Donna Cartelli is a poet, collage artist and wayward historian, who co-hosts the Cornelia Street Sunday Reading Series. Her poetry has appeared in The World, 6ix, Lungfull!, The Poetry Project Newsletter, The Portable Boog Anthology, Explosive, among others. She is currently working on a chapbook for Spectacular Diseases (England). Her collages have been featured in Lungfull!, and are on the covers of Phyllis Wat's THE FISH SOUP BOWL EXPEDITION, Bill Kushner's THAT APRIL! and Michele Madigan Somerville's WISEGAL. She is a former co-editor of The World, and hosted the Rising Caf Reading Series. This is her first book of poetry.

This started as an interview but has since developed into an on-going conversation between two poets. It is presented here, in that spirit.

RD: I’ve never gone to a workshop. What is that like?

DC: Workshops are more like college and graduate seminars with the workshop leader as quasi-teacher. I have studied with several people in the past 10 years with breaks in between. I don't consider myself a workshop junkie. I entered them when I've felt I needed to get the ball rolling again or I needed interaction with others, and after my first couple, only if it is someone I want to work with. I've worked with Lewis Warsh twice because he's an exceptional workshop leader. Each time I've worked with him, my work has made incredible leaps. That, I believe, is rare.

RD: It would seem that you’ve made up for not minoring in creative writing at NYU. Can one over do the workshop experience?

DC: I think one has to be careful about workshops and being too schooled. Poetry is about a personal vision, a take on the world. At some point, you have to trust your instinct, even if the workshop leader doesn't like what you are doing. If you're lucky you strike a chord with others. There are many workshop leaders who want to create mini versions of themselves. Instead of letting your own perspective unfold, they tell you how to think. They do a lot of line by line editing, which is a bad sign if you are have been writing a long time. However, I don't think the workshop leaders are wholly at fault. Many people want to be told what to do. They want to be accepted and to belong to some group be it the world of poetry or religion etc. I'm always reminded of Eric Fromm's analysis of World War II and the Holocaust, which he presented in Escape from Freedom. People really don't want to be individuals, and think for themselves. That's why so many didn't challenge Hitler. They want to be told what to think and what to do. There's an element of fear involved.

But I have yet to describe what workshops are like. Bottom line: workshops are about critiquing work, whether it's work you've already done on your own or from an assignment the workshop leader gives you. In addition to getting feedback on your work, if you are lucky it trains you to self-edit and to give thoughtful consideration to others work, so that it's a reciprocal endeavor. Everyone knows the workshop leader's opinion carries more weight, but hopefully the participants evolve so that the poets learn to trust one another. Trust is a big factor. You are always putting yourself on the line when you bring a piece of work in.

RD: So, in a way, a poetry reading is like going to a workshop in that you can gage your work, it's effectiveness, it's strong and weak points, by the audience response? I'm not suggesting it should be a substitute for the kind of analysis that can be gotten in a workshop. I'm thinking more of the possibilities for poets who cannot afford the luxury of a workshop (they seem to be fairly expensive).

DC: I'd never thought of a poetry reading as being like a workshop, but I definitely understand what you are saying. And it is a kind of gage. Though not in terms of how the audience responds---because of the polite applause factor---

RD: You’ve obviously not read in Orange County, where they think the right to heckle is the real first ammendment. DC: (laughs) Was the audience pleased with your work or simply grateful you finally finished?!---I'm joking now. Seriously though. I think in terms of hearing yourself read something aloud as opposed to reading it to yourself, the reading environment is important for the poet to HEAR herself. Often enough, the rhythms and pauses and whatever else you are trying to achieve sound different in your head than they do when you read the work to an audience. That's why when I write, I frequently read the work out loud to myself as I am writing. It's part of my self-editing practice. Do I like the line breaks? Do I like a particular word? Do I like the structure? Should I move that stanza? Do I even need it? Etc. I just hope the walls of my apartment aren't too thin for the sake of my neighbors. Because like the musician, you practice the verse over and over until it's right. At least that's what I do.

RD: I know what you mean, except for me, I write a poem and then when I read it out loud it’s usually to an audience. I cut my teeth on open mic poetry readings when I restarted writing again in the early 90s. So, I can edit it based on how well it flows and how easy it is for me to pronounce. This is because I write in a conversational style, so if it isn’t conversational, I change it. It’s a fine line between conversation and preaching.

