the script

we get so tired of the script

the parts we play
unwittingly and wittingly

the repeated acts of self preservation
the auto self immune systems 

the soft signals we send
come to mean so little
come to be but the things that we do
when we want to feel like there’s something—anything—
that makes sense
that we can count on
that we can say reassures us

what we can say measures us

like brushing a lone loose lock 
of hair from the eyes

like the nervous smoothing-out 
of creases in a dress 

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 

false face 9 (mirrors of our words)

Can you imagine 
any more than I can
what it would be like 
to not inhabit the space 
our bodies occupy?
And yet, is this not what 
we have all been doing 
for far too long?

false face 8 (mirrors of our words)


And what if I 
tell you I'm not going to 
tell you about me,
that I'll just 
"let my words speak for themselves"?

How pompous!
What hubris!
As if my words were ever 
really mine to own! 
As if I had any control over their choosing!
As if they had an owner! 



I could put them on the page and then—
in the very next breath—
they are not my own—
not mine to own—
just mine to mine. 

A wonder!

A ponder, fonder than my own,

my words have their own voices.

false face 7 (mirrors of our words)


If I tell you what a piece of shit I am, 
am I not really just asking you to 
come rushing to my defense, 
to valorously defend me from myself
or am I perhaps asking you to
join in with the jeering crowd 
that already inhabits my skull?