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« On the Life and Poetry of William C. Mullen (1946-2017) [by Anthony Antonucci and Andrew McCarron] | Main | Interview with Tony Towle [by Jess Matuozzi] »

October 25, 2018


Wonderful post! Favorite moment: << it’s very difficult to write a novel, whereas it’s easy to write poetry, provided that you’re a poet. I’m always amazed at performative art, like a violinist who plays an incredible concerto. Of course, it’s easy for him because that’s what he does. >> Thank you -- and thanks to the students. -- DL

I see two asterisks (*), and wonder if you intended adding footnotes or expansions by Ashbery on the ideas raised there. Thank you for posting this interview.

You're very welcome! Ah - I am afraid the asterisks are the leftovers of a faulty formatting notion I had, which I'll try to clean up, rather than indications of additional material. Sorry for the confusion!

This is fantastic! He was able to communicate to any audience so straightforwardly.

He hopes that he will be able, eventually, to understand his poetry? That's the ironic tone I remember JA emitting when he introduced poets at a series of readings at Bard College. Throws you off. An answer that is no answer. A dodge. How many years will it take to see him, like that character in The Wizard of Oz, pulling handles that fool us behind his curtain? Or will someone answer for JA in a way that leads us to understanding? Or will the world go elsewhere, no longer interested in a ball of yarn that has been tangled by the knitter?

Mixed metaphor: I read his poems as if they were pictures, paintings, parts of which are abstract and parts of which are, not realistic, but less abstract than the other parts -- like a still life, early 20th century. There is humor there, waiting for readers who don't laugh (not THAT funny) but smile and feel rewarded.

Thanks for putting this up.

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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