If dysfunction means that a family doesn’t work, then every family ambles into some arena in which that happens, where relationships get strained or even break down entirely. We fail each other or disappoint each other. That goes for parents, siblings, kids, marriage partners – the whole enchilada.
The emotional stakes a memoirist bets with could not be higher, and it’s physically enervating. I nap on a daily basis like a cross-country trucker.
I think being tortured as a virtue is a kind of antiquated sense of what it is to be an artist. It comes out of that Symbolist idea, back to Rimbaud and all that disordering of the senses and all of that being some exalted state. When I’ve been that way, I’ve always been less exalted than I would have liked.
I don’t have a copy of my books, and the degree to which I never read them is profound. I never look.
I’m always astonished by the confidence my readers put in me.
I was 40 years old before I became an overnight success, and I’d been publishing for 20 years.
Poetry is for me Eucharistic. You take someone else’s suffering into your body, their passion comes into your body, and in doing that you commune, you take communion, you make a community with others.
Nobody sounds good writing about your divorce, let’s face it.
The audiobooks I buy are never first-time reads – only rereadings of books I know well that I find intoxicating.
When people suffer, their relationships usually suffer as well. Period. And we all suffer because, as the Buddha says, that’s the nature of being human and wanting stuff we don’t always get.