The fool represents human fallibility, and mine also represents the human capacity for hope in hopeless situations and a basic will towards goodness, however unreachable that may be in a world that is most often veering towards its opposite. Fool represents what the novelist Stanley Elkin called the main theme of modern comedy: powerlessness — specifically the powerlessness of the individual in the course of human history, especially modern history. So there’s a seriousness beneath the comic surface in nearly all my Fool poems. This seriocomic element is present in the works of all my favorite writers and comedians. I think the tension created between comedy and seriousness generates an extra element of power in the works of authors who can maintain the risky balancing act.