Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Where did/does poetry begin for you?"  It's a question I've often used to start an interview.   It is  an evocative and open-ended question that I truly value.  I'm sure some folks feel otherwise: that it is too broad.

As an interviewer, I prefer to give respondents a range of things to work with.  I'm most interested in the larger frame, the big picture.  Except when I'm not.  I am capable of mixing things up--in both a positive and negative sense.  But I'm always looking for connections.

When I interviewed Ron Silliman for The Difficulties, we spent a lot of time with micro-aspects of his poetics.  He complemented me, after the fact of the issue, by writing that I interviewed him "like a poet."

For better or worse, I am a poet.

I am not really attached to any coterie.  No coterie really would want to have me.  I've never truly been at ease anywhere.

Writing is where the possibility of something better begins.  The only glimpses of something like utopia, something like unalienated labor, something like paradise have all come from writing or some form of art.

I think, as humans, most of all we need a sense of possibility.  That is what I find in poetry.  Even as I fail in its practice, over and over again.

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