You discovered yourself and what really mattered only after you passed through the lens of the fairy tale, imposed on every human female and male alike, that someone existed out in the forest of the world for you to love and marry.
Apparently Brooklyn needn't always push itself to be something else, something conscious and anxious, something pointed toward Manhattan.... Brooklyn might sometimes also be pleased, as here on Flatbush, to be its grubby, enduring self.
Artists freeze themselves into these weird postures that are meant to be impressive and involving, then they fling them out into the world like Polaroids, and then they move on. And I'm stuck in this intense relationship to the Polaroid.
Context is everything. Dress me up and see. I'm a carnival barker, an auctioneer, a downtown performance artist, a speaker in tongues, a senator drunk on filibuster. I've got Tourette's. My mouth won't quit, though mostly I whisper or subvocalize like I'm reading aloud, my Adam's apple bobbing, jaw muscle beating like a miniature heart under my cheek, the noise suppressed, the words escaping silently, mere ghosts of themselves, husks of empty breath and tone.
I've been an advocate against the view of the writer as a partitioned genius hanging in conceptual space, or up on a mountain, a bringer of Promethean fire, some unique transmission that comes out of nowhere. I prefer the opposite view - that writers come from somewhere. They read things, and they think about them, and they incorporate other people's thoughts.
A reader, encountering a sentence about a barking dog, would have to dwell on why that choice was made at that moment. Everything in a novel is explicitly chosen, whereas some of what a film captures feels incidental, according to the vagaries of photography and sound recording.
For those whose ganglia were formed pre-TV, the mimetic deployment of pop-culture icons seems at best an annoying tic and at worst a dangerous vapidity that compromises fiction's seriousness by dating it out of the Platonic Always, where it ought to reside.
The less you offer, the more readers are forced to bring the world to life with their own visual imaginings. I personally hate an illustration of a character on a jacket of a book. I never want to have someone show me what the character really looks like - or what some artist has decided the character really looks like - because it always looks wrong to me. I realize that I prefer to kind of meet the text halfway and offer a lot of visual collaborations from my own imaginative response to the sentences.
It wasn't for children, seventh grade. You could read the stress of even entering the building in the postures of the teachers, the security guards. Nobody could relax in such a racial and hormonal disaster area.
Poetry is supposed to be musical. But people don't understand prose. They're so used to reading journalism - clunky, functional sentences that convey factual information - facts, more than just the surfaces of things.
I've always been passionately in love with movies, to such a degree that even as a young person of about nineteen or twenty I thought maybe I would try to become a film director. The reason I didn't do it was because I felt I didn't have the right personality. At that time in my life, I was mortally shy.
So much of the effort that goes into writing prose for me is about making sentences that capture the music that I'm hearing in my head. It takes a lot of work, writing, writing, and rewriting to get the music exactly the way you want it to be.