What a poet is.

What a poet is.

In the tough hard world of ballet it takes a woman of vision to succeed. I know because of how I know it’s run. It’s run with sensitive males at the helm, and in fact the women are having to be tougher. Their pirouettes, the 32 fouettés of Swan Lake don’t just come from grace.
If the men need a sense of looseness to accompany the music the girls come back on that and deliver precision.
I just remember being in cars with these people, drinking, being loved—- a lot of it was intrigue, a lot of it sexual services. I didn’t have to fight. Well I did for one girl.
I strive for the completion of my vision and I think it’s a weakness, I need to see it materialized. It takes me a long time to mellow with just a general direction, controlling that gently and firmly.
The problem with wanting to see a vision is that it is a pinnacle, usually with just normality either side wagging its tail, and you have not equipped yourself for that, you have to invent another vision straight away, and that’s where I get lazy, rest on my laurels, and get swept away into crap, get disrespected by people eager to prove you wrong on the back of your success.
I’m used to that too. I just take it, and have become a sort of hermit, making sure the tiniest details of his life are manageable- that there is some sort of continuity, that people are understanding, understand, and that there is some sort of respect.
It’s a loner’s existence. I do fall in love, and it tips me upside down. I often give too much credence, think the beloved understands perfectly, will compromise, but it’s usually not the case. They often see this talented person who needs to make it in the world, when really I’ve spent years just protecting that.
Poetry needs a shell. It is so pure. It cannot defend itself. I am a sort of bank clerk poet. My mother had a friend who was that. He was so humble, so sweet with his big blue eyes, so forgiving, his studio in Paris just full of lines and lines of books without shelves, just running along the skirting boards. I looked at this when I was 20 and I think it really got to me. He didn’t have that horrible detachment or coldness I’d seen in other artists, that pretense, that arrogance. He could speak to anyone. He could empathize, ok, with limits. But mostly.
That became my vision of what a poet is.


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