The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life


The 14th is an even numbered day, and the next topic up in the rotation is “Poems.”  This poem is the one I was supposed to be working on five minutes a day for all this time, which I did for a while and then I got some kind of performance anxiety.  And so anyway, I spent some time today, either finishing it up or preparing it to be finished up on another occasion.  Either way, you can see it today.

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

and its discontents.
How much human energy is bound up in it?
All of us looking out our eyes at the world the
world how much it takes to make
a self make it prop it slice it deliver a
credible self. Coherent
self authentic convincing reliable
self. How far

underground the cave paintings were: secret, and deep.
He went alone his pictures
by torchlight only seen
by him: away. “This
is how it was. I saw.” And here
I can entirely be because
there is no one here to see

An expulsion, our return denied
by flaming sword when we realize
to merely be is not enough but
we must also seem.

We’re shaved and twisted we believe the others
don’t. Don’t
fret don’t shimmer don’t fade away.
But no one believes they’ve got it right.

Supermarket pictures
of those selected to be themselves for us
punished, seen without their makeup
with cellulite, dying, arrested, drunk.
This terrible rootlessness: our freedom dreams
untenable, impossible after all.

But we feel, a stone in an underground lake
there is a true core, our real lives live still,
one in ceaseless praise one
forever tenderly receiving,
someone in us who’s always
screaming someone always outraged someone
undone by grief
or saved by love.

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