This space has given me room for confession, from time to time. Confession for darkness inside myself, confession for sins, imagined or otherwise. Confession for disappointment to the state of things, the state of mankind these days, confession, all the same. Often, these confessions are to the space between my ears, the space bigger than that, the soul of a voice that rattles around my mind. Truth: It’s troubled from time to time, it’s a rambling mess of a thing, and I suppose being on the Autism Spectrum is partially to blame, but also it is quite simply the way I am built. There’s a line in today’s Typewriter Poem, “bag of snakes I lost count of,/coiled and I cannot remember which/are venomous.” I don’t know if I’ve ever written a more truthful line about myself, a more honest exploration to the contents of that bizarre voice that never stops shouting at me.
Truth is, we’re all our own versions of helium balloons, we’re all constantly fighting one urge to stay safely tied to the wrist of our lives, and one urge to vanish from this place, to find a higher place and look back from it. This poem is extremely personal, it felt like a confession writing it, and it feels like a confession now. This is a piece of me, an explanation, an exploration to some tiny fraction of the odd questions that go on behind the scenes in here. This is the root of everything else.
I'm not here, not always, I'm a helium balloon
with a poorly tied knot,
I'm up and off and away and you
are smaller by the moment. Humans
aren't great jumpers, not built that way,
and so I'm off and lost in some patch
of sky and wobbling on the edge of
fear and excitement and I know
I don't know where I'm gonna end up.
This is the mind of the man before you,
bag of snakes I lost count of,
coiled and I cannot remember which
are venomous. In the middle
of some moment I'm heartbroken
about lonely letters in an alphabet,
I'm picnic table plans and part lists
because I saw a photograph
of some Danish shoreline and
a perfect place to eat lunch.
I heard an idea once that when two men meet,
there are six men present, each man as he sees himself,
each as seen by each, and each as he truly is. I shook for
an hour after reading this, wondering what it means
that if I meet a man, I don't see myself, and I am what I
Maybe some are one thing, unchanging
despite a world that wants to mold you,
maybe I am this, maybe it's the best thing
or the worst thing about me.
-Tyler Knott Gregson-
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