Sunday, December 03, 2006

Words to the Wise: Ed Roberson

So I'm studying Ed Roberson these days. Every now and then people in different parts of my life start to whisper the same name in my ear. That's happening with Ed Roberson now. He's everywhere I turn. I used to kind of wait until I stumbled back into that person's work to think about why the people in my life kept mentioning the person (or, that's what I did -- foolishly -- when the person was Wilson Harris), but now I take it as a sign that I'm supposed to go searching for something specific. Recently the wonderful Cherryl Floyd-Miller sent a link to this Ed Roberson interview, which I found extremely useful for me as a poet, but also as an artist (if you are the kind of person who needs separate the two).

"I have a feeling that you can never realize the poet you want to be. If you’re really serious, you’re always a few steps behind what you want. You follow, taking note as deeply as you can. Rarely, but every now and then, he’ll turn around and say something you recognize as your own to you; or you may just bump into each other and, as if in a mix up, exchange souls. Then, you know he still thinks you have it in you -- for him to speak through, to. He’s your own soul in that brief moment. You know then, from outside, from the language, that you are still permitted to see into its voice. This may have happened only once before, but that time no longer counts when it re-turns to look at you. It has something to do with the power of coming back to come back."

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