My Literary Disaster

It was the last assignment of the last day of the semester and I screwed it up in all its nonchalant relinquishing of failure.

The presentation should have been a persuasion that Hunter S Thompson’s make believe and lies are what all literature should have and to quit scrutinising reality- it’s all a story.

I’m telling you this and it really happened, but I’m picking the words and making it a story.

The night before I memorised most of it to a stop watch like a theatre script.

On the day I typed it all and made handouts, playing at teacher, playing at intellects.

Nothing would print. Forget the handouts, email it to my Kindle.

I couldn’t log back in to the computers in 2buildings. When I did all my work had vanished.

So after a 15minute walk to another campus while the presentations had started, phoning IT maintenance, finding another machine, choking, power walking back to class…..

I sat on the desk in my glittery converse shoes and talked of disjointed pieces of ill forgotten script from fatigue and nerves.

Thompson would have applauded my mashed up brain.

A few sentences in I got that feeling like the dreams of going to school naked and just gave up because I knew no one wanted to hear my babbling of acid trips and Cadillacs.

They probably think I was high. I hate drugs yet am engrossed in the Beatniks and Thompson’s highs and farcical paranoia.

Why do I study dead men who wrote books with no career path? It’s all there to read, explained better than I can. What do I do with dead junky writers?

I started this course loving the Brontes wanting to teach.

I’ve turned into Ezra Pounds dirty socks.

My tastes are so oblique I spent 2 hours in Waterstones despondent at the choice. Where is the Cantos, The Waste Land among thousands of crimes and failed marriages and Hobbits?

I settled for Kerouac and Burroughs fiction version of their friend murdering an infatuated English teacher, long unpublished.

Weirdly I like more poets than authors; Plath, Eliot, Pound, Ginsberg – all fill my bag and Starbuck table.

What use do I find to all this study and revelations everyone else already read?


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