The relentless evisceration of texts has got me down.
the combing and picking and teasing out occult meaning,
the contexualizing and histori-izing and criticizing.
I’m a demoralized dessicated ossified scholar
With inkstained fingertips and eraser smut on my lap,
a wonky wandering eye, twitching wrists, and a crookback.
What happened to curling up with a old book in a
warm bethrowrugged nook? A mug of tea and time?
What happened to the pure joy of reading for reading’s sake?
I want to read something, anything sans highlighter in my hand
and pen clenched twixt teeth—sticky flags, post-it notes,
cf’s and nota bene’s, the scrawled taint of marginalia.
I want it back—the plunge into the multiplicity
of universes manifest in the dripping rivulets of whitespace,
the possibility of flight despite the justified typography
(though better than flush left and ragged right)
The simple luxury of the slowly fingered page, flip,
flipping at leisure verso, recto, verso, recto.
Damned! The delight has been dammed,
held back, now stagnant pulp muck.
Graduate school, you whoreson dog!
You’ve drained the river to a trickle, trained me,
pickled my brain. Even a menu must be deconstructed!
Restaurant scansion, counting syllables in appetizers, I’m lost.
Can I be saved? Perhaps there’s a quiet place
I can sit and rehabilitate with a copy of something light
like À la recherche du temps perdu. Dunking cookies in tea,
I’ll stretch out and swim into the whitespace rivers, the
flowing cataracts of thought uninterrupted by editorial,
simply text and text. Verso, recto. Verso, recto.