Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Micromanaging Melancholy

Yes, give up hope all ye who enter here. I persist in my depression that began three weeks ago, give or take a few mixed states.

I have settled into my negative personality. I imagine explanations for every blow of Kathleen's criticism, though it rarely comes--I am nevertheless prepared for that iron rain.

Everyone ignores me, I am invisible. I sit on the deck and read Keats by the redwoods and wish to become insensate in their towering excellence, their ramrod-straight striving for the sun without apology.

Love Keats' "Ode to Melancholy," one of the best poems I know that tries to make sense out of manic-depression. "Ode to a Nightingale" and "Ode to a Grecian Urn" skirt the same subject but not so personally.

Kathleen is happy. She tells me I am negative and boring. I wholeheartedly agree while in this state. I am grateful for her company but have no right to expect anything more than a grudging tolerance for my existence. She tells me she loves me but I know better; that's the transparent habit of compassion she's developed for a nobody of no consequence.

I am too tired to catch her in the lie; after all, what difference does it make if I cannot imagine being loved, much less feel love?

It's amazing how very bad Keats was until the last years of his life. The transformation is quick and unforeseen. Beforehand I would never have imagined him becoming a first rate poet, rather relegated as a minor Romantic hack. Only five of all his belabored sonnets are worth saving. Then come "St. Agnes" and the incredible Odes. Go figure.

Dead at 25. Lucky bastard. I see my last twenty years going by in a "poof" of forgettable gray negatives of nothing some fools might mistake for a life.
So much for the happy ramblings of the depressed.

NOTE: None of the above should be construed as strictly true or even what the writer believes, rather a sour exhalation of melancholic vapors.

Thine in Despondency,



  1. CE... are you taking the medication? or will it help. Unfortunately, gray melancholy can drown you...

  2. Anonymous8:28 AM PDT


    I believe your gift for articulation, particularly while in the belly of this black beast, will lighten another's path. Yes, there is no consolation, but use the pen as a life-raft --both for yourself and others.

    take care

  3. hmm, you must be feeling melancholic, to think so lowly of the sonnets!

    mm, but really, i'd be curious to know which five. i tend to think fairly highly of them--at least as a record of his progress, what he was reading, thinking, etc. i recall that he would often include them in letters, so probably a majority of them were spontaneously (or at least hastily) written. not to excuse bad writing but it gives more of an epistolary flair to them. maybe this is something that only critics would be interested in. anyway. I like his sonnets in general better than Shakespeare's.

    take care. don't forget to let her rave...


  4. Ah my friends. No time to respond in detail today, though I never know if it's God or the Devil who's supposed to be in the details.

    As for Keats' sonnets, I'll give David a list of those I think worth preserving when I have access to the net at home, where I also have my book.

    Bought a bunch of gardening stuff today. Kathleen thinks I'm feeling better. Yes, massah, I am taking my medications, but always a good question to ask.

    Look for my upcoming blog on the story of Kenyon and Jacob. That's what I want to write about.

    Thanks for stopping by,


  5. p.s. I posted a revised version of "The Deprivathon" in the old posting space for it, should any wish to preserve or download it.

    And no, we're not smoking. But I have been Jonesing in my depression.


  6. For David:

    Below the five sonnets of Keats I think worth preserving:

    To Byron

    On First Looking into Chapman's Homer

    Written in Disgust of Vulgar Superstition

    To a Cat

    Two Sonnets on Fame, I

    Can't believe I finally got to this!



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