false face 11 (mirrors of our words)


What mask do we wear?

How well do we wear it?

How deep are we willing to dig?

We DO want people to judge us 
by the cover, as long as it’s the 
cover we choose to present,
the prettiest mask in our collection,
or the most beautifully, brilliantly ugly one.

We create yet more layers 
of persona on the shell of the self,
protecting a precious kernel of emptiness 
with self upon self 
up on the shelf,
yet another and another 
newer edition 
of this tired old tale,
another coating of shellac 
to protect this shell,
this crust of need,
this unsightly seed,
this spinning singularity
of validation and denial.

Is this person or persona?

There is only persona.

This character that
I play, confusingly, 
a border, a coin, 
a nation, a commerce.  

Here is my cover.

My mind wanders and I chase after it
and then,
if all goes well, 
I give chase to the one giving chase 
and then....

i take a breath
i let the breath go
i let go of taking breaths

i let go of chasing
i let go of letting go
i let go of not letting go 

15 thoughts on “false face 11 (mirrors of our words)

  1. What an ending! It had the feeling in it of a camera panning out.

    This reminded me of the book I’m currently reading: The Picture of Dorian Gray. All about images and perception. Very interesting concepts, and you handle them so well 🙂

    Lovin’ these false faces.


    • Glad you liked the ending. The rest of the post has been sitting in my draft file for months, waiting for the right way to end it. This came from a rather different place, but seemed appropriate. Much less snarky than what I had originally written, which is why it stayed a draft for this long.

      Thank you for your kind words. I can’t seem to get away from these concepts, sometimes I think to the detriment of my poetry. Too Damned Poetic!


      • I love snarkiness! You should never let it hide away in your draft folder for too long, though 😉

        And poetry that’s too poetic? Never. These concepts make your poems what they are – intense, refreshing, dripping with truth. I’ll never stop standing under them, waiting for one to hit my tongue like a splash of rainwater.

        God. Now I’m getting too poetic. It’s a disease!



  2. What was also very important in the last lines was your letting go of uppercase’ I ‘…this may also be seen as letting go of your ego, the ‘ I ‘ in all of us. In that case the self mingles with other, or the self subsumes itself in the greater consciousness. Isn’t this important when at all times we are only thinking about our own selves.Thanks for making this poem available to us..


    • I am glad you noticed that as it was very intentional. The first part is from many, many years ago and I was in a much different place than I am now. Kind of what this whole series is about. The persistence of the sense of self, despite so many changes, so-so-many things that could not be more different. As embarrassing as I now find many of these thoughts from so long ago, I felt it important to put them out there and see how things have changed.

      Thank you, as always, for your kind words.


  3. Well, I’m late to this but I wonder if you would give me permission to include both the image and the text on strata of the self?
    I think there are other things here on your blog that I would also like to include. Is it ok if I post and then let you know?
    Just for the record: credit given, a link back to your blog (and publicized on Google+ if you’re ok with that)

    Liked by 1 person

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