The main problem with people who like to get high to write poetry is that they wind up writing poetry about getting high. Do you remember waking up in the middle of the night and grabbing a pencil and writing down the excellent insight you had just had in your doze? And in the morning when you read it, it is a few words of banal generalization or a perfectly dull image? It works that way with whisky or peyote, too. I think that maybe the people who compose poetry for Hallmark Cards or the New Yorker have to get drunk to do it, but who can blame them? There might be something to getting high in order to read poetry. If Burning Spear sounds even better after a few tokes, maybe Patrick Lane does, too.
- George Bowering, from his mini-essay "High" found in his new book of mini-essays Horizontal Surfaces. You can read another quote from the book, and a short review, over at rob mclennan's blog.