"He was at the top of his class when this happened," said Billy's mother.
"Maybe he was working too hard," said Rosewater. He held a book he wanted to read, but he was much too polite to read and talk, too, easy as it was to give Billy's mother satisfactory answers. The book was Maniacs in the Fourth Dimension, by Kilgore Trout. It was about people whose mental diseases couldn't be treated because the causes of the diseases were all in the fourth dimension, and three-dimensional Earthling doctors couldn't see those causes at all, or even imagine them.
One thing Trout said that Rosewater liked very much was that there really were vampires and werewolves and goblins and angels and so on, but that they were in the fourth dimension. So was William Blake, Rosewater's favorite poet, according to Trout. So were heaven and hell.
The fourth dimension sounds like a pretty wild ride according to Kilgore Trout. Vampires and werewolves. Heaven and hell. It sounds like a Twilight fan's dream come true. Doesn't surprise me that Blake is there, too. I once took a class in the poetry of William Blake. I came away from the semester believing that Blake had either been drinking too much lead-based ink or was not of this world. Trout has answered my question.
It feels like I have been operating in the fourth dimension for the last couple of days. Grading like crazy. Writing a new poem. Reading a poetry manuscript. Trying to squeeze in some quality time with my family. I have been operating so far out of time that I thought the Tony Awards were on TV last night. Turns out I was off by a week. Either that or I've already watched the Tony Awards next week, and now I'm back to the present. Maybe I'm unstuck in time. Wouldn't surprise me.
Tonight, I am going to a meeting of the Marquette Poets Circle. It's workshop and open mic. I've been pushing like crazy to get all my work done so that I can attend with a mind free of pressing obligations. Graded three papers this afternoon. Just finished an eight-hour shift at the medical office. Once this blog post is done, I have nothing to worry about but poetry, poetry, poetry. (Yes, I stole that little anaphora from Elizabeth Bishop's "The Fish.")
I am a great believer in tackling odious tasks head-on. That's why I started my day at 4:45 a.m., correcting essays for my online class. There's a sense of great relief when the most difficult tasks are completed early. All the rest of day is a piece of pecan pie (preferable to cake). Typing this blog post is a pleasure. Ditto picking a new Poet of the Week. And going to the workshop tonight. My conscience is free, and I can indulge myself.
That is the breadth of scope of my wisdom for today.
Saint Marty is thankful this afternoon for check marks on to-do lists.