Monday, September 13, 2010

The result of the yearlong interview project with Geof Huth was a document of over 600 pages . We solidified our friendship over the course of that series of exchanges, but we also created--I think--something emblematic of the impasse poetry finds itself in, perhaps it's an eternal dilemma, I don't know.

Geof's style of thought is expansive. He can, at his worst, be gaseous; but he is also a great (and I mean Great!)synthesizer and extender of ideas. There is genius in him. He can take in anything and spit something out and improvise and make, make, make.

I, on the other hand, tend to contract, reduce and intensify. Often, like my mother painting a perfect portrait, I will adjust and readjust in a quest for something exact and wind up with something muddy.

There is no right way to do art. There are the ways that we find we have to do it. And it is, no mistake, hard work across the space of a lifetime. I respect anyone who embarks on the journey and stays the course.

The other day when I took McCrary and Lopez to task for denying the Utopian possibilities of poetry, I shouldn't have ended the post by saying "Suck it up. Do better work." I should have said "Dream harder."


  1. Your post makes me think of presence, as you establish yours (and others') so vividly here, Tom. Your sharing with Geof, for instance, brings the two of you to life, individually and involved in mutual exploration. This includes even small quips and notions, in addition to the vast array of ideas that transcend even the syllables in their marvelous weave of being. Thank you!

  2. Never've been called gaseous before, but my children can tell you that I certainly am, especially after a good meal of feijoada.


  3. I note that by contracting you write booklength poems and by expanding Geof writes one-word ones ...

  4. JB-R,

    That is only one of the paradoxes a comparison of our work reveals.