Between Beginnings

This very moment, as you take in a breath 
to speak the next line or just to whisper it 
or just to sigh a little, a girl is letting out all 
of the breath in her lungs for the very last 
time as the building around her collapses.

A man who is really just a boy is
holding his breath without realizing it 
because he cannot grasp the fear that 
he feels as he starts to pull the trigger.

He has no words for what he feels
and she has no time to make words.

And me? I am still 
breathing in.





(I wish, on this day, to remind myself that what was for us an extreme punctuation to 
our otherwise and comparatively serene lives is in fact a fact of life--yearly, monthly, 
weekly, daily--the substance of the narrative--for so many people in so many places.)

(This is, in a sense, a follow-up to this post, many years on)

This poem first appeared on my friend Jeremy Nathan Marks' project,
Poetry of the Resistance.



NaPoWriMo, 2016, Day 4 (on Day 5)–As ever

(because I am, as ever, running behind...)
(this one is for Natalie--a continuation of a conversation
that I think we have been having for quite a while now...
that I am very glad we are still having...)



As ever

I am afraid (always) 
that I am never (ever)
as (un) self-aware as 
I think I am (not)
or ever was (not).






false face 11 (mirrors of our words)

reflex_ion-18



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, 
conveniently,  
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