TO BE FAIR, MOST POETS ARE LEFTIES: “When I was a kid, I thought of the poetry life as having these noncompetitive values—which isn’t to say that I’m not competitive, because I’m as competitive as the next person. But I had this fantasy of a supportive bohemia with no judgment. It’s really ironic how, even though there are no rewards in poetry, the little that there are, everyone’s so competitive about, and everyone is backbiting and striving for some kind of recognition in a way that’s probably more sordid than among painters, because there is actually a possibility of having some sort of comfortable life when you’re a painter, while the poets have to fight for scraps.”
If you read the whole interview, the underlying theme is money and the lack of it. As the old saying goes, when a bunch of writers get together, they inevitably wind up talking about not art, but money.