Hitching a ride, trusting a partner, marrying the same person three times
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Ilya Kaminsky came to the United States in 1993 from Odessa, in the former Soviet Union. He lives in California and is the author of Dancing in Odessa (Tupelo Press).
I believe the only possible ethical consciousness is one that accounts for the whole human being, that doesn’t leave any of it out — and this is precisely what poetry can achieve. On a social scale, this would be a government that accounts for all of its population — the poor, the rich, women, men, children, old people, black, white. Poetry is a way to integrate all of who we are: the saint, the murderer, all of it. By this, I don’t mean to suggest that we give the murderer free rein, but we have to account for that aspect of human psychology and understand it, not just push it aside.