Assessment

4/29/2000

Today, thinking about who I am
What I am like, and how often;
Knowing I am too seldom a saint
And none too good with my moods, Crude sometimes, and hostile.
I'll be glad to tell you stories
Gory wails, and glory tales, but
Too many have been lies
About guys I never really was
Because I didn't like the real me.
Really, I have not done much.
So, I will not touch on my triumphs,
My moments, bowing in the lights
When I won, acknowledging applause,
And pause for a moment longer
To admit where I was wrong.

Too long ago I was pure. I was a baby,
An angel who could read and drive cars.
I've got memories of me very happy,
Clapping and singing along with life.
I've not spent much time since then
Replaying those scenes again.
I have stopped dancing and laughing
As much as before, more mature,
Sure, I am older now, but more
I am worried about some lost door
Closed for me, to open nevermore
That changed me, made me a strange me
That angers more easily and sulks,
So that long walks don't help much
But I stay angry for days, planning
Refiguring what to say, get things my way
Convinced this happens all the time
Knowing somewhere inside I'm wrong.

I play along, get along, go along,
But I know I am acting, shamming,
I am performing, being the gentleman
When what I am is a tyrant, an ogre
With a surface calm, full of psalms,
And sweet poetry and jokery,
Jiggery pokery for the folks around
A Pagliacci, drowning in clowning
I have moved so far into my role
Losing hunks of my simple soul
I have become a person who demands
Who stands crying in home-made rain
The pain created by myself, my conceit
And deceit, and accepting defeat,
I lie even more to myself, angrily.
Not letting the someone inside of me
See exactly what is happening to me.

When did I remove freedom
From those who know me, love me?
When did I place myself above them,
Proving how much I really love them,
Make them my accomplices and yes-men?
When did I feel they agreed with me,
Mutually thinking their function had to be
To save me from boredom or obscurity;
Smooth out bumps too rough for me?
At what point did I deny life its autonomy
Make it a fully owned subsidiary,
A protected and cherished part of me
Allowing nothing to exist outside
Besides what I permit, create, design,
Or find amusing, and all else is infamy?
What kind of monster resides inside of me
That can continue with this indecency?

It has taken so long to become bored.
Now, when everything is nothing more
Than mimicry, ventriloquism and pretense,
What sense can I make of my own lies?
Paralyzed by my own lack of challenge,
Of new ideas, growth and transcendence
Into some kind of contact with my soul,
That spirituality that once was my goal,
And now I cannot remember feeling?
Now wheeling and dealing, earning
Spending, borrowing and lending
Losing and winning are the same;
Pieces in a game I play from habit
With no lasting joy remaining in it.
I begin to see the depth of me,
In one empty glance, one scorching look
That's all it took to take it all in,
And there is only this one recompense;
I now can easily see where to begin.