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«I look to theory when I realize that somebody has dedicated their entire life to a question I have only fleetingly considered. I used to be an ...»

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Successful ideas have the appearance of simplicity because they seem inevitable.

Make something useful useless.

The Chicago Manual of Style doesn’t offer guidelines for footnoting sources that are acknowledged to be plagiarized and yet cannot be traced.

Only an amateur answers his critics.

If you work on something a little bit every day, you end up with something that is massive.

Dare to be naive.

An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.

I’m bored when I’m not memeing.

Anyone who is interested in poetry is interested in it for the right reasons. Otherwise, they’d be out of their minds to stick around.

I am a fake. But not a lie.

Artists ask questions, and they don’t give answers.

Artists make messes and leave it for others to clean up.

Do we really need another poem that describes the way light falls on your writing desk as a metaphor for your mother’s cancer operation?


If you admit plagiarism, it’s fine. If you try to sneak it by, you get caught.

I am unoriginal; I just keep stealing, plundering, and robbing myself.

Drag is plagiarism.

Decriminalize plagiarism.

Plagiarism is, indeed, hip.

Christian Marclay on not clearing any permissions for The Clock: “Technically it’s illegal, but most would consider it fair use.” The Clock is both illegal and legal, outlaw and legit.

If you make it good and interesting and not ridiculing or offensive, the creators of the original material will like it, said Christian Marclay about not clearing any permissions for The Clock.

Theorize your digital existence.

If it isn’t self-conscious, don’t trust it.

If it isn’t pretentious, don’t trust it.

If it isn’t false, don’t trust it.

When Picasso learned of Duchamp’s death, he was heard to simply mutter, “He was wrong.” All the money in the world can’t make a better book of poetry.

You have no idea how hard it is to be unoriginal.

I am not interested in good; I am interested in new -- even if this includes the possibility of its being evil.

Democracy is fine for YouTube, but it’s generally a recipe for disaster when it comes to art.

The text of a newspaper is released from its paper prison of fonts and columns, its thousands of designs, corporate, political decisions, now flattened into an nonhierarchical expanse of sheer potentiality as a generic text document begging to be repurposed, dumped into a reconditioning machine and cast into a new form.

To be disappointed in government is to believe in government.

Syntax is the arrangement of the army.

The limits of the network are the limits of my world.

I’m everything you fear I am. And worse.

Far from being ‘authorless and nameless’, our texts are timestamped and indexed by the technology that created them.

Cruising the web for new language. The sexiness of the cursor as it sucks up words from anonymous web pages, like a stealth encounter. The dumping of those words, sticky with residual junk, back into the local environment;

scrubbed with text soap, returned to their virginal state, filed away, ready to be reemployed.

Sculpting with text.

Data mining.

Sucking on words.

Our task is to simply mind the machines.

Barthes’ “Death of the Author” revealed that authorship is a capitalist construct. It didn’t stop authorship; it only showed its hollowness. Our consciousness is saturated by social media’s fountain of text. Because of Barthes we are trained to read without regard to authorial intent.

Meanwhile, new technology driven by capitalist logic again and again proves the postmodern tradition absurd.

Yes you can be copied but you can’t be imitated.

Being distracted is the new paying attention.

There’s a shitload of Internet out there.

There are no more writings and no more writers because in the 21st century these have become data and metadata.

I began tire of the everyday. After all, the job of retyping the entire Internet could go on forever.

A used discourse is better than a new one.

Plagiarize your plagiarizers. Bootleg your bootleggers.

Pirate your pirates.

We fret too much over originality. even if we do the same project as another artist, it can never be the same.

I really don’t think that there’s a stable or essential “me.” I am an amalgamation of so many things: books I’ve read, movies I’ve seen, televisions shows I’ve watched, conversations I’ve had, songs I’ve sung, lovers I’ve loved.

In fact, I’m a creation of so many people and so many ideas to the point where I feel that I’ve actually had very few original thoughts and ideas; to think that any of this was original would be blindingly egotistical. Sometimes I’ll think that I’ve had an original thought or feeling and then, at 2 a.m. while watching an old movie on TV that I hadn’t seen in many years, the protagonist will spout something that I had previously claimed as my own. In other words, I took his words (which, of course, weren’t really “his words” at all), internalized them and made them my own. This happens all the time.

Changing a period to a comma in Wikipedia registers on the page’s history with the same magnitude as if you’ve deleted or added a paragraph. In this way -- through micromaneuvers -- writing subtly, but definitely changes the world.

The gradual accumulation of words; a blizzard of the evanescent.

Over lunch at MoMA with Stephen Burt, I learned the difference between a lyrical and a conceptual approach to writing. The conversation came around to music and I expressed my preference for the LP, while he said he preferred the single. He said that he admired the idea of perfect craftsmanship that went into a single, the crisp lyrical quality, and the high stakes involved in compressing everything into an explosively compact format.

I responded that I preferred the concept album and the idea that while there might be some dead moments, the brilliance of conceiving of a complete work outweighed the quality of its parts. Stephen preferred a Beatles song like “Taxman,” while I’d take the mess that is The White Album.

Our different approaches to poetry have never been made so clear to me as they were that day.

When retyping a book, I often stop and ask myself if what I am doing is really writing. As I sit there, in front of the computer screen, punching keys, the answer is invariably yes.

everything I’m saying has been said before by others. There is nothing new here, just remixes and rehashes of soiled ideas and well-worn theories.

I’ve stolen things that weren’t mine and have made a career out of forgery and dishonesty. I’m proudly fraudulent. And it’s served me well -- I highly recommend it as an artistic strategy. But really, don’t take my word for it.

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