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But how can I be sure of anything in the state in which I find myself? I feel as if extracted from someone else’s dream, as if I–the would-be poet–were nothing more than a failed verse written in crabbed script, left adrift in the wake of a passing train, skimming the platform of a deserted Metro station sweltering in the impossible proximity of the purgatory I inhabit.

–Maxime François-Poncet, in my novel Housebreaking the Muse.