I, for Instances of Assembled Appendices

“Unable to say ‘I’ in either past or future.  Yesterday’s face, almost unrecognizable.  Tomorrow’s face, barely thinkable.”

-Edmond Jabes –

“One evening, pulling photographs from his youth out of a drawer, he quoted a dialogue between a child and his grandmother, who was showing him a picture of a very pretty woman:

        “Granny, who is this lady?”

        “Why, it’s me, darling, when I was young.”

        “And who is it now?”

        “And he said to me: ‘You see, in this Who is it now? lies the riddle of a life.'”

-Edmond Jabes-

The Nothingness of Personality

I, for Instants, inevitable infinity

Attempts at Auto-bio-graphy, or, self-life-writing, or, the inevitably ineffable





aberrations of pain

with twisting serpents


origin: absence

defined by failure and loss

the inevitably ineffable


so say it

I do not love myself

nor find a self to love

and it’s nobody’s fault

but mine



a descent of crows




and scoring marks

into a void


of absence

and solitude

without a solo


no validation

no remorse

an abyss of ontology

and chaos of course



fashioning masks

of contexts

and stories



of hypotheses

blind, deaf

and dumb




Borges’ Aleph






trial and error




within, without

and unlikely



I do not love myself

and find no self to love

and it’s nobody’s fault

but mine







I say



"Dialogue" monotype
by Ryan Drake, 2002

There is a tearing sound, as of something being ripped or sundered.  She has begun to speak.

He attempts to listen, as if standing on an island of a busy and multi-laned thoroughfare.  She speaks fervently, softly.

There’s the tearing.  Something rent.

He is unable to hear.  Only reverberations, a type of thrum from heavy traffic.

They are alone in an emptying room.

It is silent, but for the ripping, which also is not.


All of her aimed in his direction, what he has trouble seeing.

He attempts to look, as if through the fumes and smoke of a multi-floored building burning to collapse on the ground.

Her mouth moves gently and fierce.

He is unable to see what she says through the sound of the tearing, his searing eyes.

There are echoes, which also are not.


From a distance, things are still, as if a hobbyist set them in place.

She cries in her trying, directed at him and speaking, nearly a whisper, a message so loud.

The thrum and the shredding, the smoke.

Shifting, sifting to gather himself, redirect, organize, to attend.  He tenses himself, tightens and coils, as if a reception machine.  He is trying, crying, in a land far away.

Alone, they, the emptying room.


She’s given up, folded over, like craft paper wadded to a discarding ball.

A rivening come to its end.

He’s a radar, an instrument, powered and ready.

She falls explosively silent, unmoved.

He sees her, feels her absence arriving, he strains and he beggars the air.

Diminished and shrinking, she retracts to an inscrutable quark.

And he, aware, and alertly entire, listens and looks.


All I Have is All

this writing inspired by the National – their song “Think You Can Wait”


All I Have is All (after The National: “Think You Can Wait”)


On the bench at the temple, he sits.  Bushel-barrel of apples and a large Igloo cooler out front of his legs.

Uncertain if he’s there or not.

Hair and clothes disheveled and dirtied, his movements:  head in hands, fingers troubling beard as eyes gaze at sky.

It’s all he has.


And a convoluted memory.

Her voice, near the end, shushing “today makes yet another day without perfect love; one more irreparable day.”

The old man on the bus – listening, responding: “No, perfect love lasts an eternity.”

They’ve been away from the baby way too long.

A good night gone.


Now this: drifting, crying, seeking some island.

He’s slipping under with a firm grasp on a devil.

The clouds send him messages, he mumbles:

“Out of my mind,” “way off the line,”

“All I have is all.”

He doesn’t sleep.


Handing an apple to the child, he tries.

The exits are gone.

Though harried by guards at the museum and park, he doesn’t make trouble.  Rolls his produce down alleyways, freshens his water from the public tap.

He tries.


The memories.

His mother: “You’ll never get better.”

Clouds: “it’s all you have is all.”

“Did I?” he murmurs, “did I?”

No street finds the child.

No door opens love.


Memory: her smile.

“perfect love…”

He tries.

“Think you can wait?” he says

to the nothing

and  no one.



Anthropophobia: or, the Trouble with Misanthropy

Anthropophobia: or, the Danger of Others


Let’s face it:  our primary threat is the Other.

Those alive and breathing, in need.

Replete with sense and emotions, desires.

Thoughts, feelings, and dreams.


Instinct and culture,

Learning and language,

and bodies:

physiques requiring space,

ears, eyes, limbs and digits,

the nerve!(s) and bellies and hearts.

Brains complete with mind and will,

Choice and intent,

the capability to discern.

Sexual organs,



Stealing glances –

the lechery of looking –

what they plunder to hear.

This multitude of selves and their interests,

their tumultuous clamor to survive

and their ubiquity:

disruption of personhoods and presence

leaving The Exit as the only escape.


Most dangerous, Other:

the contact, connection,

and ability to attach.

Insidious deception –

a paradox of similarity,

of kind –

some others so like

as to be indistinguishable,

from our selves.