I’m talking about is different from the self that is tied up in the identity
of the everyday. It’s a self that is very much a splintering of all different
forms of ties to this world, or material things, or the body, or identity in
that particular sense. This self is something that pushes through time
and space in a way we can’t perceive. I guess the part that is backward
from the notion that there is no I, or author, is that I do believe in a universal self of some sort; I just don’t think it’s a consistent being. I think
it’s a trickster being who is always changing, always putting different
KOO: Is writing poetry a way for you to tap into that real self, or channel
it, or move into a space where you can put on different masks?
LASKY: Everybody participates in that, and for poets it’s a way to tap
into it more easily. I would argue that anybody who’s creating anything
is connecting with that particular self, which is consistent in its inconsistency. It’s moving us along through space in a particular way.
KOO: Is it part of your mission as a poet, or just as a human being, to bring
awareness back to this notion of a universal self?
LASK Y: Any category can become dogmatic. And you get away from the
real kindness that is possible between human beings, which is suppos-
edly what illuminating those categories is in service of. That would be
the most helpful thing, to use the understanding of categories for—the
To ignore the universal is really dumb. It’s just putting a
blinder on. What are you doing with that knowledge? If we
just talk about the fact that there is injustice . . . I’d like
to see more of that talk in the service of action, as opposed
to creating more and more walls in our thinking.