Alan Satow

Satow is a Sacramento poet and troublemaker who just ain’t right in the head.

Why are you a poet?

Because it’s the last true art. Everybody else sold out.

I’ve heard you read gothic and scary poems.

Yeah, because a lot of people throw garbage if you read romantic stuff.

I consider you a mischievous troublemaker.

A sprite?

Yeah, a sprite. How does that work?

Just having fun.

What were you like as a kid?

Mean and studious. Did you ever see Japanese photos of all the kids in school? They’re all frowning. You never see anybody smiling. They’re all math wizards or they’re in spelling bees—they’re all neurotic.

So you’re a Japanese guy?


How’s that working for you?


I know you’ve pissed off a lot of people. Tell me about that.

A lot of people don’t understand poetry. And I like to have fun.

What is the best thing about poetry?

If [people] don’t like you, they throw rocks. Today it’s beer bottles.

What’s the worst thing about poetry?

Listening to bucket heads.

What’s that?

People who have no idea what they’re doing with poetry.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I yelled at Governor Clinton.


There was a broken arrow in Arkansas, and we were trying to get him out of the area.


You’ll find out in a year’s time and you’ll say, “That’s Alan over there, what the hell is he doing?”

Did he yell back?

No, I just yelled at him and his ugly wife Hillary. That’s when she wasn’t good-looking.

She got prettier as she got older?


Have you ever played the game Fuck, Marry, Kill?


No, I haven’t either.