Monday, August 08, 2005


JH: Yes, once I write a poem it's on the page in the same way a stranger's poem is. It was always like this. Sometimes I like my earlier work - and have published some of it. My poems in A Chide's Alphabet are early poems. Postmortem Series and the Accuracy poems are also early poems of mine. I'm reasonably happy to look at my early work, but not overjoyed. "Visionary bingo" is a wonderfully apt phrase for what happens when one becomes a poet! Have you ever written something that you wanted to write its sort again, but could not? A type of poem that you found you could not re-visit? Do you believe that when other letters are added to the "bingo" combination the original "bingo" is fore'er obscured?

AHB: There's the circumstance in which a writer wants to repeat a good moment: I've had plenty of those (and so has Whitman), with the usual slumping results. I believe you speak more of a manner of writing. I have had times when I've just not been able to repeat the means. Long ago I wrote a series of poems imaginatively related to where I was living at the time. When I no longer lived there (it was a few months in Salt Lake City, just to be less mysterious), not only could I write no more in that series, my sense of the imaginative framework fell apart. On the other hand, there are times I come to a piece and find that I can pick up its speed again and write in the middle of it. I don't believe the “bingo” is lost forever. It's a little funky with writing on a computer, for changes occur invisibly, whereas writing on a typewriter, draft after draft (I did much more rewriting when I used the typewriter way back when (I have been using a computer for 20 years, that's 140 in dog years)), the process was more obvious. My method is more flood-oriented than yours, I wot. I gather the change by draft in my work is much less than yours. Have your influences been kind to you? Have you ever willfully tried to change your work?


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