The White Gazebo
“The accused is hereby found guilty of aggravated negligence, laxity and irresponsibility in the performance of his duties at the Library by not taking sufficient measures to prevent the theft of two Dell laptop computers, and by not reporting his suspicions of the thefts to his supervisor immediately upon becoming aware of the possibility.”
Left lane must turn left,
and the right lane must turn right.
Center lane’s gotta do it again,
gotta do it all through the night.
Buy me some new pants,
buy me some new shirts.
Buy me a belt, gotta tighten it well,
gotta tighten it til it hurts.
The world I often hate
is the world I love too much.
In between the two, gotta make it through,
gotta feel a loving touch.
Couldn’t sleep last night,
something I did wrong.
Will the morning light make it all right?
Make it into a song?
Why do I think I can get away with things that other people can’t? Why do I think I can ignore the precautions, the collaborative discussions, and push through my own plan unilaterally and heedlessly? Why, when I discover I’ve made a terrible mistake, do I cover it up with silence and lies? Why do I lie?
I’m in here. You can’t see me.
What you see is a disguise –
a clever manipulation of matter
to hide the sin of the soul.
I peer out through my eyes,
making sure everything’s in place.
The stage is set for my act
of false faces and sneaky lies.
Inside the sewer of my brain
I wallow in degradation,
and no one will hear my cries
for help. The show must go on!
Of course nobody wants to admit they’re a fool. But in my case it’s something worse. I’ve constructed my whole life around a lie. I was born backwards – a breech birth – because I pretended I didn’t know I was supposed to go out head first. I constructed a false confusion. Why? Because of my stubborn refusal to let things happen the way they were supposed to. While putting on an act of bewilderment, in actuality I was giving the finger to God. The first visible deed of my life was “mooning” the world.
Let it slide.
Sweep it under the rug.
Maybe it’ll just go away.
Don’t tell anybody.
They’ll never find out.
I’ll get away with it.
“I don’t know. What’s going on?”
Make it into a blur.
I superimpose a blurry space
over the desired portion of the world as it is.
But technically a blur
is a shattering into multiple images
very close to each other –
multiple versions of the truth,
no one of them any more real than any other –
no need for commitment or involvement
as I drift alone,
in my void of hopeless hopes.
I began hiding behind glasses at 14.
I confess. I killed her. When I was five. The little girl with the blonde curls. Down the hill out in back of the neighbor’s house. In the white gazebo. But wasn’t that a dream? Was the girl my sister? She’s not dead. But it was so real.
“You have a criminal mind. In that mind, not only have you killed your sister. You’ve killed everyone, including God. You live your life as a dream, a dream of you wandering among ghosts.”
I am superior to others. Contemptuous of them. I’m a privileged character. Everything will go my way. My vision of things is reality.
“You make up lies to cover up your guilt and stupidity. You’re an arrogant egotist.”
I am capable
of sin and stupidity.
I am culpable.
You win. Don’t pity me
as I walk to the chamber
taunted by jeers.
I have talked out my danger –
no more haunted by fears.
“Well, he’s dead. Remember how he blushed when his supervisor first brought it up? The truth came out, one way or another. How many more lives will he live, building false identities in front of himself, before he accepts who he really is? Or, maybe his confession really did cleanse him.”
Maybe his confession
really did cleanse him.