Omega: Is there a poem that inspired you to be a poet?
Mark: The poetry of Pablo Neruda really inspired me. When I first read his work, I felt like, “I must belong to this tribe.” My oldest friend, Robert, who comes with me as a guest every year when I teach at Omega, introduced me to Neruda. I was so moved, I wouldn’t give him the book back.
Omega: In 1987, you were diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma, which has greatly informed much of your work. What’s the first step toward healing?