This is a prose poem I wrote back in 2010. It is the last poem that I’ve written. What I find shocking about it is that it isn’t bad. It isn’t great. I’m not a poet.
I don’t have the patience for it. Every poem I’ve ever written contains parts that don’t quite work. I think the change in tone of “It allows me” is too abrupt. But I could work days on that problem and never solve it. People think writing poetry is easy because there aren’t many words. It’s quite the opposite.
What I doubtless most like about this poem is how it sums up my intellectual loneliness. The people of my intellectual caliber are not interested in the things I am interested in, and the people who are interested in what I am interested in are so far beyond me that I can learn from them but not share with them.
On the plus side, I feel infinitely more cheerful than I did when I wrote this. But the questions do remain.
It is dark here. The moon but a sliver sharp enough to sew. I see it reflected clearly on the lake — its surface calmer than stretched linen. And silent. Even, it seems, the raccoons are gone. Field mice a distant memory. My only light — shining down on The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
from page 18 of The English Reader
— escaping my windows into the vacuum of night. It allows me to notice the missing sixth stanza; the different, inferior source; the modernized language. And I wonder: did I travel so long to get here? To reread poems I have memorized? To quibble dumb with editors over what every literate person needs to know? To accept the dark — the silence? This is where my long journey has led? My greatest hopes that wildlife return to scratching and the new moon to full?
After a week like this — in which the country’s National Security Advisor resigned because of ties to the Kremlin, someone nicknamed “the foreclosure king” was put in charge of the economy and the president did something so shameful to a black reporter it’s actually too depressing to type it out — it’s borderline quaint to argue about someone like Milo Yiannopoulos…
For many in the queer community, fighting Milo has been a grating and exhausting long-term battle. The former Breitbart columnist who commandeered the troll troops to attack Leslie Jones and claimed that “Islam is the real rape culture” has still managed to find his way to the public eye — first, by appearing in a glowing Out Magazine puff piece, then by touring college campuses nationwide.
Now, it’s by showing up on Bill Maher.
Every time he makes a public appearance that’s not on his Facebook page, he triggers the same outrage cycle:
- People on Twitter rise up in protest, threaten to boycott “XYZ” and destroy it forever.
- Someone writes a viral hot take arguing that, “Blablabla, you may not agree with him . . . but free speech!”
- The internet then goes after the hot-taker, who proceeds to compose a middling tweet along the lines of, “Why can’t we just agree to disagree?”
- Someone from the show issues a watered down statement that is literally impossible to decipher, 10 news organizations repost that exact same statement and call it a story.
- Milo appears anyway. He builds his fan base. The cycle begins again.
Bill Maher Doesn’t Understand How Milo Yiannopoulos Works
Image of Heather Dockray cropped from the one on her Twitter account
. Licensed under Fair Use.