Every writer has doubt, but when you are a writer that is as obscure as me, you have a lot of doubt. I write poems. Sometimes they get published–I find that I am generally outside of the larger trends of literary word. Too avant-garde for most narrative or nature poetry, and too concerned with some hybrid narrative for a lot of avant-garde poetry. The dominance of the hybrid form has brought me a little success, but I still have two whole manuscripts finished and largely unpublished.
As a political commentator, I feel the same way. I often askew the easy for the difficult, and I try to challenge my own preconceptions of political working. I sure out things that make me comfortable. When I wrote for the North Star, a socialist renewal-type paper, this habit got me called over-academic. I kept being told I was too negative, and against “the movement.” Many because I did not think the “movement” was thought through very well. The fates of lot of the bigger personalities out of Occupy are dim lights: Justine Tunney–first advocating silicon valley run the government, then sabotaging OWS twitter, and even endorsing “neo-reactionary”Menius Moldbug–and Micah White, who has decided that despite the fact the majority of the world population is urban, that the revolution will be “rural” (or really, actually, exurban). The turn is profound, but it was predictable. I wrote about the importance of the way Occupy would inevitably fail back in 2011: that what would be learned was important. It was not a popular position to take, although it is now. I still worry that none of us learned the “right” things. I doubted the meaningfulness of David Graeber’s prefiguration, or the possibility of the debt jubilee mattering–and in fact, I suspect it would be counter productive and I am not the only one.
Still being the “political skeptic’s skeptic” is like being a “poet’s poet” and I have been called both. In those moments of doubt, I want to quit chattering at the chattering classes, get a terminal degree in counseling therapy, and move to the Yucatan and not write anymore. The moments are fleeting, but they are real.