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May 2013
I'm hiding here
in this space where
I keep brutally exposing myself
I'm not really My self
I wear masks
and pseudonyms
and there's certain things I can't say
won't say
because I'm afraid of who will read them
and what they might learn about me
And sometimes I feel that makes
all of this
I am torn between two
equally important desires
I need to be raw here
I need to be violently open
I need to feel free to express
whatever I am feeling
for no other reason than the simple fact that
I am feeling
But I am also afraid
of the reactions I might get
afraid I might hurt someone
afraid of someone I know
learning something about me
that I don't want them to know
afraid they'll use it to hurt me somehow
I need to be wide open
but can only do it behind the safety of a mask
and even that isn't good enough
I still constantly self-censor
I have pages and pages of writings that no one
but me
has ever seen
will ever see
Even now
as I write this
I can't help but wonder at the reactions
I might get
from people I know
in real life
or people I know
in the wire
or people I've
never met
and that wondering changes me
changes my feelings
makes me second-guess
what I'm going to say
The only way my art can ever be
absolutely true
absolutely honest
absolutely Me
is if no one ever reads it
But what good is Expression
without Witness?
I need to have
an audience of strangers
for each poem
total strangers
that I will never have to see again
Or I should tag my poems on walls around town
in the middle of the night
like my little brother
(oh, gods, what if he reads this??!)

I'm leaving it in
Another pointless, rambling, ugly poem ABOUT writing poetry.  Ugh.  Sorry.  It's the best I could do today, unfortunately.  But at least I wrote something.  Even if it's *****, it's better than not writing at all.
Michael Valentine
Written by
Michael Valentine  Maryland
   Icarus M, ---, ---, ---, M White and 4 others
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