When you require renewal, is there a particular poem or book that you return to? A particular author?
I’m not sure I go to poetry for renewal, unless renewal is activation. Literature doesn’t tend to soothe me; it stirs me. Agitates me, even. I guess those are renewals from boredom or complacency. Not all of these things could strictly be called poetry, but they are to me: I return over and over to Inger Christensen’s alphabet, the first line of which is scrawled permanently on my leg, Rosmarie Waldrop’s Lawn of Excluded Middle and Reluctant Gravities, Fred Moten’s B Jenkins, all of Lisa Robertson’s books but especially Occasional Work and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture and R’s Boat, Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin, the paintings of Helen Frankenthaler, L.V. Thomas and Geeshie Wiley’s version of “Pick Poor Robin Clean”, Roland Barthes’s A Lover’s Discourse, and Barbara Guest’s poems “Safe Flights” and “A Reason”, both of which are perfect.