Tuesday, September 13, 2005


JH: I do avoid the immediate in my poetry, whether it be moral, political, personal, or literary. If not the tranquility that Wordsworth counsels us to wait for, then some other remove. Stuff + Time: Poetry. Poetry as history-writing. Just talkin' is OK for me in moderation (ie, two times in my life) - I've related dreams twice before in poemy form. I enjoy reading such seemingly-casual talk/journal poems - Blackburn, O'Hara, Whalen, etc., but rarely do so in my own poetry. How to explain the huge backlog of inspiration waiting to be written down? Why only a few poems (in relation to all that the poet has experienced - even if a poet writes three dozen poems a day, it doesn't begin to match up) for so much experience? There's individual selection, based in part upon ideas of what a poem is, but this hopefully will bring up another facet of the diamond that is World versus Writing.

AHB: I've mentioned my own tactics to avoid direct saying. Robert Grenier is stuck with having declared "I hate speech". Stuck in the sense that it is something people will haul out vis-à-vis himself. The point is useful, since he wants to free poetry from the effects of declaration, but his writing very much works within speech, the quoted, aural, found things that so many of his poems feature. Are you satisfied with your audience? This seems like a presumptuous question unless your name is Ashbery, or really, if it is King or Rowling. And yet there exists an outward that enters the writing process. I've thrown a lot of work to the breezes via internet, so that I can say there's a readership, but the relationship is tenuous at best. Can you speak to the tension that your sense of readership bears upon you? Readership in the palpable sense, as in people with names, rather than the capital R assumption that every writer must make. I may be repeating myself, in fact, I may be repeating myself, but audience seems like an inescapable clause in the sentence of a writer. How much of the dance is willful and how much pressed upon? something that occurred to me as a painter, that sales of your work can finance further work (buy the paints) but I can think of no such correlation with writing.


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