i wake up one morning and say, “shit. this is what i look like.”
i know something then. something about myself. perhaps i always have.
i know i’m not what i could be if i dared not to care what others thought of me.
i know that my fundamentals will remain stashed in my slacks for the rest of my days. i know i’m ashamed of them. that i’d be locked away for indecent exposure if ever i showed them.
sighing feels like too much effort.
i stop looking in the mirror for fear of losing myself.
First published on Hijacked Amygdala
image and text © Tony Single 2016
blog: Once More With Foreboding
blog: Crumble Cult
blog: The Poesy Project
blog: Hijacked Amygdala
Pondering my cyber self.
It’s not all-defining. It’s a publication. A work of truth and fiction.
I am still evolving. Zeros and Ones hardly begin to touch me.
All the chatter on social networks is publications in performance.
I will be in control of mine. That is all I can ever be “in control” of.
Mind pretends to be king, in the world of technology too. That is a funny joke indeed.
All you need to understand you is within you. Let others figure themselves out. You give them that space, and protect your own.
Including your own in cyberspace.
image and text © Jennifer Sharpe / Odilonvert 2015
© Rossella Spoto
The truth is I don’t myself. And I’m fine with that now. Behind this face is a son who cannot be named. You spend half a lifetime searching for that right combination of letters. You try on bits of language stitched together to see what fits. Hand-me-down Brogans and GoodWill dungarees. Ill-fitting garments that bag in the bottoms and rise above your ankle bones. Other men’s clothes always smell like flooded basements and milk that’s been burned. You can’t wash that off with soap. It takes a deep, terrifying plunge into cold salt water to wipe off the stain of misery and confusion. Only the sea can clean. It seems like a man’s got to make a harrowing escape from drowning every so often and walk naked from the surf to shiver for awhile under an old wool blanket he keeps in the trunk of the car. And you sit there listening to the rain on the roof of the Buick watching the world blur. You look up into the slot-machine mirror. You give the wheel another spin. But the three bars always come up on the diagonal and you wished you played the other lines. It’s alright, you tell yourself. There’s still plenty of time. More thrift shops. More dimes. But the day comes when it all feels so mechanical. Chasing names, chasing numbers. Chasing dreams inside of dreams. And then you turn the camera back on yourself and bite the barrel of the gun. And all the letters drop off like leaves so there’s nothing left but branches against the sky. Bare trees and lightning. The crack in the windshield, the veins that stand out on the backs of your hands when you hold them up to admire them like a pair of fancy gloves you might try on but never buy. Some people hold onto their names and the place they were born. They hold onto those things. They keep some pictures in boxes and hang others on the wall. Almost anything can be a constellation if you look at long enough. Why, we can build whole galaxies out of the stories we weave out of names and numbers. Which we did anyway in that instant when we burst out howling from the light. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God but we’re still trying to build some other name with all the extra letters. I thought I might find it myself if I just kept on shuffling the tiles. But there’s more beauty in mystery than in knowing. And more peace. I look at my face in this photograph taken one year ago and I swear to you I don’t know the man. He might be some lost brother. I see only a vague resemblance, an odd familiarity. I’ve heard it called a molting, a metmorphosis, an awakening. It doesn’t matter. I look no more for that one word. I and this mystery here we stand.
© Vincent Louis Carrella (Serpent Box)
blog: Serpent Box
book: Serpent Box
The closest thing I have ever had to the feeling of an epiphany came when I looked into the eyes of a friend and suddenly the thought just came to me that it was like looking in a mirror. It seemed, in that instant, on that long lost evening, that I suddenly realised my connection to the sea of consciousness and that we are all just brief upwellings of the same damn thing. And if, for a moment, we could feel what it was like to be another person, that we would just think, “Oh… It’s still me!” You see? Just frothy waves in the conscious sea. Maybe. Identity, all blurry, you, and them, and me…
© Andrew MacLaren-Scott 2014
blog: Andrew MacLaren-Scott
science book: here
fiction books: here