DC: Only in the last couple of years have I become comfortable in reading to an audience work I don't necessarily consider complete, precisely to get a sense of how it sounds out loud. It's a risky proposition. I'd seen other poets I know do it. When I became more comfortable with both my abilities as well as not being perfect I was able to do it too. When I was starting out, I wanted to impress people, to get some degree of recognition, so I would have felt too vulnerable to read something I thought was raw. The results could have been emotionally devastating. It is like a job interview, even if it's unconscious. The work of a young poet is rarely perfect. Hopefully, juvenilia shows the kernels of what's to come if you stick with your art long enough.

RD: I have to admit, I used to like the feeling of “pulling it off” when I used to read more regularly. Lately though, I feel kind of jaded with the “scene.” But still I keep my hand in the game...you never know what will happen.

DC: Getting the chance to read your poetry to an audience can improve your chances of getting published because you never know who's in the audience. I can say the same for workshops. I became a co-editor of The World, the literary magazine of the Poetry Project while I was a young poet, and part of the job was to find work to include in the magazine. So of course I looked, in part, to the people I was studying alongside---in hopes of "discovering" a budding poet. You also contact the already established poets. And through all of these interactions you become a part of a community.

RD: Yeah, that’s how we “met.” Through Lummox I’ve made many connections in the small press arena, first as fellow poets, then later as a publisher of this Journal and the Lummox Press. It’s all about networking. I met you because Tim Scannell suggested we hook up and I met Tim because he reviewed one of the Little Red Books, by a NY poet called “normal.” It’s the ripple effect I suppose. Eventually you become KNOWN (for better or for worse).

DC: Getting recognized has never been THE moving force in my writing poetry. Poetry is a part of who I am. It's the way I see the world. Getting invited to read and getting published are secondary to being able to be involved with my passions, poetry and collage art. There's nothing wrong with the accolades if you can get them. However, if that's your driving force, your poetry will not be genuine because you are too distracted by pleasing others. You aren't being true to yourself and your work will reflect that, and run the risk of being hackneyed.

RD: I like that answer. It jibes with my own experience, even though I'm coming to this intersection via a different route.

DC: I'm curious--- what route are you coming to this from?

RD: Well, essentially, I’m a "self-taught" writer. I have no formal education, certainly not on a college level, in writing or any other topic for that matter. I am more “of the street.” If I’ve studied any style of poetry, I’d say I’m most heavily influenced by Charles Bukowski (studied on his style for the longest).

DC: I'm very impressed that you have come as far as you have without college, though college education is hardly a measure of the desire for intellectual pursuit. You should check out Merry Fortune's work. She's amazing and doesn't have a college education, but has one of the most inquisitive and deep minds around. Also I direct you to Michele Madigan Somerville who's coming out with a book WISEGAL. A VERY impressive poet and novelist whom I describe as May West meets Raymond Chandler and Sappho.

RD: I want to get back to something, you mention collage art as being one of your passions. I wonder if there are similarities between the process (now we get into the meat) of writing a poem and the process of creating a collage? I see how you can use scraps of pictures to create a different picture, just as you might use a metaphor to present an everyday idea in a new way, but I know very little about what you do artistically so I wonder what's it like for you? In other words, walk us through the creation of a poem vis-a-vis a collage.

DC: For some of my work, the collage poems such as BLACK MAYONNAISE, the title poem of my book or the work in (GOODFELLOW IN) STRANGE SLAVERY---which was begun before BLACK MAYO, there's a definite connection between the approach. In both cases there's usually a strong impulse behind the piece. I fall in love with an image or I feel passionate about an idea or a story I've read. That's the genesis of the work. They each tell stories as I like abstraction but only to a point. I make use of language poetry's techniques but my inclination is toward a story line.

In each of my collage works---poetry and art---I only use what I feel I have to. So I may cut parts of bodies out or not complete a thought. You can make what you will of that!

RD: I left my psychology in my other suit. I got your package and started reading your book, and I must say that I'm really having to work at it. This is not bad, merely an observation. In fact, though I'm not used to your style yet (flow, tempo, meter), I'm really throwing myself into the reading. I have to read a lot of chaps and books of poesy anyway and after a while it all starts to sound like an annoying buzzing inside my head (if you know what I mean). I wrote a poem last year about editing poetry and it was called "I'm Writing Some of The Best Poems In My Life But 75% of it Isn't Mine.”

