Looped on Lousy Poetry

Ever tried reading William Blake’s hokier mythological epics, complete with Urizen and Los and the gang? It’s only by sheer force of will that I’m pushing myself through this section of his selected works, which sounds somehow like a bad round of Dungeons & Dragons, or maybe a magick-obsessed ’70s rock band that never made it. At any rate, the going got stranger– not sure whether that meant easier, more difficult, or none of the above– when combined with a dose of TheraFlu last night. I was already skimming through bouts of divine vengeance and melodrama, but a nice, warm, lemony drink of acetaminophen made everything flow just a little more smoothly, maybe even more vaguely, and that may have been the key to getting me through a record-breaking thirty pages of the stuff in one sitting.

Why am I doing this to myself? No one’s going to quiz me on Blake’s metaphysics, and even if that hypothetical examiner showed up, I can’t think of any conceivable way in which my failure to satisfy him would affect my life. I rarely give up on a book, the memorable exceptions being Tolkien’s Silmarillion and Joyce Carol Oates’ The Falls. Maybe I’ve stuck with this one because Blake is Someone Everyone Should Know.

If nothing else, this whole experience is giving me another level of insight into Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man. I’ll take whatever I can get, I suppose.


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