and I responded:
There are two things I’ve always had a difficult time with: poetry and performance art.
Both are unintentionally uncomfortable to me, as if stumbling upon someone’s open diary and catching a few words that force you to pause and read the whole page.
That feeling of invading someone’s privacy (and getting great pleasure from it) never leaves me, even when the performances are public or the poems are published or spoken.
And I’ve been reading poetry lately! Lots! A new acquaintance of mine is a poet; I’ve been going through his work and wow do I feel like I know him now even though I hardly know him at all.
Poets seem to be plagued by an acute sensitivity to the world. They feel so much at any given moment that poetry is actually a communicative courtesy; if they were to share anything more than brimming fragments the universe would surely implode. We have yet to evolve to accept that much honesty from another human being.
We’re not ready for that level of compassion as a species.
After all, we’re still eating animals and pulling our sister’s hair.