I’ve taken it upon myself to live ridiculously. I’ve taken the bait. American culture constantly sells the idea that if we believe in anything strong enough and work hard enough to make it reality, success will come. Sometimes this is referred to as the protestant work ethic. Whatever it is, I must not be working hard enough.
In the last few years, I’ve come to love editing, publishing, and producing the work of relatively unknown poets. The joy I witness when they hold their very own books in their hands for the first time is worth everything I put in to making it happen. In truth, however, it has so far been and end in itself.
The world of poetry, at least in the U.S. has far more producers than consumers. Perhaps I’m wrong in this statement, but my press definitely gets at least four times as many submissions of manuscripts than orders for books, a situation that’s caused me to lose my home and thus my ability to engage in my work freely, as well as face the humiliation of depending on help from people who continue to work their asses off for the stability I’ve shunned.
I’m not proud of these choices. I simply can’t bring myself to change. I’ve found a direction in my life that has given me a profound sense of fulfillment despite it resulting in the perpetual disappearance of every thing I’ve earned in my adult life.
I do not believe in destiny or the American dream, I simply don’t want to do anything else and would prefer to live in squalor than give up what makes me happy. It’s extremely uncomfortable, but far better than the decades I spent holding back in fear from losing the comforts to which I’d grown accustomed. Every one of those terrors has been realized and my life is still far better than when it was dependable. It could possibly get worse, but dreams are often nightmares, and we can always wake up, or better yet, become lucid.
Don’t Worrry about Reality,