Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I Am Choosing Engagement

- Underneath all proclivities and responses to life however is a substratum of fear and suffering. It can be engaged with or it can be ignored, but it is there nonetheless.
-Deborah Barlow

It’s empty
stubbornly, violently empty,
this hole I keep tossing
myself into,
parts of me,
hair, fingers especially
eyelids, nails,
my tongue
the things I think I can
do without and still
get by on the street without jeers.
I have a whole bucket of parts here,
slopping around the slaughterhouse floor.
But that hole,
that whole hole,
isn’t filling.
I’m ripping out the narrative
and laying it to dry,
next to my skin,
flipped inside out
so you can see the words backwards here,
on this beach
where I’ve lost my way.

And the part of my brain
that is still working
in cool starts and stutters
has finally figured out what
this is,
these marks on my skin,
this black under my nails,
this spasm from the wrist,

It is the discomfort of being,
an existence that some of us
are disused to,
that cannot be tempered
by toys, or travel.
A voice that is always
there, telling us,
(not you of course,
this doesn’t apply to everyone),
but telling those of us,
who eat our hair,
or carve little messages
in our skin,
that our choice,
our only choice
is engagement or ignorance
and that all the bits of you
you leave behind,
in vain,
aren’t making any difference at all.

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