"the more influences you have, the better"
poem arises from act of living -- liminal moment -- not separate from, not expository or at some remove -- writing from the very crisis
Assignment: Find a line in your poems that feels like it has that ring of finality to it -- start from that line & write forward.
"whenever you find yourself playing with lines instead of writing, you're probably in a bad spot"
on line breaks: a real line can't be broken -- has a sense of autonomy, is a miniature poem in itself
"Revise towards strangeness" --Rachel Zucker
"so much of being a poet is like being a mollusk"
stanza = "room" in Italian. Think of poem architecturally -- how you move from one to another -- the feng shui of the poem.
"you never want to introduce anything into a poem that feels like an argument, or a judgement ... the reader will decide against you."
the spider-plant poem (little poems sprout & drop off of it)
punctuation as musical notation -- tension between "stop" mark & continuation of line
colon as aperture
fulcrum -- change in rhythm
"the title is the priest of the poem -- it stands there & tells you how to behave. I don't believe in titles -- I believe I can step into the poem & talk directly to god."
Creeley: space between lines is a silence in which the heart can break
(after a discussion of the eroticism of doorknobs, bald heads, being caught): "face it, there's something erotic about just being alive ... it's all erotic until you can't do it anymore."
"Poems are written by bodies, they're not written by minds."
Hass: "a good poem contains its opposite"
Sometimes it's good to write more than you need so you have lots of bits and variations from which you pick and choose -- then go thru & maybe highlight the ones you like, the lines that are tonic, have a kind of entity about them -- pull them out & as necessary build bridges between them. "Be willing to honor the plasticity of language."
Try writing a sentence & endlessly subordinate & interrupt & do everything you can to keep from reaching the period.
a poet is a deity with the power of creation -- each created poem is a world -- the poet is then at the beck & call of the world that has been created -- that power & that responsibility to one's own creation -- take care that the worlds are sustainable
compress -- put pressure on -- every part of the poem
"The poem must resist the intelligence almost successfully." --Stevens
the poet is a rat who builds his own maze & then has to find his way out
try using altavista babelfish to generate revision (!)
there's a faith in pushing past the edges -- in saying that things go on