From this entertainment industry, may the gods of language protect us.
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.
There are editing procedures for talks just as there are editing procedures in jazz improvisation.
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.
My way of thinking is very particular and concrete. It doesn't follow a continuous path.
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 was trying to find out what it was that everybody else understood without giving up my stubborn and hard-won lack of understanding.
An art machine is a system
whose parts when put in motion
act upon each other in such a way
as to cause you to see things differently
I am quite unsatisfied by the distinctions between the oral and literate.
I learned enough Hebrew to stagger through a meaningless ceremony that I scarcely remember.
The ancient Greek oral poets all had this anxiety about the deficiencies of their memories and always began poems by praying to the Muse to help them remember.
When my mother left her second husband, she wrote her autobiography and presented it to him for his approval.
I'm not sure what theory is, unless it's the pursuit of fundamental questions.
I'm standing up thinking. Anybody who wants to listen is welcome. If not, I'm happy to see them go.
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 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.
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.
While I don't script and I don't use other performers, I think my taste for underlying precision gives me something in common with Allan and George Brecht.
The Sophists' paradoxical talk pieces and their public debates were entertainment in 5th century Greece. And in that world, Socrates was an entertainer.
My rejection of the idea of entertainment in its current form is based on the audience that comes with it.
It's hard being a hostage in somebody else's mouth - or a character in somebody else's novel.
A myth is the name of a terrible lie told by a smelly little brown person to a man in a white suit with a pair of binoculars.
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