Saturday, October 29, 2011

Very Human Dangers

Happily undertaking a 7 poems in 7 days sprint with a few other folks. Draft, draft, draft.


In order to stay alive as artists, we need to resist the very human dangers of resentment and bitterness. Resentment comes from attending to the injuries and rejections of the past, or to fears of the future. These difficulties are exacerbated by loneliness, and of course writers are perpetually alone with their work, no matter how embedded they are in communities. For many years I thought I needed to write in my quiet study, in a corner of my house where I could get away from anyone except a dog, and I’d be a little annoyed when people walked by talking on the nearby street – which was, after all, a good eight feet from my window. How dare they interrupt the process of my poem! After I moved to New York City I found myself not enjoying writing at home. I found a coffee shop congenial to writing (the location of which, as any urbanite would understand, I would never reveal). Soon I realized that in fact I liked having company. I liked some evidence of activity – milk steaming in the espresso machine, dishes rattling in the plastic bin where you’d put your empty coffee cup. These provided, as Frank O’Hara said about record stores, “some evidence that people do not entirely regret life.”

-Mark Doty's speech from the Whiting Awards Presentation (Heck yeah, Eduardo!)



Pickwick - Blackout (Suzzallo Reading Room) from Tyler Kalberg on Vimeo.

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