I sense a connection between the last two posts, of Jason Alexander and Frederick Seidel. To each post-author, those subjects represent a release from fear. Taking it farther, I’d say they represent a release from a fear of not being “sophisticated” enough. Even just being writers, we have to wrestle with that. Or maybe “sleek and elegant” is a better phrase. Instead of binding our lives up into careful miniatures–sometimes that’s what my poems seem like to me–we want to expand outward, fill up some of all this empty, blank space.
It’s one of the reasons I live in Brooklyn. The sense of crappiness is useful to my progression; the shit in the street, the spraypaint on the walls, and the drooping power lines all serve to show me I’m part of a continuum. People have been expanding outward into this empty, blank space for hundreds of years. And I can SEE that with my own eyes.
If you look at it, carefulness and precision in writing might be oriented specifically toward avoiding those drastic and risky steps that really draw the audience to the stage. Of course, it’s hard to be loud on a page. But that’s the point, I guess.
My own writing is hard to read, even for me. This is probably because I’m so in love with the words themselves, and less with what they say. The idea of a visual painting made out of a poem is arousing to me. Unfortunately, this sort of thinking keeps me preoccupied with my own pleasure, and not the reader’s. On the other hand, there’s questionable value in seeking to know what pleases the reader, since the reader herself may not actually know.
Question: What is the relationship of an interesting life to an interesting writer? Which springs from which: Does the life lead to the writing, or the writing to the life? Or are they unrelated…