As you continue writing and rewriting, you begin to see possibilities you hadn't seen before. Writing a poem is always a process of discovery.
Art is not escape, but a way of finding order in chaos, a way of confronting life.
We must not be frightened nor cajoled into accepting evil as deliverance from evil. We must go on struggling to be human, though monsters of abstractions police and threaten us.
I believe it's true that one person can make a difference. But how much more difference 100 people make, or rather 99.
This freedom, this liberty, this beautiful and terrible thing, needful to man as air, usable as earth.
[My poetry is] a way of coming to grips with reality . . . a way of discovery and definition. It is a way of solving for the unknowns.
Runs falls rises stumbles on from darkness into darkness
and the darkness thicketed with shapes of terror
and the hunters pursuing and the hounds pursuing
and the night cold and the night long and the river
to cross and the jack-muh-lanterns beckoning beckoning
and blackness ahead
As well have a talon as a finger, a muzzle as a mouth,
as well have a hollow as a heart.
Your presence was shore where I rested/ released from the hoodoo of that dance, where I spoke/ with my true voice again.
woman of earth, whipscarred,
a summoning, a shinning
Sundays too my father got up early and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, then with cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday weather made banked fire blazes. No one ever thanked him.
It seemed to me as we were talking about Christ rising from the dead, the sun popped over the mountain. That was indicative of Christ rising - a new day. It just makes sense.
Standing to America, bringing home
black gold, black ivory, black seed.
Midnight Special on a sabre track movering movering,
first stop Mercy and the last Hallelujah.
Shuttles in the rocking loom of history,
the dark ships move, the dark ships move,
their bright ironical names
like jests of kindness on a murderer's mouth
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?
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