titled, in two parts



I.  Identity

crise always never knowing d’identité mirrors remain unhelpful crise photos only archival de conscience i’ve only ever known what i used to be, visions of what i will become crise what i am remains the (in)variable unknown d’identité reflection always foreign, a stranger—the ‘Hello my name is…’ forever blank;   i have at various times played the Black Widow Gambit, relying on who i was with Her and without;  and Her always either just leaving or just arriving; stay,  it seems, only applied to my execution  crise it is up for debate whether the scars make part of who i am or vice-versa d’identité  i’ve grown accustomed to not knowing my own name, moments where i do not respond to      … one time, after several drinks, i thought i met the man in the mirror—having passed out soon after, i forgot to ask his name   crise   i’ve carried around this cahier, grateful it’s never been lost (no one would know to whom it should be returned);  every word written with my right hand, but i can only tell you what the left looks like d’indentité  i remember very well what they both have caressed, including my own abandoned form;  no book i’ve ever owned has been inscribed; bills addressed to resident; despite regular prompt payments to the phone company, i’ve never heard it ring; it seems long ago i should have ceased posing the question, content with shadows, one-handed scribblings, unaddressed whispers, blank sheets, one hand, empty sheets… i’ve too often heard ‘Good bye.’  i’m holding out for just one ‘Good night ______’; just one.

II.  Obituary


The Greeks did not write obituaries; after a man died they only asked one question:
Did he have passion?
Dean to Jonathan in “Serendipity”


DS, sometime poet, sometime friend, died last night due to complications under as yet misunderstood circumstances.  At this time, it is only confirmed that he died by his own hand.   His final days are a mystery, though it seems that pieces of his life remain less so.  It is certain that he loved, evidenced by the scarring of three vaguely female forms etched just below the skin on the left side of his chest. The women of his life were always either just leaving or just arriving (why wouldn’t they stay?)—reflections in his eyes and nothing more.  His struggle was complicated by the fact that he defined himself by what he used to be or what he would become; his inability to ever know who he was proved debilitating.                                           .   He was found with an un-dog-eared copy of Endless Life, a small black cahier and a fountain pen, from which the ink  would fall onto paper then leap onto loose lips, and  from loose lips, ink spatter, sprayed as much as said, would fall onto deaf ears and into mute eyes; we can say with confidence that too few understood.   His teeth were stained Bordeaux, he smelled of sage flower and vanilla.  Ink had shaded portions of his right hand and the tip of his left index finger.  His eyes were open. The room echoed with a sax and trumpet, a wine glass shatter.  Nearby, next to the drunken shards, a map, several roads marked “Too few, too few.”   He is survived by a few poems, some scattered, some tattered; by innumerous filled and dusty bookshelves; by the words bouleversant and authentic; by manuscripts long unopened.   Services have not yet been arranged, though it is thought that he only wanted one question to be asked by mourners, and if the answer should prove to be no, that he be buried without…

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