Actually, I think my view is compatible with much of the work going on now in neuroscience and psychology, where people are studying the relationship of consciousness to neural and cognitive processes without really trying to reduce it to those processes.
I overheard things in the Woolworths when I was a child, people saying, ‘Oh, poor, little thing,’ as if they had some understanding that I was being born biracial into a world that was still very difficult for interracial marriages and biracial children.
I think I felt at some point that I couldn’t understand poetry or that it was beyond me or it didn’t speak to my experience. I think that was because I hadn’t yet found the right poems to invite me in.
I love mystery novels… I love seeing the dramas played out in academic departments, particularly English departments. I started reading these when I was going up for tenure.
I think that it’s hard enough being an adolescent and wanting so much to fit in with your peers, your schoolmates, and to erase any sign of difference, to be part of the group. And being biracial but also being black in a predominately white school marked me as different.
I have a really dark, rich, thick sense of humor.
Dismissals of poetry are nothing new. It’s easy to dismiss poetry if one has not read much of it.
Just because you have a piece of trash and you throw it away and it gets hauled away, it doesn’t mean that it’s not affecting someone else.
From the catbird seat, I’ve found poetry to be the necessary utterance it has always been in America.
Passive violence can be as simple as someone honking their horn at you for not turning fast enough when the light changes. And it can be highly complex, like when your co-worker undermines all of your work relationships by spreading rumors and lies about you. That’s how passive violence rolls.