Tuesday 16 May 2023

Micro-interview with Goran Lowie

We welcome Goran Lowie, author of “All I Ever Wanted to Be” in The Future Fire #65.

TFF: What does “All I Ever Wanted to Be” mean to you?

Goran Lowie: It ended up expressing a few different things that were floating around in my head. It started with escape—a vivid image in my mind of some disillusioned adult who reminisces about being a child, looking at the sea, and longing to be a mermaid. This childish (in a good way) sense of wonder also comes back in other ways (turkey vultures) and is one of the key things I wanted express. However, the harsh reality of such a life was an inevitable inclusion—that disillusionment even becoming a part of this childhood dream, realizing the current world would probably not be a very good place for mermaids to live in. In a sense, it’s a poem I wrote to try and escape reality, but I ended up being unable to avoid it. It’s a darker piece than I intended.

There’s some gender stuff in there, too. While I have never doubted my gender enough to identify as anything but my gender assigned at birth, it has been on my mind sometimes. I don’t feel remotely female at all, but imagining myself as a mermaid is still fun. That’s what I love so much about speculative fiction—it allows you to see the world in other ways, yes, but it also allows you to see yourself in different ways.

TFF: Do you remember the first time you saw the sea? What is the most terrifying thing about it?

GL: As a child, I was deathly afraid of the sea, or any body of water, period. It took me an absurdly above-average time to learn how to swim and I’m still not great at it. I remember when we learned to dive in the kiddy pool and I was always lambasted because I immediately turned around mid-jump in an attempt to grab the walls in desperation. I mostly got over this fear in pools, but it remains in parts.

I have one “core memory” of me, at a very young age, being in the big pool with my much older sister when I slipped from the little floaty thing and went to the bottom. My sister saved me, probably saving my life. I have no idea if this even happened as it did in my memory. I was never able to ask her about it as an adult—she passed away a few years ago at a very young age. She came to mind while writing this poem, too. In a way, it also brings me to that disillusionment: a joyful life (full of joie de vivre) abruptly ended. The ocean, and by extension the world, is no place for a little girl.

TFF: What are you working on next?

GL: I am always working on many different things at once. My poems are often one-and-done. I have a few poems as a work in progress, but usually I just write them as they come to me. I still have some immense Stockholm syndrome with all of my poems getting accepted by magazines, but I’m starting to believe this is something I might be continuing, when the mind-numbing stress and exhaustion from work allows me to. I’m working on more poems, and even have a little idea in mind of themed poems which could potentially become a chapbook, given enough time and poems.

I’ve also recently started a Speculative Poetry Roundup, spotlighting some of my favorite speculative poems being published right now. I have always been a voracious reader, much more so than a creator, and a world opened for me when I discovered speculative poetry. There is so much of it getting published, such great quality and quantity, but it goes unread. I’m hoping to continue this roundup in the future and continue to bring attention to these amazing poems.


I burst into tears
reminded of when all
I ever wanted to be
was a mermaid
among octopi

Reminder: You can comment on any of the writing or art in this issue at

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