A personal epoch shift began when I read Bolaño (specifically Last Evenings on Earth, The Savage Detectives, and By Night in Chile) and discovered a dual doorway (poetry as subject for fiction; narrative as vehicle for poetry) outside what had come to seem my suffocating and provincial identification with U.S. poetry. Now I read Latin American and European literature (mostly fiction) and my American poetry reading is mostly rereading (Olson, Duncan, Ashbery, Notley), and I feel myself inoculated against the anxious white male melancholy of Edmundson, et al. So much of what I read is preoccupied with the literary as such, proposes literature as adventure (which includes risk, which includes destruction). I am out of step with the contemporary: I don't watch many films any more, I don't listen to pop, the last TV show I cared about was Lost. I love and live by the written word, am traversed by it. Every minute I spend alone that I don't spend reading or writing seems lost. I am literary to my bones, a twentieth-century animal. That's how it is.
Next year will be a banner year for me, publications-wise. In May 2014, Spuyten Duyvil will publish my first novel, Beautiful Soul. In September or October of that year, Omnidawn Publishing will bring out my fourth full-length collection, The Barons and Other Poems. It may be time to emerge from the privacy of not-blogging. That might seem a strange thing to say, since I post pretty regularly on Facebook or Twitter. But this blog has been my public "face" for ten years. I can delete it, or I can show myself and see what appears. A return (like the key on an old typewriter), not the return.
You want the new. You want controversy and the leaping of flames. I want to write my way out, to write my way in. The past has never felt more alive.