Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Virtues of Embarrassment

People forget that I want to disappoint. — Gabriel Orozco
I experience writing as a dance with embarrassment. Language lets me humiliate myself systematically; it lets me become the champion of my own stupidity. Through both prose and poetry—especially through poetry—I insist upon my narrowness; I drag my indignation and self-importance into the light so as to destroy it and rescue myself from the boredom of being right.

Day after day I read what I've written—which at the moment of its creation echoed "GENIUS!"—and I marvel at my theatrical cluelessness, at my ambition, my naive glee. My god, I think: the vanity! And—as if to repudiate the increasing evidence of my own pointlessness—I begin again.

So this blog serves best as a record of my stupidity. It's a record of my embarrassing search for what Richard Buckner calls the "gone ghosts that only suckers make." The Bewildered Eye is the archive of a sucker. I'm grateful for it not least because its avalanche of failures proves that I'm still alive, that I'm still willing to risk catastrophe, and, most plainly, that I still enjoy the fruits of my past embarrassments: a broken heart, a yearning for wildness, and an abiding hope that eventually, despite all, love and beauty will win the day.

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