As a poet I wanted to validate myself by forcing my readers to respect my talent, such as it was. But success as a poet, even in the minimal way that I enjoyed it, wasn't satisfying because the respect I earned didn't change the way I felt inside. I could be called clever or gifted by 20 men, but I still felt like I had been cut adrift from life. I still didn't know how to wake up in a good mood in the mornings.
These days I seek to understand myself, not validate myself. I want to figure out how to wake up in a good mood in the mornings. And periodically I'm achieving it, though I still suffer the overhang of those other, ego-driven days in periods of unwanted isolation, unaccountable sadness, and what Allen Ginsberg calls "lacklove". That will end, one day, if I can stay on the track that I have put myself on these past few months. Sometimes these days Heaven and Earth seem like two parts of one giant eye winking at me in divine amusement.