Norbert Gora is talented poet and writer that demonstrated that you can polish a turd! Don’t believe me? Check out his poem The Vast Sea of Shit in Deadman’s Tome Shit Fest. The poem provides layers upon layers of social commentary from a cynical perspective. As with all of the stories in the Shit Fest, The Vast Sea of Shit blends disgust and horror with an element of humor.
Mr. Deadman: Let’s start with why Shit Fest?
Norbert Gora: It’s because my interest in bizarro and extreme horror fiction. This kind of literature pushes the edge, but in my poem I tried to draw the attention of readers to another type of shit – contemporary media and idiotic behavior of people.
Mr. Deadman: You have a point about bizarro and extreme horror, nothing quite pushes the limits in terms of graphic content. However, what do you say to those that dismiss that graphic content as a gimmick?
Norbert Gora: As a gimmick? I’ve never heard of such readers. I’d rather expect people who dismiss these subgenres because of bestiality, stupidity and manifestation of the total fall of literature. What could I tell them? Your choice, but you won’t stop the development of this literature. The 21st century is the apogee of cruelty and idiocy.
Mr. Deadman: Some dismiss the extreme content as unnecessary, but I agree that there are times when the graphic imagery is needed to tell a story. Take your poem, for example, a quick glimpse into the cruelty of humanity. I think the poem wouldn’t be as effective if it were “tame”.
Tell me, what was the inspiration, the motivation, for your poem?
Norbert Gora: I wrote this poem more than a year ago for a special call for submissions. It was supposed to be an anthology of the heaviest stuff between horror and bizarro. The editor inspired us with a short note: “Make your work disgust my life”. I have been improving it for so long that the deadline has finally passed. In fact, the motivation to writing this poem was very weird. I was very helpless then and I had to “restart” myself somehow. A poem about the shit was an ideal reboot.
Mr. Deadman: Wow, I didn’t expect a submission call for shit to be so… therapeutic? The poem reflects a brutal reality, but tell me about its depth? Was this based on a real event? Personal experience?
Norbert Gora: It based more on the observation of modern civilization, influenced by media. What do we have on TV, whether American or Polish? Is this something meaningful or just a total crap? Comedies in which the characters alternately shit and have sex, programs in which people admire a guy devouring two kilograms of beef on time. It looks like society is some kind of a huge loo, hah! That’s why I wrote this poem – to describe the darker part of humanity.
Mr. Deadman: Well, the poem certainly reflects the darker side of humanity. This line comes to mind. It grabbed my attention and worked well to frame the rest.
oh God, tell me why did you do it
clogged toilet with a monstrous poop
Not to get religious on you, and you’re free to go as deep as you feel comfortable with, but do you think God clogged the toilet that is humanity with a monstrous poop?
Norbert Gora: The hardest question, hah!
Well, according to religious teachings, God created us. He is also our “guardian”. After difficult, stressful experiences, most of us ask “God, why did you do that?”.
In this line, God nothing to do with it. I just wonder why He had to show me this toilet(knowing that He is our “guardian”). There are two answers:
1. If the toilet is a symbol of the world and God created us, we – as a humanity – poop on it. We don’t really care about the world.
2. It’s also a surreal, dingy allusion to people, which is connected with the first answer. We act like a sloven. In many cases, life comes down to consumption and excretion. This toilet is the final stage of “life”.
Mr. Deadman: Oh, that phrase is used a lot: God, why did you do that? I like your answers because I can see one would gravitate towards them. It’s true that as a species we are not afraid to exploit others and the environment for money and power. It’s also true that consumption and excretion is a fact of life. I can’t think of a single organism that doesn’t consume and excrete. While every organism follows this pattern, humans do it on a much larger scale. We may sound like a couple of hippies right now, but it’s true. People equals shit.
How do you feel that many will fear going number two after reading this disgusting book?
Norbert Gora: Then I will think that this was the point that we wanted to achieve.
Mr. Deadman: Hahaha, it really is. I couldn’t use a toilet without fear that a demon would bite my ass after watching Ghoulies II, and know I want others to feel the same!
What other projects do you have lined up?
Norbert Gora: I’m the author of more than 100 poems published in numerous anthologies around the world(most of them are horror&dark anthologies).
Mr. Deadman: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Norbert Gora: I like… reading 😀 I assume you didn’t expect it
Mr. Deadman: How did you find Deadman’s Tome?
Norbert Gora: I found a call for submissions for Deadman’s Tome on Horror Tree. Then I looked at your website. It was very interesting, so I decided to send my submission.