Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Pane of Duality

This poem was originally published in a journal called Synesthesia. After I wrote this, I felt it deserved to be developed into a short story, which is currently being submitted to other journals/blogs.


is it the frosted windows that terrify me, or the simple fact that i cannot recognize myself
in their reflections, so pale and wispy
they remind me, days later, that i am still being followed
i spied the grotesque villain across the barren street tonight
jaundiced jowls so sick with ire, eyes so tainted with the failings of nature
yet, though i squinted, i could not discern a proper face within the hooded presence
i walked briskly until my legs were taffy, and he remained creeping in the corner of each eye
     {seductive thoughts birth a new image aphasia
      is this flesh vital and real--should the layers be grated away to reveal the sinews beneath?
      this beast betrays my very self
      can it even be called confusion when the truth is so clear?
      is it still a vampire when it does not subsist on blood?
      is poison known by another name when it nourishes the body like a rare fruit?
      the pasty face of death is just make-up,
      a low-budget special effect deserving of proper lighting for full effect
      identity is shaped by forgery, nurtured by deception
      my name is called (my name is not) the name i knew}
at the carnival i bend and blend, the tilt-a-whirl dizzies my reason
whispers behind me, a dark mind dead ahead, inevitable fate hanging askew nearby,
honesty sheds its costume and i should have known
all along that which gestated within me was not sick or fantastical
my adversary descended from carbon; a birth name ripened into simulacrum
what once was hatched was soon ignored and locked away in secrecy
("the more you ignore me, the closer i get")
cotton candy colors bring swirling insanity
i dash into the funhouse, somehow comforted by this intent pursuit
fate leads me to the house of mirrors
the clown mask tossed aside, the ugly visage revealed
i'm staring back at my infinite self--
not through a window, nor a mirror, nor a pool of water
not a different age, nor a twin, nor an illusion
the doppelganger bellows with triumphant laughter
in his fist he clutches a certificate of authenticity
two exist on the same plane, but this town was only built for one
it is still me (the other me)--which one wins?

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