fromSkulls(from Sounds of the Resurrected Dead Man's Footsteps)
I am the poet of skulls without why or wherefore.
I didn't ask to be this or that, one way or another, just a young man of words.
Words that grew in sandy soil, words that fit scrub trees and beach grass.
Sentenced to work alone where there is often no one to talk to.
The poetry of skulls demands complicity of the reader, that the reader put words in
the skull's mouth.
How do you know when a
poem is finished? Or when it's dead? A poem seems finished when it has
used up all the material within it or completely satisfied its form--which may
amount to the same thing. It's dead when it won't breathe or boogie. How do I
know? I know.
Seiferle: If the Dead Man
had a literary family tree, from whom would he be descended? Bell:
Whitman, of course, is Granddad. A reviewer called The Book of the Dead Man "The
Undersong of Myself." Whitman is Granddad, William Carlos Williams is his more
or less respectable son, and Allen Ginsberg is his rebellious grandson. There's
a dotty ancestor spoken of in hushed tones, Christopher Smart. Some people say
we're distantly related to Pablo somebody, a Chilean. On a more inclusive family
tree, the names would be those of photographers, potters, philosophers,
sergeants, five-and-ten men, Ukrainian immigrants, rabbis, radicals, amateur
radio operators, journalists, trumpet players, a few crooks--you know, the people
who taught me the world. For the Dead Man is very much of this world.