What is real?

What is real?  What is real is I have steeled myself against Life, and now nothing alive can get in, and nothing alive can get out.

What is real is Mother Nature abhors a vacuum, and so I have become abhorrent to her, and what can I do but buckle under the weight of her hatred.  Who can I be but my tainted double, who huddles in the corner I’ve painted myself in.` Who among the cornered wouldn’t call it a blessing to be turned to dust by such an untouched divinity. Who divides the land from the sea.  Who clamps this powerless body onto the rack of Time and shoves the wooden frame into the straightjacket of straightforward decay.  Who surveys with indifference this chamber of tortured diffidence, within which I feel more like these stone walls each passing day.

What is real?  If I become cemented within these cemented stone walls, if I become hard and demented and silent like you, guarded and impenetrable and violent like you, will you love me then?  If what I make with this pen gives you glory, though I myself feel no joy in what I have done, will you love me then?  Blend me into your beauty.  I want to be inside you.  I want to be inside my experience inside you.  I want to stop this lie I am trying so hard to make true, but I do not know how to slide through my fenced self and arrive, undefended, onto the vast plain within me that embraces you.  I want to make this aching stop forever, and I want to let it make me new.  I want and want forever, until my wanting is my only reason for being.  I want to hear from you.

But what is real is I am tied too tightly to the way I feel to hear the truth that abides beyond thought and feeling.  I am gripping the wheel with all my strength, but the ship is anchored to the shore.  All a man can do, who is not free to be, is pace like that poet’s panther inside its cell, where it has steeled itself against what its life has become.  Nothing alive can get in, and nothing alive can get out.

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