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 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 very committed to the process of composing, working at poems, putting things together and taking them apart like some kind of experimental filmmaker.
I'm not sure what theory is, unless it's the pursuit of fundamental questions.
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 was trying to find out what it was that everybody else understood without giving up my stubborn and hard-won lack of understanding.
My rejection of the idea of entertainment in its current form is based on the audience that comes with it.
I've always had a strong feeling for the Statue of Liberty, because it became the statue of my personal liberty.
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.
My way of thinking is very particular and concrete. It doesn't follow a continuous path.
I tended to emphasize the secular, the casual, the colloquial, the vernacular against the sacred.
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.
There are editing procedures for talks just as there are editing procedures in jazz improvisation.
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.
Stories are different every time you tell them - they allow so many possible narratives.
I hardly remember how I started to write poetry. It's hard to imagine what I thought poetry could do.
You pay your money, you take your choice. I get the audience my language attracts and I lose the ones it repels.
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.
I have spoken to expert audiences occasionally, but then no audience is expert over the whole range of things I want to explore.
I can manage a prose format as long as I keep closer to Laurence Sterne than to Henry James.
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.
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.
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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