If you write a letter of resignation or something with an agenda, you’re simply using a pen to record what you have thought out. In a poem, the pen is more like a flashlight, a Geiger counter, or one of those metal detectors that people walk around beaches with.
The obituaries shot up to the top of my list when I discovered Robert McG. Thomas, the ‘Times’ obit writer who redesigned its traditional form and added a measure of stylistic elegance.
I have a stack of those plastic card hotel room keys that I picked up on this latest book tour. It’s about a yard tall. Ah yes, a stack of lonely nights.
One of the ridiculous aspects of being a poet is the huge gulf between how seriously we take ourselves and how generally we are ignored by everybody else.
I did try to write stories in college because I was interested in writing, and I was interested in the sound of language, but I was just no good at narrative and at fiction.
Besides the aesthetics, besides teaching an appreciation of T.S. Eliot, a basic need is fulfilled when you teach English at CUNY.
I’m an only child, and I can take all the attention you manage to pile on me.
A lot of my poems either have historical sequences or other kinds of chronological grids where I’m locating myself in time. I like to feel oriented, and I like to orient the reader at the beginning of a poem.
I think more influential than Emily Dickinson or Coleridge or Wordsworth on my imagination were Warner Brothers, Merrie Melodies, and Loony Tunes cartoons.