I recently came across John Latta’s statement that at age 37 Lyn Hejinian wrote a book called My Life, which consisted of “thirty-seven sections, each thirty-seven sentences long.” And it hit me: the avant-garde (think OULIPO, think Goldsmith) is afflicted with and obsessive-compulsive disorder. (I used to think it was plain insanity, but the more fine-tuned diagnosis is definitely OCD.) And yet … why not thirty-seven words per sentence? Or thirty-seven syllables? Or thirty-seven letters? I imagine poor Hejinian at her typewriter (computer? it was the mid-’80s: the original Macintosh was announced in 1984, but I’m picturing a typewriter), maniacally counting words, counting sentences, occasionally jumping up to scrub her hands with Lava soap over a sparkling white sink as the steaming-hot grayish water tornadoes down the drain….