A conversation with Mark Borchardt

 

    Chris Lambert spoke with Mark Borchardt about putting butter on the burger, why materials can be used, maintaining individuality versus community and why he can write anywhere.

    I write anywhere, from a street festival to a coffee shop. Wherever I happen to be, I’ve always got a notebook and so forth.


    Chris asked Mark to give his brief opinion of some of these Wisconsin things.

    The Packers


    I’ve been watching them for my entire life. They’re my team.

    Butter Burgers


    They’re good. They put butter on the burger, and it just gives it a little bit more of a richness.

    Bonfires


    Uh, they’re something that people do. I don’t know. I mean, people stand around a fire.

    Bon Iver


    Very cool guy. A very talented guy.

    Making a Murderer


    I don’t have TV or the Internet, so I have no clue about what that is or anything.

    1

    Chris Lambert

    Tell me something new you just learned this week.

    Mark Borchardt

    That’s interesting, because I learn a lot each and every day, and then when the question is put forth, it’s just, like, you draw that blank. But, believe you me, I make it a habit to learn every day. I know that’s one of the most blatant non-answers ever given.

    2

    What’s the most recent place you traveled to, and what did you do there?

    New York City. I just got a lot of writing in. A lot of writing and a lot of restaurants, man.

    3

    What is your relationship with the snow? Is it something you dread or something you look forward to?

    I enjoy all four seasons now. I like winter as much as I like summer.

    4

    What is your process for the things you write these days? Do you sit down in a specific place for a certain period of time every day, or do you wait for inspiration to strike you?

    Waiting for inspiration is cool, man. It’s a great thing, because that’s, like, the most robust apex of an idea presented, but then you have to employ the craft of stick-to-itiveness to make sure that the idea completes its narrative arc. I write anywhere, from a street festival to a coffee shop. Wherever I happen to be, I’ve always got a notebook and so forth. I don’t like to sit in one particular place to write. I’m doing it throughout the day. It goes with me.

    That friction between the mass and the singular vision of one’s idiosyncratic self is thematic throughout most of my work.

    5

    Can you tell me three items in your current house that have been with you in every place you’ve ever lived?

    My clothes, my books and my records. I hold onto all of my stuff. Materials can be used, man.

    6

    At this point in your life, do you think it’s more likely that we are here on purpose or that we’re here on accident?

    I don’t know. We have no clue. I don’t waste too much time thinking about the abstract, because then, all of a sudden, what is tangible will get swept out from underneath your feet.

    7

    Can you tell me about the last character you wrote that you strongly related to?

    I have to have some meaningful conduit to each and every one. I mean, these are people that are emerging and maintaining their individualities against the collective. It’s thematic throughout most of my work — that friction between the mass and the singular vision of one’s idiosyncratic self.

    8

    What’s the last book, movie or song that changed your life in a small way?

    Marina Abramovic’s Walk Through Walls. What it does is it gives you another life that has been lived fully to contemplate, in the way that that life was being lived, and the richness that was being absorbed and put out in her work.

    It’s like nourishment for my mind and spirit to really make the most of each day, and to remind you that there is a large world out there to be reckoned with, as well as that large world within oneself to also admire and challenge on a daily basis.

    I stick to the essentials. So, I don’t have those yearnings. My life is moving along as it should.

    9

    What’s something you haven’t accomplished yet that you’d still like to do in your lifetime?

    The simple fact is that to think about something that is always out of reach — having this unfulfilled life — can work for some people, but doesn’t work for others. For me, it’s this fantasy factor that’s actually ultimately immaterial, and at the end of the road, you’ll look back and say, “Man, why didn’t I just stick to the basics?” So that’s what I do: stick to the essentials. So, I don’t have those yearnings. My life is moving along as it should.

    10

    When it comes to the political climate today, do you have any advice or words of wisdom that you can share about how you’re getting along?

    I live my life in honor of being alive, being very fortunate, and being very blessed. That’s all I respect, think about and observe.

    Thank you.

    Data


    Conversation: 221
    Curated by: Chris Lambert
    Conducted by: phone
    Edited by: Morgan Enos
    Published: August 9, 2018
    Total questions: 10
    Word count: 763
    Reading time: Two minutes
    Hyperlinks: 1

    Metadata


    Admiration: ∞
    Fantasy: Null
    Presentation: ∞
    Tangibility: ∞
    Internet: Null
    Honor: ∞

    Relation


    About the subject


    Mark Borchardt is a playwright from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

    About the curator


    Chris Lambert is a singer-songwriter and recording engineer from Orcutt, CA. Since 2016, he has hosted a weekly podcast called Are We Okay? where he has conversations about creativity, positivity, and the meaning of life with a new artist every Tuesday.

     


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