Back in January of ‘06, stumbling blindly
through my worst blizzard of anxiety on record,
I took shelter in self-help books, library checkouts
lying open, face down on my nightstand:
a paperback tent city.
The books called to me from sidewalk corners,
some peddlers, some preachers, some teachers.
One said, Your are not your mind. You
are not all these frantic, rambling voices.
You are not neutral networks, not a database
of stored memories & information.
You are not your mind.
That one didn’t jive, so I tossed it
back in the river like a bad catch.
Because I am my mind.
I am party streamers of DNA sequences
strung by generations of humping relatives.
I am hormones & fragmented song lyrics.
I am my chronically overactive imagination,
my obsessive analyzing, my swollen ego,
my good memory & bad sense of direction,
my annoying habitual response to criticism
(“You know, flip-flops aren’t really in season yet.”
“YOU’RE not in season yet.”)
I am a huge, disjointed novel compiled
of one page from every book I ever read.
Photo by Gaetan Lee
Do you believe we are our minds? If not, then what?