Dave K. lives in Baltimore. His work has been published in Front Porch Journal, Welter, Cobalt, Queen Mob’s Tea House, [PANK], X-R-A-Y, Barrelhouse, and on the LED billboard in Baltimore’s Station North Arts District. He is the author of stone a pig, MY NAME IS HATE, and The Bong-Ripping Brides of Count Drogado. His website is okaydavek.com.
Here’s Quick Temper with Dave K:
Why do you write?
It’s all I’m good at, really.
Who do you hope reads your work?
When I got into punk rock, it was because I was angry in a way that I had trouble articulating; I knew what I didn’t want, but not what I wanted. Punk rock (and later, heavy metal) helped me feel understood, in that it put a voice to what I was feeling that I couldn’t find before. Even when that voice wasn’t optimistic or uplifting, it helped me feel less alone and left room for spontaneity and chaos in its presentation. I hope readers in that headspace find my work, and I hope it’s as helpful to them as my inspirations are to me.
Similarly, my most recent book prompted a lot of unexpected and needed conversations about depression with male readers who live with it. There isn’t a lot of cultural space for men to acknowledge, much less talk about, how we face the darker parts of ourselves. Not with any kind of honesty, anyway. I hope that my work continues resonating with male readers in that way, and I’m deeply humbled that it has already, regardless of the scale.
Where does the anger in your work come from? How does it manifest?
It comes from living with anxiety and major depression, and lately from dealing with chronic pain as well. Feeling like my brain and body have conspired to make sure I never feel comfortable produces a lot of anger. Being a working adult during and after the 2008 financial crash has been pretty maddening too, and those problems cast even longer shadows under the insufferably dumb and immiserating Trump presidency. Creative work channels a lot of this energy, but I go through periods of listless “fuck everything” nihilism more often than I’d like.
Angry book recommendations for angry readers?
Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived In the Castle just seethes – it’s great angry reading. So are We Take Me Apart and Desire: A Haunting, both by Molly Gaudry. I would also recommend Hunter S. Thompson’s collected correspondence – his frustrations with getting paid late (and too little) for his work are sadly relatable, and his cranky letters to KREX-TV about their programming choices are hilarious.