Verse XVIII: Rough Draft

The one who came before you would deprive himself of food for days at a time, but on a regular basis so that his loved ones would chase after him with tasty morsels and beg for his health; in retrospect, I do wonder if this too was naught but a ploy to manipulate those around him into making physical shows of their love and devotion, to feed the alien ego that has taken hold of his psyche.

“Blanks in my intuition gild the obsidian bars of my prison,” I drawl. Now tectonic plates in other realities collide with infrastructure in my home world due to the micro tear I slit with the perpendicular crossroad. “The devil made me do it, for sure, and I am no longer fazed when he retracts his guiding hand when there are liabilities in my actions. You say that I successfully killed myself at some point but it is my own lack of self esteem, if you can believe it, that disallows me from believing this to be true, like my failure to die is part of my ongoing legacy of bluffs and dreams that I only see halfway through… but, Lucifer enjoys the flimsy metaphysics that I introduced to the world. Toying with notions of insanity versus afterlife, the routine of my falling in and out of a stable relationship with objective reality has become predictable enough for me to say, in a subjective sense, that if the ‘other’ state that I keep falling into is not actually death, then it is another plane of existence wherein my fellow man will corroborate strange coincidences focused on my presence in the world.” The tea is all gone and I am full of rue as I look down at the remnant leaves, knowing that some psychotic witch would embark on vision quests to sneak a peek at what this fortune states. “Oh, I hid it well enough behind the drugs: ‘Am I in a delusional state, or is everyone I meet talking about me in audible and frank terms?’ Yet at the tail end of it, I slit my wrists one day and wandered out without the influence of drugs to fall back on. Could have been an altered state due to blood loss, but the so-called delusions were mimicked with precision.”

Pawing through my journals has Cairo distracted from a monologue that confirms in an unflattering language what he already knew to be so. “You keep addressing some third party spectator in here,” he says of whatever passage he happens to be reading. “As though it is written knowing that someone else will read it—or, were you addressing an actual third party during the process of writing?”

Endless recurrences of coffee shop transcriptions, sitting in the corner with a stream of conscious endeavor that flirted with automatic writing. The sun would barely be awake, the previous night spent ruminating over my function in society. Unspoken relationships with baristas as I tried not to eavesdrop, but snippets of their personal lives wore down at my humility. “My direct and frank addresses to the pronoun ‘you’ were affected with the same sentimentality as pop music, I suppose. Looking at lyrics to even underground or independent songs, it seems natural for the artist to make use of the pronoun ‘you’, but ambiguity makes it so that the consumer of the media needs not assume the singer is speaking about the listener. It was a frustration of mine to see that any use of the word ‘you’ in my prose would be exempt from the same relaxed license as lyrics in songs.” Never mind the juvenile outbursts when writer’s block hit, relying on a cheap sleight to shock a potential audience with non-sequitur accusations, knowing that it would upset some, and then using those emotions to continue with the process of creative writing.


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