I believe poems begin long before they’re written. They’re sort of embedded in the possibility of language. The poems we write in some ways exist even before the English language, before the specific language that we’re using, before words even. The possibility inherent in the poem is this massive force that animates the poem, that exists before and after the poem. So I don’t feel like they have a beginning. And, as a result, they don’t really have an ending.
A sentence is unfinishable in a way that it’s unstartable as well. We can—syntactically, semiotically—finish sentences. We have subject, predicate and modifying clauses and they’re finished with a period. Part of what makes language fun is the suspense of what’s going to be said before that final period that makes us consider the whole sentence as a unit. There’s that state of waiting—a suspension we’re in until the end of the sentence—that carries so much possibility and eternity in it. That moves me intellectually. Especially the best sentences: “I love you because...” “We’re going to unplug this respirator because...” A sentence is a living thing and that’s the medium that we work in as poets. When I think of sentences, I don’t just think about grammar and copyediting. I think of the medium in which we prove we’re living.