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When I was a Little Boy, I took great pains to make something but this is not about what it was; it’s about what it wasn’t. After it was finished, I took it somewhere—not telling—and hid it, tucked it away, enclosed it in a home of darkness, where, as far as I know, it remains and only I know what it is and its whereabouts. Today, I continue to conceal it with words like “something” and “somewhere”, wrapping them around what it is and where it is, making it present only through its protected absence, keeping it known and alive in a way that only not knowing can. For what throbs and beats with more lively presence than the hidden secret that dwells at the core of all animated sentience?

When I see through its concrete literal somethingness, I know it was my heart. I couldn’t contain my heart as a Little Boy, so I released it to the world.

You should know some things that no one else does. Let your secrets bloom in solitude. When someone preaches at you that you’re as sick as you are secret, scoff at them. They’re community herd animals unable to bear the weight of the gift of singularity. They require relationship—they must confess—to eradicate any trace of individuality in order to fit within the confines of a community. To be a part of, to fit in, to belong, they trim off the edges that would keep them excluded. They betray their very own secrets, the stuff that sets them apart. They betray the hidden substance, that secret essence, that permits the dignity of distinction.

If we must have a cliché, let it be: You’re only as unique as the secrets you keep.

Go do something good. Go do something evil. In solitude and love, it’s beyond good and evil. Go do these things and tell no one. Let them quicken the throb of your heart and the pace of your blood and, as you become your own poem, watch who you become. People will see it in your eyes—not the content of your secrets—but the fact that you have secrets, that you know and have seen secret things. They will love you and hate you, want to possess and destroy you.

The reason we’re chopping down all the trees is because the trees keep quiet. Nature can keep a secret.

Go. Create something unknown and keep it safe. Protect the place where mystery hides. Leave it alone. Don’t figure it out. Cultivate ignorance. Wrap the glare of something wild in the dark and zip your lip. Tend your secrets like seeds buried in the garden of who you might be. Possibilities grow with imperceptible subtlety. And then big ripe futures will be picked and eaten fresh off the vine with rivers of juice dripping down your ecstatic private chin.


Reader Comments (10)


You. Her. This. Trees. All of it.

December 15, 2011 at 11:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterNaz

Absolutely, bang on.

December 16, 2011 at 12:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterKaren (miscmum)

I awoke at three this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. I tossed and turned and did all that shit that people can't sleep do. So I got up eventually and made coffee and sat down to see what I could see. And it all seemed so hopeless.

And this.

What if what we keep for ourselves is the darkest shit of all? The stuff that if I were cut open would bleed out and to staunch it would be impossible? And what if one day I grow weary of applying the next tourniquet?

December 16, 2011 at 1:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Loved this post. Brian, I'd say a weariness of tourniquets is inevitable. Which has me wondering about uniqueness and sorts of secrets, what distinguishes the ones that need to run and the ones that need to nest.

December 16, 2011 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered Commentera.w.

What a thoughtful post. While I don't completely agree with you, I love the way you've made your argument--very poetic.

December 17, 2011 at 7:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterEditdebs

Go do something evil and tell nobody about it?

Go do something evil. Works in poetry.

In real life it just adds to the grief and evil of this world. Go rape a kid, go withdraw money from your sister's account, go spoil something sacred for someone. And tell nobody about it,

No. Don't.

December 17, 2011 at 3:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterT

wrote three lines then erased. In summary: This is so good.

December 20, 2011 at 1:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterisabel

beautiful. perfect. just so thankful you write.

December 20, 2011 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterSlow Panic

Sweet Jesus, that child.

December 21, 2011 at 7:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterJo

I almost posted this on my blog, but it's not mine. I just wish it was. My secret is I think you are fucked up and beautiful and that, yes, tortured complexity is super hot. Now I need to go and find myself another secret.

December 30, 2011 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterElle

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