If Jordan were writing her own bio for this profile it would be filled with keen descriptions and sly jokes. It would lead you to see her story through intricately woven metaphors, crafted with a poet’s heart (though she won’t admit it) and explorer’s eyes. She sees ideas and allegories in details others pass off as the unimportant particulars of everyday life. As a result of experiencing her descriptions, one is left with a wonderful closeness to what she has spoken or written of. She would describe her abundant time as an amiable white sheet that she collects up into her arms, and then spreads out flat, making sure to smooth any creases or rises. Jordan writes about what you and I wish we could see. She is a fun enthusiast, supporter of anything friend-oriented, and owner of possibly the longest legs in San Diego. She illuminates the world around all of us with her exceptional gift of writing. It’s my great pleasure to present to you the ardent and auspicious, Jordan Karnes.
So you're a writer. How did this come to be? Where did it stem from?
It probably stemmed from all that good soil out in Bakersfield, agricultural hub that it is. I remember going to the grocery store when I was at school in Washington, and seeing all this produce from my friends' family farms--which is funny because I hardly grew up in the country or anything like that. Mostly it was just a bunch of contemporary cowboys in lifted trucks with stickers like COWBOY UP or Calvin pissing on just about anything, blasting mix CDs that would go from Toby Keith to Limp Bizkit, cruising downtown. Anyhow, there was something so odd about seeing those familiar names in a removed place. Grimm Carrots, Porter Potatoes, etc. It was almost like I was famous by association. I'm not sure if this really addresses the question, but I am fairly sure there's an answer in there, somewhere. I've been writing for as long as I can remember. My first polished story was about this reindeer with an inferiority complex who consequently saved Christmas (what a concept). I was seven, maybe. My mom and I bound and laminated it at her school, and I also memorized it for the Oral Language Festival. I did not win.
What do you want to write? Who do you want to write for?
Mostly, I want to get paid to write letters; I like writing to/about my friends. I feel most comfortable writing prose, usually personal narrative but also fiction. I really just wish I were a great poet. Or even a good one.
Three records you cant live without:
Bob Dylan: Self Portrait
Ramsey Lewis Trio: Hang On Ramsey (Live)
Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion
Customize your life for me. What does your job and free time look like?
Well, my job doesn't look like anything and my free time is abundant. For example, I just got laid off. The long arm the recession has finally scooped me up. Actually, it seems like a growing majority of my friends are now unemployed. Last night for example, three out of four pals at the table were without work. There are so many creative and talented young people without jobs right now: we are the face of unemployment. It's funny and it's staggering. I still keep a healthy schedule and am actually working on a lot of different projects, none of which involve compensation (one of which, however, does involve loquats). Clearly, I need an income.
Which character would you be, from any piece/work you’ve ever read?
Franny, from Franny and Zooey. I wouldn't say I want to be her, but I've always had an affinity with her character. Now more than ever. Also, she can smoke a mean cigarette. Just saying.
Which San Diego venues, creative outlets, sources are near and dear to your heart?
I'm a GGHSP (Greater Golden Hill South Park) girl, through & through. That said, my favorite locale is probably Cafe Fresca, preferably in hammock.
Who are some of your favorite people working creatively in SD right now, and what are they making/ doing/ a part of?
This is an impossible question. Too many. But there is this lady who cruises 25th sometimes; she'll either set up shop in front of Jaroco's or Los Reyes, selling these little paintings that she does on the back of business cards with nail polish and pens or whatever. She signs them as INCINDERS. I think her name might be Samantha? Anyhow, she's really nice and remembers my name (who doesn't love that?). She takes donations for the cards, which are pretty neat. Just these crazy drawings in a kaleidoscope of colors. I've got two on my fridge. I haven't seen her in months, now that I think about it. Free spirit, I guess.
Interview & photos by Wes Bruce