I’d go up to Concord Deli thinking about whether I could be a writer some day. If I would ever learn to smoke, curse & two-step against a hot stove while my children grew up under my own roof. What would it cost me, or my family, to make up stories?
As a reader, I’ve long felt passionately about fictions that articulate anger, frustration, disappointment—from reading Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground, in high school, when I thought, “my God, fiction can do this? Fiction can say these unsayable things?” to reading Beckett or Camus or Philip Roth’s Sabbath’s Theater to Thomas Bernhard—these are all articulating unseemly, unacceptable experiences and emotions, rage prominent among them. Because rage at life and rage for life are very closely linked. To be angry, you have to give a shit.
I need to reach beyond interior decoration, biography. Art is a way of melting out through one's skin. "What, who is this about?" is not the essential question. A poem is not about; it is out of and to. Passionate language in movement. The deep structure is always musical, and physical -- as breath, as pulse
I have been increasingly willing to let the unconscious offer its materials, to listen to more than the one voice of a single idea. Perhaps a simple way of putting it would be to say that instead of poems about experiences I am getting poems that are experiences, that contribute to my knowledge and my emotional life even while they reflect and assimilate it.