Words outlive people, institutions, civilizations. Words spur images, associations, memories, inspirations and synapse pulsations. Words send off physical resonations of thought into the nethersphere. Words hurt, soothe, inspire, demean, demand, incite, pacify, teach, romance, pervert, unite, divide. Words be powerful.
‘Memory.’ ‘Race.’ ‘Murder.’ That’s what they say about me. I am an elegiac poet. I have some historical questions, and I’m grappling with ways to make sense of history; why it still haunts us in our most intimate relationships with each other, but also in our political decisions.
When I’m actually writing by hand, I get more of a sense of the rhythm of sentences, of syntax. The switch to the computer is when I actually start thinking about lines. That’s the workhorse part. At that point, I’m being more mathematical about putting the poem on the page and less intuitive about the rhythm of the syntax.
My mother and my father divorced during the time that my father was getting his Ph.D. at Tulane.
It is not enough just to get your forces from A to B – you have to keep them fed and watered as they go. The art of movement, therefore, is one of the most complex and vital that any commander must master if he is going to win.
When I was six or seven, we went to the nearest English primary school, St Weonards, about seven miles away. The teaching was good, and this was the start of my beginning to shine as a student.
My obsessions stay the same – historical memory and historical erasure. I am particularly interested in the Americas and how a history that is rooted in colonialism, the language and iconography of empire, disenfranchisement, the enslavement of peoples, and the way that people were sectioned off because of blood.
Even when I was studying mathematics, physics, and computer science, it always seemed that the problem of consciousness was about the most interesting problem out there for science to come to grips with.
My parents had to go to Ohio to get married in 1965 because it was still illegal in Mississippi. My white father and black mother.
Winter horseshoes are equipped with little spikes that give a horse traction on snow and ice and prevent it from slipping.