Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Others

This poem finds as root material the writings of R. D. Laing, his explanation of "the double bind," and especially his books, "Knots" and "The Divided Self."

The others - always waiting -
arise in every ripe moment,
a slight, a jab, an unintended
slam, any excuse readily at hand.
Glancing over his shoulder
for competing influences:
he wonders who really exists -
if the he he knows even lives in any.

One knows and understands way too much,
one's a frightened little boy, mad
at daddy - neither can deal with stress,
the hallmark of their childhood.
Only but not lonely child with a brotherhood
inside his head. Silent conversations:
little boy counseled by wiser he
from as far away as memory can reach;
even at two, wiser he was there.

Wiser he most often overruled
by mischievous he, who led wild-eyed
excursions, little boy always stuck,
caught and punished. Perhaps
little boy never grew up and older
brat grew emboldened, permitted
to lash out at any inopportune
moment. Wiser he, weaker
he, raised by a rejected model,
never rehearsed his play's role.

The others dwell in another
dimension. Mischievous
he leaves too many messes,
his call more tempting
than fate, but within him cries
all life's passion - living for experience,
no matter extremity's consequences.

Shock value's merits
wake up people!

Prepare for whiplash from backlash.
Require a stash. Reject Atlas
and Sisyphus just to sit waiting
for Godot. Catatonic three!

Ah, the conversations he weaves.
Today, he introduced them to one other,
wondering about perceiving he,
the thinking he, inhabited
by the others. A he unknown?

The essential actor, reading
the lines, treading the boards,
daring he - risk-taker, riddle-solver -
forever unwilling to integrate, losing
his monsters in the mirror, unsilenced
little boy, while also unleashing
wiser he. Competition grows more
fierce; all three in his head yell
all the time, none wins the shouting
match. Disquiet disfigures he
who watches it all, discerning
from among the choices, selecting
according to whim? Is that him? Who
observes, commentates?

Minds' subterfuge crafts
paradigms, sorted out
among and between the others.

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