Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I'm perplexed. My Facebook status tells me so. And I only barely know why.

It has mostly to do with school, with being frustrated with the pedantry and pretension of it all---the institution of literary criticism, that is. I've gone through bouts this semester when I just want to give it all up, to become a reclusive poet, self-exiled from the world.

Then again, that wouldn't work either. Poetry is rooted in experience with the world. So while a poet must necessarily be solitary, able to retreat into the self, they must also be connected to the world.

And that's really why I can't give up, can't give in to the pedant, the pretense: I'm passionate enough about literature and language and sense the power therein that I have to believe that I can make some difference with the institutionalized knowledge a Ph.D. offers.

There's that, and my wife won't let me. She has too much confidence that I can make it work.

And my fortune confirms that (darn it all; I was hoping someone would pander to my self-pity. Alas, even the two-week-old fortune cookie gods think I can do it): "Your troubles will cease and fortune will smile upon you."

Well, fortune, smile away.

I'm waiting.