Saturday, July 23, 2005


JH: Just coincidence! It takes a while to complete one of my poems, what with the revisions as it's being written and the revisions that come after the first draft, but I usually complete it in a day or two. I never keep my scratchings, only the complete poem. Sometimes I'll write a poem that will specifically refer to another of my poems, but not often. Perhaps there's a larger whole, but I haven't seen it yet. Characters may recur, but not a world. Maybe a world-view can be surmised, but I don't think there's a concrete recurring figurative or ideational landscape. I don't write with any such landscape in view. What about you? Aliens and the word "sentence" crop up in your poems. Is there a plan behind this?

AHB: Our methods differ, which I suppose is a boring notation, yet still apt. Using a computer took away the concept of draft for me, because it would be too confusing keeping each draft, and one can make invisible changes so easily. Anyway, I used to collect work together, especially in my typing days, in chronological bunches, defined by periods. These periods could be weather or season, events, my reading. This occur less now, but I still write in chrono bunches. I guess it's O'Hara who speaks of writing on nerve, and without sounding fluffy and attributing, that sounds like my process. The aliens that occur in my writing don't represent an interest so much as my bad taste. I sort of bow to these aliens, outside entities, in the serious way that Spicer did, I also spring aliens into my writing because they amuse me. My sense of aliens is in the corny, black and white sense of 50s movies--like “Plan 9 from Outer Space”, a clumsy but still alarming movie in its way--or Tom Swift Jr books. Uncomplicated, somewhat dire, somewhat absurd. My use of, or reversion to, the word “sentence” is for the most part a reminder or self-consciousness of what I am doing as I write. That I am writing. The word of course has more than one sense, plus it delivers to the eye such ideas as sense and sentience. I mostly write progressively, narratively, so the sentence is important, as a piece of the larger thing going forward. Do you read your poems aloud while composing? Does the word composing sound appropriate or useful in this context. What is your sense of punctuation which, I'm pretty sure, differs from mine? These questions may seem like leaps but they derive from our current discussion, if discussion is the accurate word to use here.


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