So the school year is ending over here and I am clearing out various bins in my office. I handwrite almost everything these days, poems, yes, but also blog posts, letters, casual essays, and academic articles, and very often, they remain on handwritten slips until I find the presence of mind or the time to put them together into something coherent. The system, such as it is, has drawbacks. For example, this. Rifling through papers slotting them into file folders, I have just come across some pages of verse, but I have no idea whose they are or what they are. Did I make these up? Did I copy them out from some source because I liked them? Was it a metrical experiment using random words (something I do sometimes)? Maybe it was an early version of my translations of Goethe's travel journal, which I have turned into a long poem called "Three September Seventeen Eighty Six," currently under review? Really, I have no idea. I Googled some lines and nothing comes up, so maybe I wrote them. Anyway, I don't think they're good enough to become real poems, but I also feel weird about just tearing them up, so I'll just put them here for safe keeping. If anyone knows them to be someone else's, or to sound eerily like something you've read in Goethe, feel free to let me know.
What I lacked in freedom of movement,
Since the roads plotted my sure course,
I made up for in freedom of worship: kneeling before
any star or starlet suggested to me
by the authorities on such matters.
Conscripted by my class, I still had bands
I could not listen to, and grew resentful for that.
The rebellion, that is so say, shrunk with the enclosure acts.
Odd, no? What is this thing? Then there's this:
Men in hats will save the world by
knowing whatever it is the people knew
who built it, and by being willing to learn
from the past enough to ensure a future
for the country and planet and their own
remedial and often pointless lives. These
salvations are available to men with hats
in a degree unique to their caste, although
accessible also by women in dresses.
I don't know what's going on here any more than you do.