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.
The more violent the body contact of the sports you watch, the lower the class.
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.