Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What's It Like To Be You?

My whole life I have tried to understand you. It has always seemed crucial, as if my life were at stake. I think maybe I am right. This is complicated.

I am certainly no solipsist. I am sure I am a product, a complexity with multiple sources and cannot stand alone in any genuine sense. When I needed to quit drinking it made complete sense to me that I was going to need a community to do it. Since that time I have learned over and over again that I don't get to choose the members of my life except as a collaboration. I cannot choose you if you do not choose me and I cannot keep you if you release me.

If in that moment as you release me I refuse your release it is not you I keep but the gargoyle in my own brain that turns to growing stone. I have to keep carving it to hold its size and by that crude carving it becomes even less like you. Or if I let it grow then I am crushed from the inside and its size still makes it less like you. I must let go, let the stony dream release and shatter and pass, no matter that passing it is like passing kidney stones.

The pain informs me of my regret.

What's It Like To Be You?

You walk on my heart.
I hope you don't mean to be
like this, not to me.
I wish I could see
what it's like to look out your
eyes and taste your mouth
from the
the stale taste like mine? Do you
have a bad place or
even two in there that
leaks out the small pain, that stinks,
that you hide like me?

December 3, 2009 7:39 PM


  1. i'm afraid my mind is not working slowly enough to receive this with the depth it deserves, or my mind is working too slowly perhaps. but there is an old buffalo fur coat in our local museum. it is as though this piece is like that. surely it is well used and stinks, is matted and soiled. i feel as though you've taken this from your shoulders and i have put it on. and then you. and then me again. your prologue is deep and rich and resonates. your poem deserves a second and third reading.

    the you the narrator tries to understand can be himself, a lover or god. this is brilliant. today i receive this as perhaps they are all the same.



The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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