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"I took a poetry class, and I'm terrible at it," he says. "I'm a terrible, terrible poet. I wouldn't dare submit song lyrics as poetry. I think song lyrics and poetry and short fiction are three very, very different things. I can kind of pull off short fiction if I have the time and attention span, and I can kind of pull off song lyrics. Poetry, I'm terrible at. I don't have a delicate enough hand.
"If there's crossover between the fiction and the lyrics, I wouldn't know, because I don't really pay attention to where my lyric ideas come from. I guess, in a sense, they are boiled-down stories, and I just pare things down to the bare-bones metaphors and things. I guess they could be seen as little narratives."
Animals and magic are recurring themes in his lyrics, as Krug likes to steep the world we live in with mythology to create some parallel universe. The narratives are vague, which many fans appreciate. But Krug struggles with the question of whether to continue writing such open-ended lyrics.
"I like to mask things in metaphor, but I don't really have the attention span to create one giant, perfect, seamless analogy for things," he says. "Like, I'm gonna write a song about this lady I like, but I'm going to make her a tiger. I don't have the attention span to hold onto that metaphor for a whole song. I don't know why. It'll last for two lines, then it'll drift off into something else."
Krug has not left behind fiction entirely, however. He still works on surrealist short fiction when he has the time, which is seldom. He generally doesn't write for an audience, though. He has submitted stories to some "small, free publications" but thinks he'd need another decade of work to write anything presentable. Rather, he looks at fiction writing as a way to keep up his chops.
He can't be a rock star forever, you know. Not at this prolific rate.
"I don't think I'll be singing these songs my whole life," he says. "I don't mind the idea of Plan B being writing—fiction writing or anything. I've always liked writin
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