This is not an Index

(after Harper’s Index)

Found this lyric essay in an old file box today. It’s from 2007 for a class in creative nonfiction with Maureen Stanton. I thought for years I’d lost it… and then there it was:

This is Not an Index

Hours, per week, in my graduate student schedule: Black holes warble
Hours in study outside the classroom: see Poincare Conjecture proof
Hours of teaching: the half-life of brawny corpuscles
Amount of time it takes to prepare one hour of freshmen English: 44 years
Number of hours needed to complete composition pedagogy class work: Methuselah
Number of years teaching composition: Just before the twin towers went down
On a scale of one to ten, one being least likely, and ten, being, you know, a body-wracking, mouth-puckering, awesomely numbing orgasm, that I will teach composition when I graduate: Oh yeah
Rank of my desire to teach composition: Dante’s ninth ring of hell
Hours in the week spent writing: Overdraft
Rank of writing among four reasons for enrolling in a PhD program: GOD
My age: Kennedy was shot
Average age of my classmates: Tupac was shot
Number of times I get invited in a week to drink: I’m a friend of Bill W
Years sober: Sun kills moon, whiskey weakens memory
Hours reading theory per week: Language speaks
Hours striving to understand Heidegger: Anxiously few. College is short, life is long
Number of professors who have asked me to stop talking and do less: Dead Sea
Number of professors who have asked me to talk and do more: Everest
Bipolar since: Oswald in the Book Depository window, one eye closed
Number of people who are normal: Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!
Number of people who are crazy: one and it’s obviously you
What is love?: You, me and everyone we know
  • Figures cited are the latest available as of exactly right now as you are reading this, gripping your pen and your coffee and thinking to yourself- should I do laundry tonight? THIS IS NOT AN INDEX is barely registered (in human terms) for obvious reasons. Duh.

artwork is mine