05 December 2010

I Dream Again Now of Spectacular Failures

I dream again now of spectacular failures,
to cushion me against the rude shocks
of success. In the unfortunate case
of my bosses, for instance, I will resoundingly
announce my verdict. (Tough but fair.) I'll let
the next blind shoulder that knocks into me
just push me down, and lie there in the street.
I will not suffer anyone to help
me up who is not of pure heart. (I will
wait hours, blocking traffic.) At last
I will become completely unembarrassable,
and make flamboyantly embarrassing

                 After this they will demand
so little. Once it was thought I would
not even go to college, my sickness be
my work. In such a state it's an accomplishment
to sleep eight hours soundly. In such a state,
to waste an afternoon in fabrication
of tiny beauties is still strange, but less so.
It is, at least, forgiven.

                                      So I
weakmindedly imagine. In truth in such
a state there are still bosses, they are doctors.
The work is not the sickness but the getting
well; one is demanded to perform it
with such haste, in such bad faith.
So what to do but to stitch closed that artery,
though it should mean forgetting the actual tint
and quickness of the blood.


On the above: just a poemlet written on a train, in the blank spaces of an advertisement about airports and computers since I didn't have any paper. It doesn't rise to the status of anything much, I think, but it is a way of saying in brief how things are with me right now. There are so very many things I could say directly about what is happening in my job and my life but I no longer have any time to write them down at work because of them. People keep congratulating me, but most days I would rather have been fired. I think of quitting but probably will not be brave enough. I just got back from visiting a friend who never is afraid to quit bad jobs -- a good influence. My blue-collar sense of responsibility and my fear of angering everyone and also never finding another job again will likely keep me at it, even so. Truly I feel that the entire United States of America will castigate me as an ingrate if I deliberately leave such a very good job.

Another good influence is Laura Riding's Progress of Stories, which I have been reading lately for the first time. Some things she has to say:

"The wisest course was for the young to be grateful to the old and to show their gratitude by seeming to understand how important it was to have worries -- instead of behaving as if worries were a disease. It was this kind of delicacy that sold art." -- "The Incurable Virtue."

"And this was the difference between the world of self and the world of knowledge: that the world of knowledge was only and endless prolongation of uncertainty, while the world of self was a prolongation of fear of uncertainty." -- "Miss Banquett, or the Populating of Cosmania."

It's possible that I won't be able to update this blog in any regular way for several months, and then after that the substance of my life may be different enough that the concept of it will have to be changed entirely. To my very avid and loyal and very imaginary readers, I apologize.

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