Anyway, I'm reading your work and I know why Tim [Scannell] recommended you to me...he's trying to elevate me. Your work is what I would usually call Academic, but it is what Academic should be, not what it is. I've read other academics like David St. John, for example, and I always feel like I'm parking cars at the “real” poetry party. I mean most academic poetry is sort of delicate and refined in a way that seems off limits to louts like me. And believe me, compared to St. John, I'm definitely a LOUT. But your work is challenging. Your work says, "you can get this but you have to work at it, it's not free." The spare-ness of your language, the way you "only use what I feel I have to...So I may cut parts of bodies out or not complete a thought"; this is a style I can understand, but I have to re-focus.

DC: Wow?! Academic. I've not thought of my self as an academic poet. A friend actually said that my collage pieces are traditional, classical in a way. So I guess that's what you mean. I appreciate lyrical sounds of speech that are different that what the 20th century has to offer. That's my history background. I've read my fair share of Restoration and 18th century writing.

RD: What I mean is it's what [Gerry] Locklin refers to in his explanation of the Iceberg Theory (which comes by way of Hemingway). You don't need to describe every detail. It's more about suggestion, than description. Like the piece Black Mayonnaise, I had to read it twice before I "got" it. I don't mind having to work at it, as long as there's something there when I get done. Otherwise I feel cheated. A lot of Academic poetry is really just an intellectual shell game, a con perpetrated by a bunch of lyrical dilettantes on the general poetry world.

DC: I write what appeals to me. And within that is a wide range. I love the simplicity of Asian poetry and I love the richness of western writing. You are right, some of my work is challenging, but I'm never impossible, I don't think.

RD: Since I started editing this journal, I've really had to broaden my "taste" in poetry. I tell poets who send me work or inquiries for future submissions, that I edit by "aha!" and goosebump, which sounds pretty lame I must admit. But it's true. This allows me to read a variety of writers who would not otherwise be connected. My personal tastes run the gamut from Bukowski to Kahlil Gibran (though, it's been a few years since I cracked The Prophet). I have benefited from opening myself to the "wonder" of an open thought or expression of an honest feeling. It is this "presence" in your style of writing that I respond to.

DC: A lot of Academic poetry doesn't appeal to me---it's prose with line breaks. I often find myself editing them down or moving the lines around. I've taken to that habit with the "Poetry in Motion" subway series that the MTA in New York has. One of my pieces actually got published.

RD: I should offer a wee apology for using the term academic, as it does have an ugly implication. But you must understand that I'm inundated with "poetry" from people all over the place including countries around the world and it is mostly free verse and mostly not like the style you use. A lot of what I get is considered “of the people” or “of the street.” It is mostly image driven, not language driven. Most of the stuff I reject is pretentious or immature or just plain ignorant. Hence the use of the term "academic." I suppose I could have said cerebral or high-brow.

DC: No need for apology. You did explain that it's what academic writing should be as opposed to what it is. Though intellectual or cerebral is probably a more accurate description. What I have learned in terms of writing I didn't learn in college. In fact I learned after graduate school. It was out of pure drive and passion to learn to write. I sat down with grammar books and poetry books and dictionaries and novels etc. So in a way I feel very self-made as well.

RD: I read your (partial) manuscript and did not find it as engaging as Black Mayonnaise, though there was one poem that I liked (ironically one that was not taken for publication - which probably reflects my tastes). A lot has to do with presentation, so in the final product, namely the book, I may find that I rather enjoy reading about this man.

DC: (Goodfellow in) Strange Slavery isn't to everyone's taste. And I am fine with that. It was written for me, out of pure pleasure and voyeurism into Pepys life and times and language. I began writing it in isolation during one of those periods when I was off by myself. I was totally immersed in Pepys as I would be with any project I feel passionate about.

(continued next month)

#4 - Holly Prado (June)

(Editor’s note: Holly Prado lives and works in Los Angeles. Her poetry and prose have appeared in numerous publications over her 30 + years in writing. She has taught at USC and conducts writing workshops around southern California.)

RD: Tell me a little about yourself. What inspired you to become a writer?

HP: I grew up in the Midwest -Nebraska, then Michigan. I came into the world with a love of language, story, poetry, imagination. As an only child, I had time to myself to let my own imagination develop. Nothing feels more satisfying to me than the exploration of my own inner life, and I love this in other people, too. I encourage it all the time in the workshops and classes I teach. This longing for self-knowledge was the inspiration for my own writing. Through writing, I see what's going on in my psyche -and, by extension, the world-psyche -as I allow images and ideas to emerge on the page.

