I’m very aware of the presence of a reader, and that probably is a reaction against a lot of poems that I do read which seem oblivious to my presence as a reader.
I try to write very fast. I don’t revise very much. I write the poem in one sitting. Just let it rip. It’s usually over in twenty to forty minutes. I’ll go back and tinker with a word or two, change a line for some metrical reason weeks later, but I try to get the whole thing just done.
Often people, when they’re confronted with a poem, it’s like someone who keep saying ‘what is the meaning of this? What is the meaning of this?’ And that dulls us to the other pleasures poetry offers.
I know my voice has a limited range of motion; I don’t write dramatic monologues and pretend to be other people. But so far, my voice is broad enough to accommodate most of what I want to put into my poetry. I like my persona; I often wish I were him and not me.
The poets who have written the best poems about war seem to be the poets whose countries have experienced an invasion or vicious dictatorships.
I don’t think anybody reads a book of poetry front to back. Editors and reviewers only. I don’t think anybody else does.
Very few people have actually read Freud, but everyone seems prepared to talk about him in that Woody Allen way. To read Freud is not as much fun.
The public is probably more suspicious of poets than women, and maybe for good reason.
I’m a great believer in poetry out of the classroom, in public places, on subways, trains, on cocktail napkins. I’d rather have my poems on the subway than around the seminar table at an MFA program.
I’m trying to write poems that involve beginning at a known place, and ending up at a slightly different place. I’m trying to take a little journey from one place to another, and it’s usually from a realistic place, to a place in the imagination.