From The Schulze-Schickert Session recorded in 1975.
The days of my youth, as I look back on them, seem to fly away from me in a flurry of pale repetitive scraps like those morning snow storms of used tissue paper that a train passenger sees whirling in the wake of the observation car. In my sanitary relations with women I was practical, ironical and brisk. While a college student, in London and Paris, paid ladies sufficed me. My studies were meticulous and intense, although not particularly fruitful. At first, I planned to take a degree in psychiatry and many manqu talents do; but I was even more manqu than that; a peculiar exhaustion, I am so oppressed, doctor, set in; and I switched to English literature.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
Is Ahab, Ahab? Is it I, God, or who, that lifts this arm?
I feel a poem needs not to assume it will be read. It has to have the energy to create its own necessity. Poems shouldn’t operate within an expectation of poems being passed around. So I get very stuck on the question: why should a poem begin?