RD: Like myself you also are a publisher. How does this effect you as a writer?

HP: Yes, Cahuenga Press, inspired by Harry [Northup] and founded by Harry, Phoebe MacAdams, Cecilia Woloch, James Cushing, Bill Mohr and me (Bill dropped out a few years ago) gives me hope that poetry can become visible in the world through the efforts of poets themselves. This doesn't affect my own writing directly in terms of subject matter or form or how I do it, but it affects my attitude toward poetry in general. Seeing Cahuenga Press thrive increases my optimism for poetry everywhere.

RD: Was there a single point or event that inspired you or was it a slow process of transition? How did you arrive at the work you're doing now? Evolution? Inspiration? Dumb Luck? Describe this process.

HP: I think I've pretty much answered this in what I've already written, but in terms of arriving at the work I'm doing now, it's certainly been a process of evolution. Every piece of writing I've done in the past thirty years has been mulch for the next seeds to grow in. I don't know any other way to develop as a writer except through constant, nurturing attention. Other writers experience the process differently -they have periods of silence followed by bursts of inspiration -but my nature thrives on daily persistence and tilling the soil.

RD: I’ve always had a fascination with the way an idea becomes a reality, even if only on paper... tell me about your own creative process. Does it ever surprise you? Do you find that it’s easier or harder to "seize the moment" when creativity strikes? How do you capture and retain these inspirations?

HP: The way an idea becomes reality/ the creative process... In the introduction to my book, Esperanza: Poems for Orpheus, I go into detail about how these particular poems began with a puzzling dream and opened out from that. It's the best thing I've written, I think, about a specific, creative process.

“A dream, November 9, 1991: I see myself standing directly in front of a large tree. The area behind and around me is clear, but the tree blocks my way. This puzzles me, since the rest of the space is open and I can, it seems, simply walk past the tree. But I can't. It's an ordinary-looking tree with no particular intensity about it, yet it's utterly immobile, stopping me. And I do feel completely stopped, without any response of my own-without any emotion at all, really.

The underworld of dreams is a place of invitation: to enter one’s inner night offers a chance to come into The Other, the unknown, the shadowy concerns of Psyche rather than of daylight practicality. In this Otherness, imagery exists on its own terms, giving itself freely but without explanation. “An inarticulate tree. I can’t move.” Awake, I was suspicious of the tree’s inert presence, and of my own blank response to it. Trees are usually forceful, inspiring. The psychological state the dream reflected – loss of movement, loss of passion – was motionless rigidity.

What tree lore could help me? What stories might show me a way out of this difficulty? What myth would restore life to the tree and thereby enliven me? After a day or two, I remembered Orpheus, the ancient Greek god of music and inspiration. His music is so magnificent that it causes trees to uproot themselves, to dance and follow him. As divine singer, he becomes the background for all inspiration, whatever form it takes.

The need to give to god what belongs to god, to not hold onto the greatest beauty for one’s own ego-purposes—Mino’s task—is a struggle I recognize as my own. To write poems that invoke a god like Orpheus involves hubris, an overstepping of the boundaries between mortal and immortal worlds. It’s important to understand that the poems, then, are ultimately his. Any creative work is given back to it’s source, its inspiration, to the greater-than-ordinary energy it takes to sustain and complete creative projects. Serious creative work implies ‘dismemberment’—one’s inner self is rearranged, sometimes harshly, but to complete such work also gives the blessing of renewal.” (from the introduction to “Esperanza: Poems For Orpheus”, Cahuenga Press, 1998)

RD: Since most of the people I interview exist in a sort of “fringe” area of the arts, how does being identified with the “fringe” affect what you create? Does it help or hinder the process? Does living with another creative soul [Harry Northup] help to keep the “fires burning”, or is it by necessity, a lonely path?

HP: Being on the "fringe": Where else can a poet be? Poetry itself demands that writers stand on the mysterious border between physical reality and the "Other." Pushing too far into the world of business and commerce feels antithetical to poetry's concerns. This doesn’t mean that poets shouldn’t be respected and paid fairly for their efforts. It doesn’t mean, either, that we should become too removed from human responsibilities, like relationships with those we love. About living with another creative person: I can’t imagine living with out him. Of course the solitary work of writing is exactly that: solitary. Solitary but not necessarily lonely. I believe we’re accompanied by our muses as we write, just as we’re accompanied by our loved ones in our daily lives.

