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Page 94

Not that freedom is limited to one fixed identity.
It's a matter (or absence of matter) of being
no identity at all, being, rather, that which can
assume any identity.

If I am a gentleman, I cannot cuss you out.
If I am a caveman, I don't know how to bow
and kiss your hand.

Oh, poor most serene and inscrutable Guru,
you can't get pissed off -- not where anyone
might notice. Mr. President, there is so much
you cannot say to us or anywhere a journalist
might overhear -- and they are everywhere.
Husband, what must your wife not hear?
Wife, what might make your neighbors
think less of you? Child, never never
NEVER speak to your mother, father, teacher
that way again; and, tough kid, don't let your
friends know that you once liked to play
with dolls.

Each identity is sealed off into the secrecy that
defines it. Each is a blankness -- a blank wall,
that is, a face (eyes pretending a mild interest)
ballooned outward by the pressure of what cannot
be said, a face that finds the blank page
a secret facing one's own secrets,
a problem: what can one make the page say?
What can one get out of it? (Confess, page!)
(You be the good reader and I'll be the bad reader.)

But if I can choose to be anyone at all
(can, for example, be a poet when I want to use
words in mixed company that gentlemen must not use),
I need have no secrets from the page, so that, always,
the page is eager to tell me all.

Note: The line "You be the good reader and I'll be the bad reader" refers to the "good cop/bad cop" approach to getting a suspect to "talk", as you and I are now endeavoring to get these once-blank pages to talk.

Re "words in mixed company: there are MANY words in mixed "company", including "yon camp," "copy man" and "cop many".

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