony, he was shocked. When he asked
me where we could find speedballs I was shocked. Now
I thank my lucky stars for the friendship of this
hedonistic lover who inspires me to ever more passionate
episodes of soulsucking every time I meet him.
THE FOLLOWING INTERVIEW MUST BE READ WITH A THICK
You are something of a vampire yourself, in that you
are an incredibly sexy Transylvanian who sucks the
lifeblood of humanity wherever you go.
Yes, but I give back. I suck some of it, but then
I give it back enriched. Once it goes through my nervous
and intellectual systems, the next person I bite actually
gets enriched with a bit of immortality.
You're a wordsmith. Where does the word VAMPIRE come
Vampire is I think a Celtic word for the undead. But
the vampire has different names in different countries.
In Transylvania where I am from they have something
called virkolak--the spirit of the undead that
is restless and bothers the living. But the vampire
legend itself was born there because we had a particularly
cruel prince named Vlad Dracula who liked impaling
Is he a national hero now? He brings in a lot of money.
Yeah. He was in my classroom when I was growing up.
We had three pictures on the wall; we had Stalin,
the local dictator, and we had Vlad the Imperious.
He impaled people because he was sadistic. The German
burghers in my hometown in Transylvania got tired
of him sacking the town and impaling the best citizens,
so they commissioned Guttenberg--the first printer--to
put out a pamphlet detailing the atrocities of Dracula
with woodcuts. They are really horrific. Pictures
Who could read?
This is interesting. The first printed book was Guttenberg's
Bible. The second was The Atrocities of Dracula.
It was a bestseller... the world's first bestseller
and the first appearance in legend of the vampire.
What is the goal of a vampire? Is it to satiate hunger?
It is to make humans happy. We live in such sad flesh
that the attention of an immortal suffuses people
with wicked black light and pleasure.
It's almost like a Jesus figure.
Well, yeah. A vampire is a pagan Jesus.
What is sexy about vampires?
What was sexy about vampires is that they were seducers,
and they seduced their victims slowly. In Bram Stoker's
Dracula, he takes a long time with Lucy before
she dies and he tends to her and comes to her at night
and that is very sexy. Then came Anne Rice's vampires
who were one-bite vampires, you know, quickies. Instead
of one-night stands you have one-bite stands. I think
it was very much a product of the disco age and the
gay revolution. The metaphor of the vampire is spreading
blood, and the terror of it in Anne Rice has to do
Do you...uh...like those books?
No. I hate her.
You hate her but do you like the Chronicles?
Well, I'll tell you the truth now for the first time
ever. I like Interview with a Vampire. I like
that one because it comes from a real person tragedy.
Her daughter died at nine years old of leukemia and
Anne was trying to work out some kind of understanding
of leukemia through the metaphor of blood. And she
was very successful because that book is emotionally
packed. But her dirty books are terrible. I could
never come or jerk off reading Anne Rampling. I'm
always amazed. I think that women have a different
sexual mechanism if they actually get off reading
What is sexy about fear and why has All Hallow's Eve
become a celebration of fear?
People think sex is dirty and it's best done at night
and furtively and its eroticism is increased by the
amount of danger that is around.
Humans are attracted to danger.
The first reaction to a catastrophe or to tragedy
is to want to make love, it's instinct. Eros and Thanathos,
the God of death, are really linked at some deep primitive
level. I always get an erection at funerals. Funerals
are orgies for the survivors, you know. Not just Irish
wakes, every funeral and wake. They turn into lovefests
and fuckfests at some point.
What is scary to you, my dahling?
You. You are very scary. Beauty is scary. Rilke has
this wonderful poem that says "beauty is the beginning
of terror." "All angels are terrifying. Beauty
is but the beginning of terror."
What is delicious to you? Do you have a favorite vintage
of human lifeblood?
I love a person who is filled by their self-understanding
and their spirit. I like people who are filled by
their minds, by knowing...every inch of their skin
is filled by their consciousness. I don't like vacancy.
What is the scariest word of all time?
Luftgruppen SS. That really sends a chill through
this old Jew.
What about the sexiest word of all time?
[after squirming and squealing, abruptly changing
the subject]: Love scares me, but my desire for
fidelity scares me more. Why fidelity?
Fidelity is just an old peasant characteristic of
ownership. Peasants needed all the hands around the
house, so they couldn't stand them running around.
So we got passed genetically this defense-of-property
gene that manifests in possessiveness and jealousy
and it's translated "noblely" as fidelity. But it's
also, I think, a defense against the old men getting
all the young women. I think it was invented for that
What is the sexiest song of all time?
"She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain When She Comes."
Sexiest experience of all time?
I hate to choose, but I'll tell you a strange one.
I went to a demonstration against the war in Vietnam
and the cops attacked the crowds and I found myself
running with this woman, hand in hand, and we were
getting incredibly turned on as we were being chased
and about to be killed. So we found the first place
we could to make out, and we didn't know each others'
names. There were some steps going up and soon we
were fucking at the top of these steps in the city
of New York with this pure raw animal passion. And
then we came off the stairs and put ourselves back
together and then looked up to see that it was the
Planned Parenthood building.
Many more sexy stories followed-- sex in the brambles
by the Coit Tower in San Francisco ("a stranger and
I conceived an instant passion"), in doorways near
the Strand in New York ("I would steal my own poetry
after its first publication and wait outside to give
it to beautiful women"), and on and on and on. Andrei
is the sexiest. And inspires me to drink more human
blood. I can never thank