You Aren’t You

Unexpectedly I got asked to do a feature at Plasticine Poetry. I was working on my Racket set and getting the flow of it into shape. Two features in less than a week can be demanding for me, because unlike many poets I aim to do relatively different sets for each feature. Sure I could easily repeat the Plasticine set at Racket but that would bore even me. If I expect my ‘following’ to come out twice in one week I better offer up than a few stale retreads.

scibblerI needed a concept to build the Plasticine set on – Racket will romantic/relationship, bitter or otherwise, poems. I looked back at a few of my recent shows and decided to expand the Winter Snow Ball feature into a set on identity. What and who defines us and why do we need to feel defined anyway. Just like plasticine who we project is very malleable by others.

mirror

There’ll be some ‘persona’ pieces – character masks the poet puts on that often listeners can’t get past. I’m always aware of Rimbaud’s “Je est un autre. I is another.” Because there is a strong trend to believe all poetry is confessional, people often assume what I write is my experience, as opposed to my world-view. Trust me if I had as much sex as my poetry indicated I’d be an even happier guy.

walkin

I have to confess I do like to play with people’s perceptions of me – that’s one way of evading definition. A step I’m taking this year to distance ‘image’ from ‘self’ is to perform as TOpoet.ca. Branding my performance self lets Duncan become more anonymous in a way and I like that freedom.

sample

Identity

you aren’t you

she shouted pointing at me

I don’t know who you are 

you aren’t you

he’s you

she went on

pointing to a heavy set black man

who smiled and waved at me

 

great, I thought,

I’ll finally know what it feels

like to have a thick black cock

 

how long did you think 

you could get away with it

she stepped closer

pretending to be yourself

some one you clearly are not

 

thanks, I finally got a word in edge wise,

now that I can stop being me

I can be who I really am

 

that’s not how it works

she glared at me

you can’t just become anyone else

because you aren’t you

 

what about me

the black guy came over

to shake my hand

pleased to meet me

 

he’s not you

she pushed us apart

neither of you are each other either

you are both not

who you are

can’t you get it through your heads

she was nearly screaming

 

but I’ve always wanted to be a white dude

the black guy said

if I’m him

I’m not this big black guy anymore

 

no no no the woman was scornful

it’s not that simple

stop thinking you are who you think you are

because you aren’t you

he’s you

identity is in the eye of the beholder

don’t you get it 

she was exasperated

as if we were children

how can I make it any simpler

you can’t change what you are

 

well, I tried to reason

I’m not you, for starters

are you you

 

of course I am she snapped

but trust me I know you aren’t you

he is you

and don’t you forget it

 

okay okay I get the picture

it felt good not to be me

to let go of all that identity crap

I was finally free

 

I said to the self

I was just introduced to

let’s get out of here

it’s time we learned how to 

play with myself

ddeadJe est un autre

One thought on “You Aren’t You

  1. if you think about it, in today’s society the modern world dose not want us to be us at all. We are allowing distractions to become our very necessity to which we need to live by according to all that is advertised to us

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