The Silent Life

Not too long after squeezing out of the womb

encountering the first of many inferred admonitions

my proferred alms became assurances

“I’m just here to observe”

My blankness thus ingrained, designating me negligible and safe

 

Yes, I indivisible-ized myself

choosing residence in the shadows

abiding in my multiple sanctuaries

facilitating a minimalist social repertoire

in a life of frugal mercies

 

Banking facts, figures and ideas

my stockpile of interactive fuel

aided by ghostly guide dogs for the tentative and unsure

quiet reading, yes. silent viewing, okay. thinking (to myself), affirmative.

expressing feeling? danger !!! danger!!!

 

What about questions?

is the stone to be polished or rolled away?

as if I knew anything about either

fleshing these bones — a step too soon?

for to speak is to create a real me

Sense of Self

Who was I?
I didn’t know at 7, 14, 21, 28, 35…
When I was young, I never knew I needed to know myself
That was never an assignment
I just lived each day
ingesting whatever came my way
what else was there?
carpe diem being something about a fish
was it my quiet neediness that overwhelmed my reflection?
Or an ordinary case of blindness traveling on the oblivious thruway?
I was a zelig
I was everyone, yet no one. A self-induced facade
Empty inside
An adapter to surroundings
Well-liked but for what? Reflecting others?
I, wasn’t.

— inspired by a poetry writing class prompt about an earlier sense of self

16-24

Straddling my fear and fantasy
nature battling nurture
living less, but safely, immersed in my head
an anomaly–no fit or niche
doubtless of worth
assure of need
but strapped on a real world see-saw of oh-so-close-to-the-skin nerve endings

Gazing wistfully at the ones who made the leap
those unencumbered by fear of fall into the dreaded abyss
is the miracle the intersection of our paths?
or more the lovingness of acceptance?

The impetus of connection–generated from strength or weakness?
of love, does it matter?

Descending Melancholy

The times when it descends
out of the blue
unpredictable
lacking rhyme and reason
a finely spun web of no escape
falling from the sky
the detachment of unconnected
feeding the soulless emptiness
an unremitting horizon
painting the cracks and corners
with godless fury

*** the artwork is Melancholy by Albert György

The Teens

Back in high school as an invisible outcast
A nameless zero minus colors or masts
living the prophecy that the last shall be last

A negligible adolescent full of yearning need
neither good nor bad, just a nothing seed
diminishing quietly of an internal bleed

Getting by minus a call and response spotlight
an insignificant life lacking both fight or flight
sporting a demeanor of empty vessel blight

A favorite one to nobody under the sun
life a daily fantasy of visualizing dry runs
so much easier dreamed than ever done

Heaven and hell were but just the same
with a daily basis of stakeless claims
desperate to get some skin in the game

Infatuated with girls but illiterate to cues
aching for the smallest endorsement of value
adrift in a vacuum with no from or to

The yearbook, my name plus an empty page
four years in a play performed backstage
a rosetta-less stone of the years teenage

Now but just a question for trivial pursuit
a who was that guy lacking any repute?
Still caring about those ladders and chutes