Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Went to the graduation at Pacific Crest. Rigel, one of the graduating seniors, thanked me in her speech for my poetry class and my War and Peace class (which, she said, left her "more morally confused than ever.") I wrestled with myself before the graduation. I wanted to give her a graduation present, an edition of Yeats, maybe: and yet it was plain to me that so much of my motivation was the intent to remind her of me, that I didn't know if I should do it. In the event I didn't have time to buy a book, anyway. Hugged her afterward. Thanked her. Then took Alan, who had been dreadfully bored by the ceremony but bore it heroically, home -- what a wonderful, catch-all excuse kids are!

An excuse, because I wanted to flee. Almost overwhelmed by the desire to somehow freeze the moment and make it real -- to make it more real -- to make it permanent -- to be always the great poetry teacher and life-changer -- the pain was almost enough to make me writhe. A year or two ago I might have mistaken the agitation for pleasure. It's not: it's about the purest suffering I ever experience. The bottomless dissatisfaction, yearning, clutching. Just about everything seriously evil I've ever done I've done in the grip of that agitation. No food could ever still that hunger: it's innately, structurally, unappeasable.

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