January 15, 2009

Poet John Giorno gives ArtForum 500 words:

"If you look back over the past thousand years, there were often never more than a hundred people who heard your poem. With Baudelaire, they’d only print his poems in one hundred books, and maybe three hundred people read them, and yet he was the most famous poet in France. Our generation changed things. Years ago, a young woman came up to Patti Smith and said, 'Patti, I’m a poet. What should I do?' And Patti said, 'If you want to have more than twenty people in the audience, get yourself a rock band.' The young woman turned out to be Chan Marshall of Cat Power. I think that’s happened to countless people: Jim Carroll, Lou Reed, Tom Waits; it’s that Pop thing of connecting to a large audience."


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