Dennis Cruz Interview

Abigail St. Clair Thomas interviews writer Dennis Cruz about his new book Moth Wing Tea


How do you see fear? How is it reflected in your writing?
My uncle’s hand over my mouth to keep me from screaming. Dead animals in the street. My wife, crying, looking at me as if I were someone else. It IS my writing.


What is the strongest memory you have associated with writing this book?
Weeping in a dark room, typing. Staring stupefied at a flickering candle, as I mumbled apologies to my dead mother in spanish.


What piece are you most proud of? Why?
“Seize the…” because it gives me hope.


How do you let go?
With my heart wide open.


What are the differences between you and your narrator, if any? (If there are multiple narrators, give an example of one.)
I have several. There is the adversary, which is always admonishing and disapproving of everything I do and who I’ve become. There is the instigator, who whispers in my ear, trying to seduce me into conflict and self-destruction. There’s the paranoid, who’s always running and hiding and cowering in some corner. And then there’s me. The difference between us and them is tricky, because in a way, they’re all different facets of myself. It’s comforting for me to separate them and give them their own voice. Give them free reign for a bit and then reel them back in, tuck them away.


If two personalities from your book spent the day together where would they go and what would they do? Would you want to join them?
They would probably score some drugs, pick up some liquor, and spend the night getting high in some seedy motel. At some point, they would fuck. There was a time when I would have loved to join them, but now…. I still might.


Describe the most vivid hallucination you’ve had.
The flapping of wings in my hotel room. My girlfriend saw and heard them too. what does THAT mean?


What’s it like to hold your book? What’s it like when you see others holding your book?
I keep waiting for someone to take it back and tell me it was all a terrible mistake. I get scared when other people hold it. I’ve only seen it a few times.


What was your last thought before you fell asleep?
Will I die before her?


How do you know when to stop?
When it hurts.



Launch party and reading for Moth Wing Tea will be held at THE LAST BOOKSTORE  in Downtown Los Angeles.
rsvp here