Jimmy Chen is the author of TYPEWRITER (Magic Helicopter Press), and maintains a blog and archive of his writing at the EMBASSY OF MISGUIDED ZEN. He is a full-time administrator at a large unnamed institution.



SP: what is the perfect breakfast?

JC: This is easy: corned beef hash, with home fries, two eggs over-easy with English muffin and coffee, on the corner of second avenue and Clement street in San Francisco at a place called 'Eats,' where I use to live and before I found out I had high cholesterol. Damn, that was an easy question.

SP: you just left a message on your own answering machine. what is it?

JC: "Why did you do this?"

SP: give us your thoughts on TYPEWRITER. you have to use the phrase "gnarly shit."

JC: There are 75 copies being made of TYPEWRITER. I am slightly nervous for two reasons: 1) that only 11 will sell and Mike Young will have to, indignantly, carry around 64 copies with him throughout Massachusetts. In or around Boston, the concept "Jimmy Chen" will gain a reputation as "some asian from the west coast who slept with 'Mike Young,' that gnarly shit who carries a shoe-box around with his lover's unsold chaps." 2) that I will never be mailed a contributor's copy and will always wonder how it turned out.

SP: what is your favorite online journal and why?

JC: Eyeshot because it's hosted so many great stories for so many years, and because it has a distinct editorial vision without being too attached or self-aware of its style, like the stories and writers are fairly diverse. Many journals fall into one of two traps: 1) they publish the same kind of story, or 2) their discretion seems erratic and/or ambiguous in the stories they publish, with no ethos. Eyeshot has a clear ethos and an open mind. Lee Klein is a well-read mutha-brutha, and I get the feeling he really cares about the stories more than the journal itself.

SP: describe a torture scene you would like to perpetrate on your least favorite writer.

JC: Ayn Rand is forced to stay in the kitchen while she prepares lobster for me and Ben Marcus, who are at a vacation home in Cape Cod outside overlooking the water with our respective snifters of 16 yr. Lagavulin. We compare head-shaving kits and read each other new pieces we just wrote. Ayn Rand, realizing capitalism failed (Atlas Shrugged, $1 dollar bin, Bargain Books) watches us through the window with 'rational self-interested' fury. A lobster escapes and clamps her old pulse-deprived toe, saying "welcome to crustacean nation bitch." She falls and breaks her hip.

SP: write a six line biography of a man who lives in your pocket.

JC: Nippleon Bloom lives in the shirt-pocket of an 'online writer' named James 'Joyce' Chen. Nippleon can smell duotrope from four feet away. James 'Joyce' Chen's heartbeat is equestrian in a 'beating a dead horse' a la submissions kind of way. Nippleon rubs against James' nipple three times a day, the fabric of love. They are the author of USELESSES and A PORTRAIT OF THE PSYCHIATRIST AS A JUNG MAN. They live in Denial, California.

SP: what is the most recent book you read that made you peek out your bedroom window like you didn't know what you were looking at anymore.

JC: SPECIES OF SPACES AND OTHER PIECES by Georges Perec—though that was a while ago, but books rarely make me feel that way. I like books that make me look out the window and go, "Yup, the world does suck. Good thing we have fiction that aims to render it less unbearable."

SP: give us the projected reactions your mother would have to read TYPEWRITER.

JC: That's phrased funny, but I think I know what you mean: my mom would not like TYPEWRITER because of the sexual explicitness and overall negative, albeit empathetic, attitude towards humanity. She likes her fiction the way she likes her movies: involving the middle-aged amorous exploits of men played by Richard Gere.

SP: what are your thoughts on MAGIC HELICOPTER PRESS and small presses in general.

JC: I honestly don't know why people start presses, and I say that with utmost respect. It costs immense time, a good chunk of money, and none of the narcissistic 'glamour' that writers experience with their name attached to something. It's like volunteering. I can only assume these people love literature, one small beautiful unsung poke at a time. I feel this way towards MAGIC HELICOPTER PRESS and all small presses.