America I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.
Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It’s that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that’s what the poet does.
Topics: Poetry, Art, Poets
Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture.
The weight of the world is love. Under the burden of solitude, under the burden of dissatisfaction.
I have a new method of poetry. All you got to do is look over your notebooks… or lay down on a couch, and think of anything that comes into your head, especially the miseries. Then arrange in lines of two, three or four words each, don’t bother about sentences, in sections of two, three or four lines each.
Topics: Poets, Poetry
Affection is the most important thing. And the quality of affection – with your friends, your lovers, your family. But particularly for your own generation.
No monster vibration, no snake universe hallucinations. Many tiny jeweled violet flowers along the path of a living brook that looked like Blake’s illustration for a canal in grassy Eden: huge Pacific watery shore, Orlovsky dancing naked like Shiva long-haired before giant green waves, titanic cliffs that Wordsworth mentioned in his own Sublime, great yellow sun veiled with mist hanging over the planet’s oceanic horizon. No harm.
When you notice something clearly and see it vividly, it then becomes sacred.
Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!
Breathe when you breathe. Walk where you walk. Talk when you talk. Cry when you cry. Die when you die. Let go when you let go … .
So I had a choice between going to a jail or going to a bughouse like a nice young middle-class student. So I chose to go to a very polite mental hospital. When I left eight months later, they said, ‘You were never psychotic. You were just an average neurotic’.
Topics: Mental Illness
Fortunately art is a community effort—a small but select community living in a spiritualized world endeavoring to interpret the wars and the solitudes of the flesh.
My own experience is that a certain kind of genius among students is best brought out in bed.
Nobody saves America by sniffing cocaine,
jiggling your knees blankly in the rain.
When it snows in your nose
you catch cold in your brain.
It isn’t enough for your heart to break because everybody’s heart is broken now.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Norman Mailer American Novelist, Journalist
- Frank O’Hara American Poet, Art Critic
- Langston Hughes American Poet, Writer
- John Fowles English Novelist
- Susan Sontag American Writer, Philosopher
- Mark Van Doren American Poet, Critic
- Paul Auster American Novelist, Poet
- Richard Wright American Novelist, Short-Story Writer
- John Updike American Author
- Audre Lorde American Poet, Feminist