This next Proust Questionnaire is a bit of a teaser, since Rob Taylor’s Hummingbird Prize-winning story “Here I Lay Down my Heart” will not be published until Issue 5. We’re sorry to leave you in anticipation, but believe us, it’s worth the wait!
- What is your idea of perfect happiness? The past.
- What is your greatest fear? “He pulled Mima tight and brought in only air. He reached and reached.”
- What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? “My child, he wanted to say, but the word wouldn’t come.”
- What is the trait you most deplore in others? Cruelty.
- On what occasion do you lie? Whenever necessary. Too often.
- What do you most dislike about your appearance? How little I can change it.
- Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “Bo’ee elay.”
- When and where were you happiest? “Those few weeks when Mima had gone to preschool and life had felt normal and the word normal had plumped with meaning.”
- Which talent would you most like to have? Invisibility.
- What do you consider your greatest achievement? Getting here.
- What is your most treasured possession? My dove.
- What is your most marked characteristic? Fear.
- Who are your favourite writers? Italo Calvino. Yehuda Amichai. Michael Chabon. Ernest Hemingway. Ngugi wa Thiong’o.
- What is your greatest regret? Oh to choose only one!
- How would you like to die? How matters less than that it is a long time from now.
- What is your motto? “Samaki, kuku, mbuzi!”
- What is something we’d never glean about you from Here I Lay Down My Heart? Almost everything.
Rob Taylor’s first book of poetry, The Other Side of Ourselves, won the 2010 Alfred G. Bailey Prize. He has also published four chapbooks of poems: splattered earth (2006), Child of Saturday (2008), Lyric (2010)and Smoothing the Holy Surfaces (2012).
“Here I Lay down my Heart was the first place winner in our inaugural Hummingbird Prize for Flash Fiction, and the story will appear in Pulp Literature Issue 5, Winter 2015. You can purchase a copy or subscribe on our Kickstarter page: