I would always say to anyone, you make choices that are important to you. Don't allow yourself to be exploited by something as fleeting as fame and fortune. If you're presenting yourself in a way that important to you in communicating your vision, then so be it. No one should allow themselves to be exploited ever.
My small torrent of words dissipated into an elaborate sense of expanding and receding. It was my entrance into the radiance of imagination. This process was especially magnified within the fevers of influenza, measles, chickenpox, and mumps. I got them all and with each I was privileged with a new level of awareness. Lying deep within myself, the symmetry of a snowflake spinning above me, intensifying through my lids, I seized a most worthy souvenir, a shard of heaven's kaleidoscope.
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Yet you could feel a vibration in the air, a sense of hastening. It had started with the moon, inaccessible poem that it was. Now men had walked upon it, rubber treads on a pearl of the gods. Perhaps it was an awareness of time passing, the last summer of the decade. Sometimes I just wanted to raise my hands and stop. But stop what? Maybe just growing up.
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If I have any regrets, I could say that I'm sorry I wasn't a better writer or a better singer...When I was younger, I felt it was my duty to wake people up. I thought poetry was asleep. I thought rock 'n' roll was asleep...An artist may have burdens the ordinary citizen doesn't know, but the ordinary citizen has burdens that many artists never even touch.
I didn't want any middle-of-the-road creep. I always wanted the toughest guy in school, the guy from south Philly who wore tight black pants. Y'know, the guy who carried the umbrella and wore white shirts with real thin black ties. I was really nuts over this guy named Butchie Magic 'cause he let me carry his switchblade.
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I don't care whether they're men or women, that's bullshit. A good writer can get into any gender, can get into any mouth. When I write I may be a Brando creep, or a girl laying on the floor, or a Japanese tourist, or a slob like Richard Speck. You have to be a chameleon when you're writing.
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Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don't make compromises, don't worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned about doing good work. Protect your work and if you build a good name, eventually that name will be its own currency. Life is like a roller coaster ride, it is never going to be perfect. It is going to have perfect moments and rough spots, but it's all worth it.
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Observing people taking in the work I had watched Robert create was an emotional experience. It had left our private world. It was what I had always wanted for him, but I felt a slight pang of possessiveness sharing it with others. Overriding that feeling was the joy of seeing Robert's face, suffused with confirmation, as he glimpsed the future he had so resolutely sought and had worked so hard to achieve.
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I believe in movement. I believe in that lighthearted balloon, the world. I believe in midnight and the hour of noon. But what else do I believe in? Sometimes everything. Sometimes nothing. It fluctuates like light flitting over a pond. I believe in life, which one day each of us shall lose. When we are young we think we won't, that we are different. As a child I thought I would never grow up, that I could will it so. And then I realized, quite recently, that I had crossed some line, unconsciously cloaked in the truth of my chronology. How did we get so damn old? I say to my joints, my iron-colored hair. Now I am older than my love, my departed friends. Perhaps I will live so long that the New York Public Library will be obliged to hand over the walking stick of Virginia Woolf. I would cherish it for her, and the stones in her pocket. But I would also keep on living, refusing to surrender my pen.
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We imagined ourselves as the Sons of Liberty with a mission to preserve, protect, and project the revolutionary spirit of rock and roll. We feared that the music which had given us sustenance was in danger of spiritual starvation. We feared it losing its sense of purpose, we feared it falling into fattened hands, we feared it floundering in a mire of spectacle, finance, and vapid technical complexity.
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We want things we cannot have. We seek to reclaim a certain moment, sound, sensation. I want to hear my mother's voice. I want to see my children as children. Hands small, feet swift. Everything changes. Boy grown, father dead, daughter taller than me, weeping from a bad dream. Please stay forever, I say to the things I know. Don't go. Don't grow.
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The way our big cities change sucks. The beauty of cities was that they were edgy, sometimes even a little dangerous. Artists, poets, and activists could come and unify and create different kinds of scenes. Not just fashion scenes, scenes that were politically active. Big cities are getting so high-end oriented, business corporate fashion, fashion not in an artistic sense but in a corporate sense. For me that edgy beauty of cities is lost, wherever you go.
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From very early on in my childhood - four, five years old - I felt alien to the human race. I felt very comfortable with thinking I was from another planet, because I felt disconnected - I was very tall and skinny, and I didn't look like anybody else, I didn't even look like any member of my family.
The artist seeks contact with his intuitive sense of the gods, but in order to create his work, he cannot stay in this seductive and incorporeal realm. He must return to the material world in order to do his work. It's the artist's responsibility to balance mystical communication and the labor of creation.
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We were walking toward the fountain, the epicenter of activity, when an older couple stopped and openly observed us. Robert enjoyed being noticed, and he affectionately squeezed my hand. "oh, take their picture," said the woman to her bemused husband, "I think they're artists." "Oh, go on," he shrugged. "They're just kids.
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There were days, rainy gray days, when the streets of Brooklyn were worthy of a photograph, every window the lens of a Leica, the view grainy and immoble. We gathered our colored pencils and sheets of paper and drew like wild, feral children into the night, until, exhausted, we fell into bed. We lay in each other's arms, still awkward but happy, exchanging breathless kisses into sleep.
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I always thought my father [influenced me most] because he was so well read, I tried to model myself on him, but really as I go through life I realise it was my mother who gave me the most valuable instructions. I didn't understand or accept it at the time. She taught me to read and to pray - two things that have really stayed with me.
The bible is very resonant. It has everything, creation, betrayal, lust, poetry, prophecy, sacrifice. All great things are in the bible and all great writers have drawn from it and more than people realise, whether Shakespeare, Herman Melville or Bob Dylan. Of course there are stories that are still relevant and inspiring; lessons that need to be taught over and over again. And they give people hope.
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...heroine: the artist, the premier mistress writhering in a garden graced w/highly polished blades of grass... release (ethiopium) is the drug...an animal howl says it all...notes pour into the caste of freedom...the freedom to be intense...to defy social order and break the slow kill monotony of censorship. to break from the long bonds of servitude-ruthless adoration of the celestial shepherd. let us celebrate our own flesh-to embrace not ones race mais the marathon-to never let go of the fiery sadness called desire.
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Eyeing the traffic circulating the lobby hung with bad art. Big invasive stuff unloaded on Stanley Bard in exchange for rent. The hotel is an energetic, desperate haven for scores of gifted hustling children from every rung of the ladder. Guitar bums and stoned-out beauties in Victorian dresses. Junkie poets, playwrights, broke-down filmmakers, and French actors. Everybody passing through here is somebody, if not in the outside world.
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I really feel concerned about young people within our present culture. Our present culture, we have to change. Change is inevitable and I wasn't raised in our present culture but it has great pressure that as a young person I never had. Material pressure, social pressure, visual pressure, how you look, and I just try to appeal to young people to think for themselves, to be their own person, and to ask questions and also be very attentive to our planet and our environment.
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