Pop Culture
Dec 26, 2013, 09:34AM

There's Still Plenty of Mystery

A 2013 Salon.com interview with musician David Byrne vs. a 2011 O Magazine interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver.

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David Byrne: You're never going to reach other people.

Mary Oliver: Absolutely. I'm very easy with that.

Byrne: They self-mythologize. It never ends well.

Oliver: I'm here for three days, could I take you to lunch?

Byrne: I’m afraid I’m probably not the one to ask. The audience is not there for that.

Oliver: Well, that's why I wanted to be invisible, I'm sure.

Byrne: Hmm. Wow.

Oliver: It's true.

Byrne: You never know.

Oliver: I don't know.

Byrne: It's easy to imagine. There's still plenty of mystery.

Oliver: I went to the dump to gather up old shingles, my usual routine, and one fellow who saw me said, "Didn't I see you on television last night?"

Byrne: It was really about his golf game.

Oliver: It was bad, it was derivative.

Byrne: It's a social thing. Some of it is very tedious, and some of it is really wonderful, but it’s very obviously theatrical.

Oliver: Yes. I was very, very lonely.

Byrne: That's incredible. You can push that form, but kind of from inside the genre.

Oliver: When you can't help but go there. I used up a lot of pencils.

Byrne: It doesn’t appear to be naturalistic in any way, shape or form.

Oliver: It excites me. To me, it's all right if you look at a tree, as the Hindus do, and say the tree has a spirit.

Byrne: It's the other way around.

Oliver: Well.


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