From this entertainment industry, may the gods of language protect us.
When you grow up in a family of languages, you develop a kind of casual fluency, so that languages, though differently colored, all seem transparent to experience.
The self is an oral society in which the present is constantly running a dialogue with the past and the future inside of one skin.
I was very committed to the process of composing, working at poems, putting things together and taking them apart like some kind of experimental filmmaker.
My way of thinking is very particular and concrete. It doesn't follow a continuous path.
My mother turned into a professional widow. She couldnt understand why I wanted to be an engineer; she thought I should be a chicken farmer.
There are editing procedures for talks just as there are editing procedures in jazz improvisation.
You pay your money, you take your choice. I get the audience my language attracts and I lose the ones it repels.
I wanted to be an inventor, whatever I thought that meant then. I guess I was thinking of Edison or maybe James Watt. Or maybe even Newton.
I'm aware of my audience in a way, and I do try to engage with them while I'm trying to go about my business of thinking. I believe they help me by providing a focus.
I have spoken to expert audiences occasionally, but then no audience is expert over the whole range of things I want to explore.
I hardly remember how I started to write poetry. It's hard to imagine what I thought poetry could do.
I didn't think about whether I was writing poems. I was thinking. And the more I was thinking, the more there was I didn't understand.
I had no idea where these kids at a small private college in the San Fernando Valley were coming from, why they were coming to hear me, or what they needed to know.
I can manage a prose format as long as I keep closer to Laurence Sterne than to Henry James.
Children frequently sing meaningful phrases to themselves over and over again before they learn to make a distinction between singing and saying.
I was trying to find out what it was that everybody else understood without giving up my stubborn and hard-won lack of understanding.
While I've had a great distaste for what's usually called song in modern poetry or for what's usually called music, I really don't think of speech as so far from song.
I reserve the right to tell shaggy dog stories or even common jokes as part of what I'm doing. I don't give a damn if half the audience walks out.
For several centuries what has passed for song in literary circles was any text that looked like the lyrics for a commonplace melodic setting.
I'm standing up thinking. Anybody who wants to listen is welcome. If not, I'm happy to see them go.
I'm not sure what theory is, unless it's the pursuit of fundamental questions.
I learned enough Hebrew to stagger through a meaningless ceremony that I scarcely remember.
I tended to emphasize the secular, the casual, the colloquial, the vernacular against the sacred.
When my mother left her second husband, she wrote her autobiography and presented it to him for his approval.
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