Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fling Yourself Into the World: Smart Things Other People Said

"And for god’s sakes, don’t write every day. That’s the worst advice I’ve been given. What a terrible thing to advise a poet. To write every day is to pry apart, on a daily basis, the mind’s most terrible crevices. You can trick yourself into believing it is a herculean act, nearly crusade-like. But one can only burn at both ends for so long. Save the poems, let them grow inside you, like a pregnancy, and when the water breaks, nothing can stop it.  Also, there’s no such thing as writer’s block—don’t sell yourself short with such an excuse. If you have nothing to say, put down the pen, go outside, and fling yourself into the world. It’s waiting for you." -- Ocean Voung, in Pank.

"Negative capability, Keats called it—to dwell with uncertainty without grasping after an easy solution. A poem often asks us to dwell there, and it’s unbearable, especially if you have no practice, if you don’t read or if you don’t go off by yourself and sit alone for a while. Even those of us who write, we’re often rushing around. So this dwelling, not fully comprehending something instantly, is very difficult. Anything that pushes us into the depths of our being is very hard to bear. I find it hard to bear. Sometimes I open a book that’s so beautiful I have to shut it because it hurts me. I can’t stand it. It’s like, Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! This is going to drive me into my own heart. A day or two days later I’m saying, All right, and I just surrender to it: Do it to me. Go ahead. I want it. I don’t want it. I want it. I don’t want it." -- Marie Howe, in AGNI online.

"The New York School poets made collaboration look fun, and it is.  It’s stimulating, too, opens me up, keeps me spontaneous, responsive.  Maybe in the way letter writing used to?  Only you’re creating something together.  I find it very exciting.  My collaborative projects stem from my friendships with other poets—they’re an extension of those friendships.  By Myself, which I wrote with D.A. Powell, came out of a late night telephone conversation.  It was Doug’s idea, to piece together an autobiography out of sentences from a myriad of celebrity autobiographies.  He called it a 'Trinidad-esque' idea.  So I suggested we write it together.  And we did.  He provided one sentence, I provided the next, and off we went, alternating sentences—an exhilarating tug-of-war.  I often laughed out loud when I received his sentences via email." --David Trinidad, in Sonora Review.

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