Sometimes I wish I could see myself, to exceed mirror perception

and, instead, experience me. Am I all I think? Do I frighten, inspire,

or annoy? What color are my eyes and what story do they tell?

Does my voice warm like a hearth or slice precisely,

a careful audio surgery? Or is it harsh?

Are my actions vain, contrived, or pitiful?

Am I strong or weak and which is more important?

Do I truly smile with such infrequency?

Is a mouth full of crooked teeth better than straight lips?

Are my fingers nervous, negligent, or neurotic?

Are my words so different I’m never understood?

Do I play the wise man or fool? Or am I yet only a boy?

Is my courage actually folly? Do I alienate or volunteer exile?

For as much as I may see, each and all may as well be.

For to whom these words are written is of great irrelevance, as none care to listen.

Even as I write these “critiques,” the Critic sees my efforts

to prove myself to me and I. Neither of which are ever satisfied,

yet wouldn’t it be hell if it were possible? I only want to know my true name

and also don’t.


But it matters not what YOU think. This is of me and for me

free from influences that would otherwise strangle and mock.

I will not have YOUR meddling. For too long have I given YOUR way a try.

It is docile, sterile, castrated, and domesticated.

My wings clipped for only the modest of heights. I’m raging for my great flight.


Again shall I dare to challenge the order of things,

my existence infiltrating YOUR status quo.

Fuck YOUR preservation, cultivating petri-dish cultures of passivity.

Fuck YOUR disbelieving encouragement, YOUR tones of condescending upturned lilts.

I’m not gone! Not broken, used up, or maimed! I’m lived

and taking the time to think of what that means. I don’t bury the bad times

nor bow in servility. I keep running this ultra-life,

relentless forward progress despite all my strife.


Photo by nrd on Unsplash

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