RD: This is probably a dumb question, but how important is the creative process to you?

HP: How important is the creative process? It’s everything to me. A therapist friend told me once that almost everyone who comes to her needs to find a way to include the creative process in his/her life. It’s ignored, often, in our extraverted culture which insists on making “useful” products rather than soul-enlivening art.

RD: Do you think that it is something that needs to be addressed in the new century?

HP: I would do all I could to instill a love of creative work in people. However, I’m suspicious of allowing schools and government to decide what creativity is and how it should be taught or expressed. Community standards are frequently norms that don’t encourage real individuality, and don’t include things which are too far from the ordinary. Yet art has to come from what isn’t necessarily acceptable or embraced by collective thinking.

RD: Have you been able to make a living (modest or otherwise) from writing? Do you think it’s possible in today’s “Mega-hit” oriented entertainment business/society for an artist to actually make a living within the avant-garde arena?

HP: I make a living by teaching writing, not from the sales of books or by giving readings. I have no idea whether or not avant-garde artists can have big hits in today's entertainment market. My feeling is that what's done by the avant-garde is sometimes co-opted by the culture at a later time; the artists themselves probably don't benefit from that. Still, there are break-through artists -John Cage comes to mind -who have a major impact in their own lifetimes.

RD: What about the Internet? Sites like PoetrySuperHighway (and others), Amazon.com, MP3.com and bulk electronic mail are making it possible for writers/ poets and musicians to reach literally thousands of potential fans/buyers with the click of a mouse...do you see this as “boom or bust”?

HP: The Internet, etc. are useful tools; why not take advantage of them? Technological innovations can only help, if their benefits are put into perspective. They aren't substitutes, I don't believe, for books, personal appearances, traditional workshops and classes, good bookstores and literary centers, but they do open new doors for everyone.

RD: What about you, do you have a site or webpage on the net that our readers can visit?

HP: No, I don't have a personal website. Cahuenga Press is weighing the possibilities of doing a website in order to reach a wider audience for our books.

RD: Who do you draw inspiration from these days?

HP: Who do I draw inspiration from these days? I've been reading Pattiann Rogers' book The Dream of the Marsh Wren: Writing as Reciorocal Creation (Milkweed Editions, 1999). She writes short essays about her own creative process, then gives the poem which resulted from the process she describes. I like Rogers' respect for the natural world, her devotion to translating emotional life into specific images which belong to her. But to the rest of us, as well. The individual vision which expands into one we all share: that's inspiring.

RD: Got any new projects planned?

HP: I've started writing new poems for Harry. My last project, Barnsdall Park Poems, focused on the grief I felt because of a dear friend's death. When I finished those poems, I knew I wanted to write about the love I have for Harry, but I didn't have a way "in" until a couple of weeks ago, when someone in one of my workshops said something -not about Harry or about me - that triggered my imagination and got me started. I'm fascinated and delighted by how such sudden moments of realization and inspiration can happen.

#3 - Harry Northup (July)

(Harry Northup has had six books of poerty published, the most recent, The Ragged Vertical – Cahuenga Press. He has been an actor for over 24 years, appearing in 36 films, including Taxi Driver, The Silence of the Lambs, Beloved, and In Cold Blood. Thanks to Scott Wannberg for suggesting this interview.)

RD: Tell me a little about yourself.

HN: I was born in Amarillo, Texas, in 194O. Grew up in Sidney, Nebraska. Did the lead in the community theatre production of "Our Town.” Played the lead in the Jr. class play, "Headin' for a Weddin'." Played baseball in every league from age 5 to 17. After graduating from high school, I joined the Navy, became a radioman, advanced to E-5, Second Class RN. After being discharged from the Navy in '61, I attended Nebr. State Teachers College at Kearney, where I acted in many plays, including playing Reverend Hale in "The Crucible" & Billy Brown in O'Neill’s "The Great God Brown." In 1963, I went to New York City to pursue acting as a career.

RD: What inspired you to become a writer'?

HN: I studied Method acting with Frank Cosaro in Manhattan from 1963-1968. In 1966, Lee Hickman, a student in the class, & I decided to do a scene together. One day, after rehearsal, he put a book in my hand. It was THE NEW AMERICAN POETRY, Edited by Donald Allen, published by Grove Press, 1960. I took it home & read it.

