I DON’T KNOW HOW TO BE ANYONE ELSE
I don’t know how to be anyone else.
I confess my ignorance.
I am more possessed than possessing.
I’m a ghost haunted by humans.
I’m not some maggot of a blackhole
eating my way through space.
Between heaven and hell
I prefer the earth.
A little to the left of the salt.
People are more mammalian there.
A higher quality of laughter.
Better taste in the protocols of compassion.
A good place to hide out
when you’re tired of running
from the enhanced versions of yourself
that keep rolling out on the runway
for you to take a test flight in
without an ejection seat.
Who is there to share
the meaning of your life with
when even you can’t see through it like a glass darkly?
I’m fond of the light.
It’s the flower of clarity
but what could it mean to anyone else
that you are who you are?
They might love or abhor
their interpretation of you
but that’s a theme of theirs
from many lifetimes back
and it says more about them than you.
Every accusation is a confession.
But we’re like stars.
By the time we’re revealed
we’re somewhere else beyond the light.
And how could I explain all this darkness to anyone?
It’s an illusion that we know what our words mean
when they say us out loud
like a secret we meant to keep to ourselves.
And who’s to say what’s happening
beyond these event horizons
that keep losing you
like the road you were on
before it turned into this one?
Walk one road well
and you walk them all at the same time.
There’s no need to choose to be confused.
So I stick to my lonely homely mystic self
like a poster for a play
that got tired of waiting for an opening night
and tore itself down from the wall
like a bad review of yesterday
and went my own way without a script.
Or I could be seventeen again
on acid in San Francisco in nineteen sixty-six
and any minute I’m going to come down now
and discover my old life
like one long dark strange radiant trip
someone else took before me
and didn’t come back.
And I’m still waiting for a postcard
from the edge of nowhere
from someone I haven’t seen in a long time
and probably won’t ever again
though I hold him with affection in my mind
like a blossom that never let go.
And over the long forever
of this afterlife ever since
I’ve tried to forget what he saw
that made him disappear
but he was the only poet I ever met
whose suicide was sincere.