I can’t understand people who give up and commit suicide. If I have a bad day, I figure tomorrow will be better. And even if it isn’t, at least it isn’t any worse.
I was tired. I peaked. I left when I was on top. One year, I did 280 concerts.
We have to embrace the good over the bad. That has to be one’s personal project.
The gifts that one receives for giving are so immeasurable that it is almost an injustice to accept them.
Poetry helps me understand who I am. It helps me understand the world around me. But above all, what poetry has taught me is the fact that I need to embrace mystery in order to be completely human.
I felt that some of my work was OK. If I could do it over, I’d do better.
I define poetry as celebration and confrontation. When we witness something, are we responsible for what we witness? That’s an on-going existential question. Perhaps we are and perhaps there’s a kind of daring, a kind of necessary energetic questioning. Because often I say it’s not what we know, it’s what we can risk discovering.
I’m uncomfortable with the focus on the poet and not on the poem.
Vietnam helped me to look at the horror and terror in the hearts of people and realize how we can’t aim guns and set booby traps for people we have never spoken a word to. That kind of impersonal violence mystifies me.
I originally wanted to embrace the imagery and forthrightness of rap music. There are some interesting, dynamic voices in rap. But I find most of it irresponsible in its overt violence and commercialization of anger. As artists, we believe we can will action through language. If that’s the case, we have to take responsibility for what we say.