fucked up

a dark place, Cambridge —
where I learned to refuse my
own life completely

In my dream, I was anxious to hire a cap and gown for some kind of ceremony (graduation presumably) at Cambridge. More than a suspicion of feeling faintly ridiculous to be part of it, particularly because the gown itself is such an odd piece of clothing — but determined to take it seriously. Awake, it’s the hollowness of it all that I remember. I suffered the most acute loneliness of my life in the first year there. I can’t really grasp how terrible it was, and couldn’t believe it at the time. This poem seems closely related to yesterday’s. Courage to discover myself and explore my own human nature in a daring way, was what I singularly lacked at Cambridge. I performed some of my own poetry yesterday evening, at a kind of revue for World Mental Health Day — which was maybe a bit like seizing the opportunity to live, forty years late.


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