When I was a teenager, just about the only thing I could do right was play music. In my graduating class, I was certainly not voted ‘Most Literary Boy.’ I can assure you I was not voted ‘Mostly Likely to Succeed.’ I was voted ‘Most Musical Boy.’ And the music led to the poetry.
If you want to make films, you’ll watch Kurosawa. If you want to play a violin, you listen to Seghetti. Same with somebody who has the ambition to play in the NBA. I watch a basketball game; I enjoy it. Somebody who really wants to learn to play is studying whatever is most magnificent that’s going on out there.
I love form, but I’m not interested in forms. I’ve never written a sonnet or villanelle or sestina or any of that. For me, it’s a kind of line. It’s a rhythm. It’s something musical.
If I live near a dancer or a painter, or a clarinet player comes from my neighborhood, I take some pleasure in that, feel a little more as if I come from someplace in particular.
The last thing a young artist should do in poetry or any other field is think about what’s in style, what’s current, what are the trends. Think instead of what you like to read, what do you admire, what you like to listen to in music. What do you like to look at in architecture? Try to make a poem that has some of those qualities.
Sometimes the ideas that mean the most to you will feel true long before you can quite formulate them or justify them.
Method involves a slavish addiction to laws, and we can only aspire to anarchy.
Autobiography is a genre notorious for falsehood.
I think art is not an ornament or refinement at the fringes of human intelligence, I think it’s at the center. It’s at the core.
Poetry is a vocal art for me – but not necessarily a performative one. It might be reading to oneself or recalling some lines by memory.