Lucille Clifton: If you don’t get any food, you starve physically and if you don’t get any food for the inside, your soul starves.
Chester Thompson: Especially today, now that everything is so profit-driven.
Clifton: I’ve come this far without thinking about all of that.
Thompson: I don’t know if I have any strong feelings one way or another.
Clifton: That’s probably the scariest thing I write about.
Thompson: In Nashville, come December, things get real quiet. (Laughs) This was quite some time before it actually happened. A couple of things changed.
Clifton: That’s all changed. It’s not just intellectual.
Thompson: There wasn’t an audition, actually.
Clifton: Or it may not happen at all. I’m a little discouraged in terms of hope because lessons don’t seem to get learned very easily in the greater culture.
Thompson: In any case, I remember intense times of confusion and loneliness, and I was just really determined that my son was not going to grow up that way.
Clifton: That just makes other people happy. They’re fictional and real: Aunt Jemima speaks in her voice, Pocahontas speaks.
Thompson: They would always find a room for me to set it up and practice in, and I would have on headphones so as not to disturb everybody.
Clifton: You know something? That’s part of the human condition.
Thompson: Well, yeah. Unfortunately, at that point, the vibes were just all gone.
Clifton: And I think people are becoming more American.