Tuesday, 21 March 2000

From "Don't Start Me Talking"

I think what I came to through the influence of Coolidge and others wasn’t orthodox Surrealism, but simply an openness to a not especially theorised version of the unconscious. I’ve never understood the desire to communicate through poetry – it just doesn’t seem possible, given the infinite scope for interpretation of the finished work, and why on earth would you want to do it anyway, given that you’re a reasonably articulate adult and know how to have a conversation, unless you don’t like being contradicted and prefer to emote at a brick wall. ‘No one listens to poetry’, as Jack Spicer wrote. Ultimately, you’re alone with the text, whether you’re the writer or the reader, and as a writer the most interesting thing I can make the text do for me is to draw things out that I didn’t know I had to say. I can only hope that the combination of unexpected statement and finely-measured openness gives the reader something good to play with.

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