I am not I.
I write this all the time in all kinds of ways, post after post, attacking the self as a substance and the stability of identity—writing as noose or shotgun blast. Radical similes, sure, but aimed at the most persistent delusions. Truth, fact, reality: concrete illusions. When I was a younger man—idealistic, naïve—I believed in poetry. But now? Sledgehammers.
When you told me to get real I stabbed you, beautifully, with a buck knife right beneath the ribs in your hungry stomach. THE FUCK? you yelled, stumbling around, gasping, holding your fresh new wound. Bright red flowers dripped between your fingers, blooming as they fell, wilting on the floor. Carnations, opium poppies, cherries, big ripe strawberries, a frantic fire engine came screaming from your guts. And then the cardinals—hundreds of them—leaped from your wound and flew about the room, chirping and singing their brilliant whistled songs. This could never happen in real life you screamed, more than a little pissed.
So much the worse, then, for real life. This is writing. It’s textual. Sexual. Why do lovers, night after night, kill the lights and fuck each other to death? I know what the drunkard’s looking for at the bottom of all those bottles.
Everything’s like something else. The moon is a thief. The grass is all teeth. Your house is made of water. The ocean—she’s a wicked queen and the stars are all her daughters. The day is a desert where nothing grows. Beneath the sand lies skulls and bones. But the night! The night! Now that’s where it’s at. It begins in the dark, erupts in a flash of the mendacious camera, then beats a retreat back to the forest where everything loves to hide. Is it the photograph’s fault that it’s mistaken for that which abides and lingers? The photograph is a woman’s waist where I like to wrap my fingers. Oh, my hand. My hand waves. Waves on a beach. Coming. Going. Waving goodbye.
I’m not a noun. Neither are you. Think car crashes, lightning flashes, flowing waves of crazed relations, long meandering conversations, smoke and mirrors and obfuscations. We’re fictional characters, fluid creations, in a story that never ends. Truth is just one reflection in this funhouse mirror of worlds. But don’t worry. It’s not so bad—being a dream. You can always imagine that you’re real again.