Monday, 13 July 2009

The View From the Shoe: Penny Goring

This week, I’ve been talking to writer Penny Goring. I met Penny through The Man Who Painted Agnieszka’s Shoes, and since then we’ve been bumping into each other on various writing sites, as well as in the twitterverse. Her writing is both brilliant and utterly unlike anything else. She also took me at my word when I said if the questions weren’t the ones she wanted to be asked, she could answer the questions of her choice, without specifying what they are.

In her own words:
I make odd machines called stories.
twitter: @triplecherry

And without further ado:

Thank you so much for your time. So, Louboutin or Converse?
Styrofoam cup with a dog-end in it.

Why is there no one in the world who does it quite like you?
Cinema usherette, deep-sea diver - I'm interested in how we think. Sniffed glue on trains after the police raided No.4, fifty black eyes, one cauliflower ear, dodgy photographs of pieces of her: her first love, her last drink, her ambition, her ear lobe, her shame. Bag lady, suit of flesh, prison issue bra. Her Dad a sex and love addict, her mum a sacrifice.

What do you really, really love about it?
Stealing moments in the correction cell, what I love is what escapes me. She patrols the swamps by night, her saving grace in the room with tiled floor and custard-coloured walls. You moved to Upper Street so we hung out in Highbury Cemetery. I've still got the round satin cushion with pom-poms sprouting from it's plump centre. Waifs and strays, London slums, malevolent, copulating insects with teeth.

A bit more time in the day, or a bit more money in the bank?
On my way home from the underbelly I saw faulty-six blue things, four legs and a fantasy. This was after thirteen years of rejecting a world which anaesthetises minds to optimise profitability. I hit rock bottom, a washed up tantalus in the crab position courting a storm-tossing merman, supine with multi-dick, paddling in the overflow of an ultrascan.

Imagine you “make it”. You wake up, and imagine the day ahead. Tell us about breakfast.
Invalid Dessert No.1
Liver Souffle

Half cup stale breadcrumbs
1 egg yolk
2oz sieved raw liver
1 tbspn cream

Mix crumbs with liver in basin. Stir in a few drops of lemon juice.
Beat in egg white, place in buttered mould.
Cover with buttered paper.
Steam for 20 mins.
Serve with sauce if allowed.

This recipe is for one person.

What’s your Jimmy Choo? And what’s just cobblers?
Wish box, witch box, addict box, lunch box, shoe box, black box, the history of orgies, stacked. Things that are difficult to grasp and easy to imagine. Sky is always a fiction.
Tell us about the last time a fan made you feel 100 feet tall.
God's gilded bollock's and the best snog ever. All those out-moded words looming like the block of flats he fell from, sporting red devil headgear. Death too big and too stupid to argue with. Armies of soft toys, mountains of dogs, barrage balloons floating with ducks in the shape of swan songs.

Independent and poor, or under contract and rich?
Crowding the edge of vision, framed by symbols - tiny block-capitals on thin paper, squashed in desperation, frantic, insistent, alone in a cloud of smoke. Fishing for an alter ego, mind boggling with the amazing glut. Is it true I don't feel anymore? Role-play aspect important, but I'm still a woman on her knees.

Do you remember that bit on Play Away where Brian Cant stood behind people and did the actions whilst they spoke? If you could choose anyone to stand behind you and do the actions to your sales pitch, who would it be and why?
I don't have a sales pitch. For my sins, I would have the monolith from 2001 behind me, Enid Blyton and Joseph Beuys either side of me and the ghosts of my friends and lovers right up front, because there's no safety in words.

Frocks or socks?
Evasive adopted evacuee shivering at the zebra-crossing.

Thank you SOOO much


  1. Hi Dan - just thought I would pop by to say thank you for the comments on my own blog. I think I will give that recipe for liver souffle a miss though ...

  2. Thank you, June. Yes, I love souffle, but...

  3. Wow. Penny is simply a genius! Move over James Joyce, Dylan Thomas and other artists of the word picture.

    Thanks for featuring her Dan - it's one of the most arresting interviews I've seen. Whoever signs Penny has a big success on their hands.


  4. I didn't see your comment until now, Larry. I am grateful for your support. Thankyou.


  5. She rocks the word does my skin and blister.

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