There are four questions of value in life, Don Octavio. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love.
In question-and-answer sessions after a reading or during an interview, I forget the question if I’m giving too long an answer. And at the end, I can’t remember any of the questions. The more anxious I am about remembering, the more likely I am to forget.
Nothing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig. I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.
Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.
I am often asked why I started to write poetry. The answer is that my motivation sprang from a visceral need to creatively articulate the experiences of the black youth of my generation, coming of age in a racist society.
Life cannot be without relationship, but we have made it so agonizing and hideous by basing it on personal and possessive love. Can one love and yet not possess? You will find the true answer not in escape, ideals, beliefs but through the understanding of the causes of dependence and possessiveness.
Arithmetic is where the answer is right and everything is nice and you can look out of the window and see the blue sky – or the answer is wrong and you have to start over and try again and see how it comes out this time.
If we ask a vague question, such as, ‘What is poetry?’ we expect a vague answer, such as, ‘Poetry is the music of words,’ or ‘Poetry is the linguistic correction of disorder.’
I love a Hebrew National hot dog with an ice-cold Corona – no lime. If the phone rings, I won’t answer until I’m done.
Every true, eternal problem is an equally true, eternal fault; every answer an atonement, every realisation an improvement.