This is not a blog post.

by dschapman

Do not listen to me – I am a liar. My name is Daniel and I am not writing a work of fiction. I am being biographical. I am not telling lies. I am not writing poetry. This is a poem: read what I wrote most carefully. Don’t think: this is not a sentence. “This is not a sentence.”  Think: this is not a thought. What are you telling me? Well, how could it be? What do you mean? Believe me – it only gets worse. This sentence is true. Is this sentence false? If you had only seen the things I’ve seen… Tell me I deserve the very best, I deserve nothing. Tell me about the weather in Bruges, and all about the pastries. Play me those three gymnopedies. This is me thinking: these are my thoughts. I am not making any of this up. All of this has happened. All of this is happening. Does nothing ever happen? What sort of a question is this – what sort of reflections are these? This is not a poem. It is not in iambic pentameter. Do not read this line in iambic pentameter. Do not read this line. Are you reading this line? What sort of a line is it? I am tired of parlor tricks. I am tired of hedging my life. This is the way that it has to be – this is the way God has spoken. I am not to dilly-dally. I am not to be merciful. I am not to be proud. I am to kill myself and bury me, and then to rise again, reshapen. I am to smile when they watch me. Dawn is approaching; winter is coming again. Winter is here and its harmless; I turn white with the wind and my eyes like blue crystals of ice turn slightly frosty. I slip on the ice and I hurt myself. I play in the snow with the animals. I cry, at night, alone, and frozen, I pant and scratch at the sky, desperate; I summon up something from sleep without substance, I dance to the edge of the universe and feel the floor fall out from me under me. I will not win, nor should I win, although I am a winner. I have won; let someone better win. I have done all I could – this is me doing it. Dissect this with a scalpel knife. Be very, very careful, and do not skip a word, and do not take it seriously. Lighter than air – like a seizure. Seeds flew away in the pale winter breeze. I skated on a frozen pond and cried all alone til the sun set. And then I cried at home. I was feeling weak and tactile. I was crawling around on the ground, in my sheets, face in the sheets. I was talking to someone beautiful, the most beautiful girl in the room – in the city – the country – I buckled and I blushed and beamed, I knocked her off her feet, flung her away from me. I wish I’d been more gentle… I am better than this! There are better thoughts to think than these. This is a sentence: this is a thought. What, then, is this? This is a word – do you see it? What was the word? There is only one of them. I have hidden it, discreetly – if you find it, you will cry, like I have since been crying. Be careful, by the way, to never wake up in the middle of the night without knocking; you might find yourself not alone in your bed. There might a demon sitting on your chest. Is he there every night? What if he is! I am terrified. I have been abducted by aliens. I have been sat on by demons. The weather can do nothing to save me. One more winter – will I survive another? I don’t know if I’ll make it. Not without an anchor to this world. Without an anchor, I will disappear, and I will never return. This is not a declaration. This is not a chain of events. My heart is burning, my chest is dense. Dead or dying, nothing better, at best good enough. Do not take me seriously. Do not finish this sentence. And whatever you do, don’t finish this post.

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