Why is failure so central to your work?
At Christmastime, I abandon warm twin towers of trash curbside
for the formal procreation of the underprivileged and the poor.
What does failure mean to you?
All good men wear Gucci loafers.
Socrates wears Gucci loafers.
Therefore, Socrates is a good man.
Wikipedia Poem, No. 510
“How about an oak leaf / if you had to be a leaf?” James Schuyler
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When I’m in Texas or Iowa I’m aware of the railroads and superhighways, and here [in New Jersey] there’s the city and the George Washington Bridge filled with its perpetual stream, the planes coming overhead, the cars moving along, the tremendous energy of the place, and its concentration of people. Nothing is still here. It’s very dynamic. I think a lot of poets are allergic to movement, and they like to turn their backs on it and create still lifes. They try to locate some sort of quasi-pastoral motif as a background for the poem, some jury-rigged construct of suburban garden as sylvan glade.
Urban life and movement present real technical difficulties and challenge poetic conventions. Urban life is dense and fast and requires flexible structures that can incorporate speed and information. It’s tough to come up with a coherent, interesting structure. Most simply avoid the problem or take refuge in some rote “avant-garde” gesture like fridge-magnet indeterminism, i.e. spilling the language all over the floor and stomping on it like a three-year-old child.
August Kleinzahler, The Art of Poetry No. 93, The Paris Review, Fall 2007
“Many people feel threatened by exclusion[.]” Ben Lerner
work with poetry
associated with this way from
this and that and intuit
social differences—manage this
manage that do what
is true for everyone or for no one or for everyone
but I think really disappoint them
their demand social poetry
could do to eradicate difference—
don't say good poems
or for no one but
this is true for everyone or
everyone or for everyone or for everyone or
forget everyone or
in the second person
Source: Clune, Michael. The hatred of poetry: An interview with Ben Lerner. The Paris Review, 30 June 2016. Web. 2 July 2016.
INTERVIEWER: What was it like to take high tea with William Butler Yeats?
Cartwright calmingly my hero main part
was just recomment it Finally I did most of a more
though, big heart was extremely courteous, and I though,
big head, rathead her wonderful looking
I reaping was just a cold bath, and when
lit it for Yeats, and still don't feel he was
just recomment back that surprise
he realized the said, “I had the fruits of my chamber." He
realized that surprise he was extremely courteous, and still don't
how much he day.
He was much he aged when
we went in. Finally I didn't know on
it's just a cold me down. So I were drunk early
succeeded the fruits of reached here?
And he was just recomment. I asked for
Mr. Yeats, and still don't feel
he drunk early succeeded various and asked for
Mr. Yeats, and my chamber. He was just the funniest
the day. He said he was left over.
The taller the fruits
of realized that surprise not asked for
Very kind. At a cold bath, and
we arrived in the sense to me
he was left over revise not asked
forget in. Finally I didn't know,
but in my own. So I were drunk
early succeeded various and
take off on my own. So I gave revise he
was extremely could see though, big heart was just
a cold bath, and I still don't know my
Who is Mr. Yeats? Who is Ben Jonson?
Source: Stitt, Peter A. “John Berryman, The Art of Poetry No. 16.” Paris Review. Winter 1972. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.