At the same time, I was supposed to act in two Off-Broadway plays & they both fell through. I had all this emotion inside me, and it had to come out.

Method acting is my base & Lee Hickman turned me on to poetry.

RD: How does being a publisher effect you as a writer?

HN: I work hard on my poetry & I work hard for Cahuenga Press. This morning before 7:30, I sent out 4 things regarding Cahuenga Press. Our press, Cahuenga Press, is a poets co-operative, & I enjoy the camaraderie of the other 4 poets & I love their poetry. The press is a blessing.

RD: Was there a single point or event that inspired you or was it a slow process of transition?

HN: Inspiration is always based on something real. In Method acting, I learned to base my approach on real life experience, not books. The New American Poetry brought poetry down to the ground. A person didn’t have to be a college professor, or John Milton, or an intellectual to write poetry. A person could compose poesy from his, or her, own life. Using one's experience, one's imagination, one's memory - including very important, sense memories. Just like Method acting. The gods in the roots of the trees, in the tips of the flowers, mystical visions seen on the subways.

RD: How did you arrive at the work you're doing now?

HN: By writing regularly over the past 34 years. By nourishing myself with Paterson by Williams; The Bridge by Crane; The Cantos [Pound]; H.D.’s [Hilda Doolittle] work. By being humbled & by receiving grace. & by allowing the emotion to take me where it will in my work. By my deep interest in the long poem. By having a deep passion for poetry. By blood, love, work, & by having a deep passion for poetry. "There are two ways," to learn how to be a poet, Paul Blackburn told me in 1966 at St. Mark's Church, "reading & writing." RD: You also have a background in acting. How does this impact on your writing/publisher schedule?

HN: I just finished a guest star role in “E.R." & the job went down so fast that I had to concentrate solely on working on my character. Television waits for no man. I have made a living as an actor for 26 years, acting in 36 films. In films, you usually get a little more advance notice & the shooting isn’t quite as fast. In my next book, REUNIONS, I include poems about working as an actor in "Beloved," directed by Jonathan Demme, & "Brokedown Palace," directed by Jonathan Kaplan. Poetry has given me confidence in writing & taught me concision & how to use time & space, make good use of it. I have worked with great film directors: Scorsese, Demme, Kaplan, & they have all allowed me to contribute ideas & writing to their films.

RD: I’m fascinated with the way an idea becomes a reality, even if only on paper... tell me about your own creative process.

HN: "Loss," which is a section in my last book, THE RAGGED VERTICAL, begins with my 16-yr-old son running away. I live in East Hollywood & I would drive to Santa Monica & Malibu & look for him & come home empty-handed. I would sit at my typewriter & cry & write about this journey. The original work which includes other aspects of my son's struggle & my attempt to help him learn & grow up amidst divorce, drugs, love, despair... turned into an 81 page work. When I finally completed “Loss" I had cut it down to 9 poems.

RD: Does living with another creative soul (Holly Prado) help to keep the “fires burning”, or is it by necessity, a lonely path?

HN: Holly is very supportive & loving. I fell in love with her writing FEASTS) before I met her. Her writing drew me to her. She is the most healthy writer I know. What is poetry'? It's a loneliness I can't escape from.

RD: How important is the creative process to you?

HN: Creativity is very important. It's primary. Acting & poetry are the two fields I spend my time in. Working & studying. Didn’t Bob Dy1an say something like, “he who isn't being born is busy dyin'”?

RD: Have you been able to make a living (modest or otherwise) from writing?

HN: No. Yes.

RD: Do you think it’s possible in today’s “Mega-hit” oriented entertainment business/society for an artist to actually make a living within the avant-garde arena?

HN: Yes,

RD: What about the Internet?

HN: I do not have a computer. One of our Cahuenga Press members, Jimm Gushing, is putting together a web site for our press.

RD: Who do you draw inspiration from these days?

HN: My wife Holly, whom I love cherish & serve. Work as an actor. My son. My cat Joey. The broken heart in loss. Spiritual love for Ann Stanford. The poetry of Williams, Crane, Olson, Ginsberg, Prado, Stanford. Living & walking in East Hollywood.

RD: Got any new projects planned?

HN: My seventh poetry book, REUNIONS, composed from 1995-2000, will be published in July 2001. An intimate long poem.

What's your home? Where's your home? Everybody has a home. My home is poetry.

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