I love painting and music, of course. I don’t know nearly as much about them as I know about poetry. I’ve certainly been influenced by fiction. I was overwhelmed by War and Peace when I read it, and I didn’t read it until I was in my late 20s.
I was influenced by surrealist poetry and painting as were thousands of other people, and it seems to me to have become a part of the way I write, but it’s not.
Politics is there the way men and women are there, the way the Atlantic Ocean is there. Sometimes I’ve written about politics specifically, I mean about politics as it’s understood on television and in newspapers.
I wonder if I ever thought of an ideal reader… I guess when I was in my 20s and in New York and maybe even in my early 30s, I would write for my wife Janice… mainly for my poet friends and my wife, who was very smart about poetry.
I got married, other people went off. We had sort of another public-we were our entire readership for many years, and we were very excited by each other.
Maybe there are three or four really good poets in a generation.
The subject matter of the stories on the surface… there seem to be a number of stories about travel.
Once I start writing about something, it goes off rather fast, and sometimes details which might be interesting such as what the room looked like or what somebody said that was not exactly on the same subject tend to get lost.
I’ve had trouble with criticism, I guess. It’s hard to know what role criticism plays in either encouraging poets or in getting other people to read them.
I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. My family was not nationally known as being a literary family, though my mother and my mother’s side of the family in general were interested in literature.