When vanity meets vanity–shilly-shallying and a final decision

Vanity is one of the main ways you can decipher that you’ve been touched by something, one of the main symptoms of an emotional or psychological injury, and while this can sometimes be good, and a sign of personal growth, at other times, it just goes on and on in its own way, until we decide to forget about whatever troubles us and “live for the moment,” as we are often told to do.

But when personal vanity meets personal vanity in one and the same person, it’s a real battle royale, since there are two different blocking figures standing in the way in two different directions, Vanity One (as we’ll call her) on the left-hand side, and Vanity Two (as we’ll call her) on the right-hand side. What can one do then, to prevent being squeezed to death between the two of them as they become overweening, or to prevent being torn apart between the two of them as they pull in different directions?

All this fooferal is simply to announce for my readers and commenters that I finally stopped shilly-shallying (a dialectal expression which originally probably was derived from “shall I, shall I not”). I finally deletetd all the posts which contained my poems, deleted the page which contained my first complete book of poems, and started preparing to be published in print/ebook form, I hope by early next summer some time. The “take down” was necessary in order to avoid copyright violations, and all in all, though I hated losing the comments that people had made on my site in response to the poems (since they unavoidably come down too when the posts come down), it was a necessary stage of personal growth, which if I want to, I am free to feel has made me more mature (there’s got to be some way of getting the opportunity to pat myself on the back, right? Vanity Three is waiting eagerly in the wings).

I will wait to announce the final information for book accessibility and purchase until things are actually completed, and will on this site try to get back to reviewing and commenting on books and articles or just upon life, when the notion strikes me and I feel there may be a use for the comments I make. So, while I apologize for having to delete both the poems, if you enjoyed them, and your responses (and had a hard struggle with myself about losing the material), it was necessary in order to avoid getting torn apart by the two vanities to choose a side, and stick with it. I hope you will still comment and I welcome you to my site for that. I see by my stats that a lot of you are still reading my older articles and reviews, which is all to the good, and soothes all my vanities, but I do hope in the coming months to add some new items to the list. Thanks for your patronage and tolerance, and stay as happy and well as you can during this hard time of the pandemic, when everyone is feeling a bit out of sorts personally and professionally, whether they have had contact with the Covid-19 virus or not. Shadowoperator (Victoria L. Bennett)


Filed under A prose flourish, Full of literary ambitions!, What is literature for?

7 responses to “When vanity meets vanity–shilly-shallying and a final decision

  1. This is good! Books should be out in the world & not just in ether. And you are such a good critic — really you might consider giving the NYRB a try. Reviewing for them, I mean. Best wishes and stay well. Some day we will all get through this awful time. BB


    • Thanks for the praise. I couldn’t bear to think of waiting to do a host of little poetry books, one at a time, in small, precious, hardcover bindings with only a few poems in each one, costing me the rest of my lifetime in waiting for publication, and costing my public a lot of expense in purchase. So, I went for an omnibus edition of all three books of poetry that I have extant. I won’t be setting the price, but maybe at least it’ll be worth it to purchase a bigger book with a lot of poems in it. As to how the world is getting along, it’s sucky, to say the least. I watched the first Presidential debate last night, and while I was on the left, I felt some sympathy of a possibly perverse kind for those on the right, who have such a poor candidate in their head. “Sleepy Joe,” as he was nicknamed, isn’t sleepy at all, but is up to all the tricks; it’s only a matter of getting a chance to vocalize them through all the abuse and loose, incorrect verbiage strewn about by his opponent. And every time I hear “Louisville” mentioned, I think of what well-meaning souls there are going through in their attempt to “hang with” the family of Breanna Taylor. Stay well, and avoid all the trouble that can in conscience reasonably be avoided. John Lewis’s “good trouble” is another matter.


  2. I’m looking forward to the book, it’s always good to see things coming together in such a way and it is inspiring for plebs like myself who have obly thought of such an idea from afar. I hoe you copy and pasted the comments before you deleted them. I’m looking forward to commenting many more times myself, so keep those posts coming, no pressure though.


    • Dear Ste J, Don’t worry, I’ve heard you talk about a book; your turn will come. And no, I didn’t copy and paste the comments. In the poem posts, the poem was always front and center, and both my own explanations and commentary and the reader comments were solely focused on the poems, so it didn’t make sense to retain them, because that which they referred to was gone and they would’ve been comments in a void. But there will be other posts, and other comments. Thanks for reading and commenting all the times you have, you have been very supportive.


      • I wish I could be more so but time is not my friend these days but I will always try and check in at least once a week and compose a comment that is at least moderately worth a read.

        The book is probably going to stay just a pip dream for the moment but I live in hope!


  3. Dear Ste J, Though you are now a pater familias, you are still a young man, and your baby won’t be a baby forever. Sooner than you might even like, she will be making little friends and becoming occupied with them, and you will have the time to finish the book. I have faith in you!


    • Apologies for the late reply on this, the reply must have been buried on my notifications. A young man, blimey not been described as that for a good while! Hopefully she will make friends soon, it’s strange that she can’t have the same developmental stages with all the social distancing, still she has her cat toys which she loves playing with.


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