To be an artist, you don't have to compose music or paint or be in the movies or write books. It's just a way of living. It has to do with paying attention, remembering, filtering what you see and answering back, participating in life.
I have a publishing company of books by me and books of others. It drew people to poetry readings and photo exhibitions and painting exhibitions that I've been doing for years before that.
I realise how important it is to use the time I have. I respect people who want to do that by watching television. I happen to want to read books. But I know I can't read all the books or watch all the movies in one lifetime.
In a way, editing is not unlike the movies. The best books, just like the best movies, are a collaboration. They're only as good as the compromise made between the artists involved.
On a practical level, poetry isn't something anybody has really made a great living at. I might sell some books and, once in a while, someone might pay to hear me read.
I'm sort of contrary and stubborn sometimes. When everybody says, 'You have to read this book! You have to read this book!' I'm like 'Oh, I'll get around to it.'
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