I came back to the US and earned a new A.A. in English Literature at Saddleback College. I never really liked school, but I got a 4.0 and a bunch of awards, and I was published a few more times. UC Berkeley wanted me.
Today I am graduating from UC Berkeley. That means I have been in the United States for four years. I've lost a great deal by going this route, but I've gained a great deal, too. I am constantly thinking that I might be going the wrong way. Some of what it means to be a scholar has felt entirely unnatural to me, and I don't think I've done one thing like I was supposed to my whole life. I certainly haven't done this education thing the way other people do. People think it's good to be different, but it's also quite lonely.
I am lucky to have friends. Normal people have friends, but I know that I put my friends through a lot more than normal people do. I know that it must seem weird to be friends with someone like me. It's hard being friends with poets and artists for normal people.
It's hard for a poet and an artist to be a scholar and a gentleman. Someone asked me why poetry.
And I answered, why do I do any of the things I do? What else am I supposed to be doing?