He had been casted as himself in the script of his life. This was not something so very unusual probably. As it turned out, it was a lifetime role, for an excruciatingly long—if lucky, they said—seventy or eighty-years. Was it a tragedy or a comedy? Was it a romance or thriller? Was it a horror flick? Was it an art film? He couldn’t yet tell, and they didn’t let him read ahead. But which is the real me and which is the one only acting as me? It no longer concerned him. It just wasn’t a question he asked anymore. It was a question one asked in his or her twenties, and he was beyond all that.

He knew only that even if a somewhat typecast role, he’d done a good job playing himself. Everybody said so. They said, “Good job.” He played himself well. Lately, though, he’d been having heart palpitations. Upon wakeup, he swung his arms through the air as if drowning, or else he didn’t wake at all, for what seemed like days. This had nothing to do with much of anything except that his world had come to a full stop. Period. He did not for one long minute know how to turn the page. When he reached that part, he couldn’t read on.

The fires came through after the earth opened up and the ash fell through the air for days. The smell was suffocating. He was here, still, as was the world. In many ways that was true. The world had the look of the old, with its  contour lines and media manifestos, but it was not. Fundamentally, no. What happens when the old script no longer holds? He didn’t know. In an effort to right himself, total reconstitution, all he could think to do was rewrite himself, and that was what he was now doing, bone by bone by bone.



Q. Why the numbered posts?

A. My original intention was to do this as a daily exercise in flash fiction, poetry, prose poetry and hybrid forms for 40 days in a row. When I hit post 60, for whatever reason, I knew that I could go to 120. When I got to 107, I mistakenly typed 197, at first, and that seemed like a good next number to shoot for. At 197, I heard God tell me not to stop, that there was much more work to be done.

Q. Do you believe in God?

A. Yes, when I’m working. (Matisse said that.)


Read alternative versions here or here.

Interview on poetry/songwriting here.

Music he co-produces here.

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