thrice great hermes
by stanley lieber
this is my story of what happened.
the situation never really changed, the people never wrote themselves, the draft was abandoned.
no, in fact quite the opposite. i could feel the hand moving my hand. i could see with the eyes peering through my eyes. i could search in the mirror and there i would be, my voice in my head would disagree, and i would disagree with it, and there would be a sort of compromise, and i would remain silent.
the first time i bargained myself away might as well have been any of the times since, or any of the times in-between. "if the light changes, i’m going to hell." and then what? taking the lord’s name in vain, i waited for an answer, also in vain, and continued to wait, and never stopped waiting, and for what?
the voice was never deep enough. they would say, "is that you?" on the phone, never seeming to believe me. maybe that was the problem. there was never any way to convince. never any evidence.
"this is hardly falsifiable," i would think, and i was right.
as soon as i would see the elements i would try to make them fit. construct a collage to force it to make sense. but this, too, is only you, and what can you do? authorship is censorship. language is theft. who writes the words, and what, in the end, is left?
syncretic blank, the unstated word, the unsated world, questions left furled.
you leave it unfinished.
you leave it alone.
only walk away, and it is done.
'with evil done to me unsated still,’ has taken possession of
all the roads by which any comfort may reach ’this wretched
soul’ that I carry in my flesh