James, you know

an erasure of a conversation between Tony Hoagland and James Franco

my mind is Frank Bidart’s Metaphysical Dog. I might be cheating a little
ecently, and I read drafts of that book as he was writing it. In fact, the I met him—we met in Cambridge over
y film adaptation of his poem, “Herbert White”—he showed me a poem he had written about Heath Ledger that used a
t getting into character. That was about three or four years before the book actuall
I have some other

I like the form so much,

I have talked about Frank’s work often. You said that you appreciate the dark inner weavings,
fire and venom at each other. In some ways, I think that is exactly right.

in his work. His work is unique. And as you say, scary.

I’ll turn the focus onto your work. I have your poem
I jump rope every day, in large print,
definitely references his. One of the things I love
contemporary life: television, blue hair dye, advertising,

you are getting the chance to be an ambassador for poetry, and an explainer of what it is as you
travel among the Philistines. I wonder have you come up with any good sound bites

I know that you spend a lot of your time answering that question
I do feel like I am the student again trying to come up with the right answer. I think I’ll jump
I think it is true, I am an ambassador, in a lot of ways. This is because I do a lot of things,
my thing. It’s great because in my life I get to have conversations with my favorite poets like you, and my favorite
, and my favorite artists like Paul McCarthy. And because I walk in
—in almost everything I do, there is a conjunction of at least: when I direct I always adapt , when I write I
as a subject or metaphor, when I perform I
uses film and performance as a way to look at life. So, the crossover is what gets me, what gives me
if I found my “voice,”

To answer the question about poetry and what it’s good for, I’d say

attached to the hearts and minds of others. I suppose the best

you use the word spiritual, and to hear you speak of spiritual energy

your personal calling
ith elements of each other. Maybe you’re a pollinator, James,

Don’t you think silence,

Before I answer, I’m going to pull out

You asked me,

I love
epigrammatic fragments broken by asterisks,
I think

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