I think what gets a poem going is an initiating line. Sometimes a first line will occur, and it goes nowhere; but other times – and this, I think, is a sense you develop – I can tell that the line wants to continue.
I don’t think I’ve ever written a poem whose intention was just to be funny. I’ve written poems that start out funny and often shift into something more serious.
My persona is less miserable than a lot of contemporary poetry speakers are.
When I write, I’m not trying to be funny. It’s the way I look at the world.
Discovering Samuel Beckett in college was a big deal for me. I realized you could be very funny and very dark at the same time.
Humor, for me, is really a gate of departure. It’s a way of enticing a reader into a poem so that less funny things can take place later. It really is not an end in itself, but a means to an end.
I’m going through life’s cycles at an alarmingly fast pace, but my persona has a Peter Pan quality: he doesn’t age.
I find that my reading, particularly nonfiction, can inspire a poem as well as anything else.
When you put a poem on a Kindle, the lines are broken in order to fit on the screen. And so instead of being the poet’s decision, it becomes the device’s decision.
I am increasingly attracted to restricting possibility in the poem by inflicting a form upon yourself. Once you impose some formal pattern on yourself, then the poem is pushing back. I think good poems are often the result of that kind of wrestling with the form.