Ten Sure Signs That You Have “Packet Fever”

  1. You feel guilty about the time you spent folding laundry even though you’re going to have to have something to wear tomorrow.
  2. You start thinking that a poem about lo mein isn’t such a bad idea.
  3. It’s Sunday night and you’re wearing the same shirt you woke up in Saturday morning.
  4. You’re logged in to Instant Messenger, Gtalk, Twitter, and your e-mail account hoping that someone, even a spambot, will send you a message, the first three words of which will help you solve that difficult Mark Strand poem.
  5. The ninth coffee didn’t give you the jitters, but it also didn’t give you the focus you were hoping for.
  6. Being identified as a language poet wouldn’t bother you, because nothing you have accomplished in the last couple days makes a damn bit of sense.
  7. You wonder what possessed you to commit to reading Lowell’s Collected Poems when you could have picked seventeen volumes no longer than Trethewey’s Native Guard.
  8. Larkin doesn’t seem curmudgeonly at all any more. He was dead right about everything and everyone.
  9. You avoid human contact. If your wife knocks on your door, you become furious that she had the audacity to interrupt to tell you she’s leaving you.
  10. You feel a strange sense of bliss, because you know it won’t last forever.  You sort of wish it could.