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Page 116

Let's see...where were we? Oh, we were
right here! Sorry, these distinctions between
blank somethings, blank nothings and no-nothings
put me to sleep. My sleep is neither blank
nor poetic. I dream better wide waking.
Why replay jumbled fragments of old games
when I can make new ones? (New jumbled fragments?)

A blank life -- add significance and stir --
or shake (how we are shaken in our shackles
by a Sheik's death!) The first significance comes
when we decide to be, and then to be someone.
You can't play a game unless you're a player.
(Can't tell the players without a program. "And in
the tall pink male body with excess gut, blue eyes,
dark, kinky brown hair, growing bald spot and...")

Since we fill our lives with poetry and narrative --
yes, we're story tellers as well as poets -- what pleasure
we take in connecting our lives with the already
available dramas: children pretending to make war
(BAM! BAM!), drive cars (urghh...urghh...[bad
starter motor]), play doctor. More thrilling are the
moments (just before commonplace sets in) of
realizing, wow! I'm... -- I'm a third-grader!
Wow! I have measles! An erection! A period!
I'm driving a car! I'm having sex!
I have a real job! My God! I'm my father,
my mother, Grandma, Grandpa! No,
I'm someone else -- could I be

Note: The first stanza is perhaps radical: Poets are supposed to be fascinated with dreams and omens and the deep dark Freudian Unconscious. I prefer the dreams I create, awake and aware of what I'm doing, and find most of my remembered sleeper's dreams (and those of others) a bore.

The last three lines of stanza 2, above, describe me, more or less (though the dark brown hair has more gray than brown now, and there's a bit less gut-excess.

The "shaken in our shackles" part is just a brief digression to play with sounds. (Shhh — don't tell the reader!) Actually, when I wrote this I'd just seen headlines about the assassination of a Sheik in Iraq, millions of mourners, etc.

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