Monday, August 08, 2005


JH: My influences have been kind, yes. New influences come in frequently, and jostle aside any that become taxing. My work seems to change on its own - I don't try to consciously change my approach to writing poems. For me thinking about how I used to write poetry and how I write now (separately and comparatively) is a means of thinking about things that lie around poetry. My thoughts about nearly everything (I add the word "nearly" only as a hedge against the unforeseen) have become related to poetry, but I don't try to incorporate this into my poems (speaking of Whitman). Is poetry the wall separating the quotidian (the prosaic, ha ha) from what poetry writes toward or is poetry the other side of the wall?

AHB: I used to write more about myself, with emphasis on about, which is the world of prosaic. I began a journal years ago consciously to get that daily stuff out without putting it in my poetry. Weather reports (actual or emotional), likes and dislikes (how many poems can one write about the Boston Celtics and Fairport Convention?) and the diurnal whatnot found its way into the journal. I think it was a successful operation, fewer self-stridencies appear in my work. Poetry is the other side of the wall, insofar as its language is intensity, and it isn't a direct communication in the way conversation is. Poetry can have the prosaic in it, our lives are full of proses as well as roses (ugh), but it is not (by definition) prosaic. One's dreams are poetic, but much of one's consciousness is prosaic. I'm sounding a little blah with so many declarations. Poetry's lack of firmness is its elevating component. Do you, without getting personal, associate much with other writers? I mean at readings, writers groups, Rive Gauche bistros? What is your sense of the social aspect of poetry and its production?


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