On The Nature Of Masks

New poem.

The “I”
who writes this
is the “I” who is sitting with coffee
and a cat,

the “I” mildly sick,
the “I” a little irritated with being sick,
the “I” more than a little irritated
at politics,

the “I” angry
at the betrayals
of some friends
by other friends,

the “I” who is old
and tired although he
just rose for the day, tired
at the bone, tired of being this “I.”

This “I” will choose to write
some words to be spoken
by another person. The name
of that person will be “I”

as well.  You should not
confuse them with each other,
but neither should you forget
that the first “I” 

authored the second “I”
and there can be no second “I”
that does not extend from
the first

for it is in the nature of masks
to reveal
what they seek
to conceal. 

The mask
is not the face,
but the face
breathes through it. 

I set down my coffee.
I pet the cat.
I put a finger
on the keyboard — 

here is a mask
to delight you.  
Here is a mask
to frighten you.  

Here’s another mask
and another and another
and this last one that has
something stuck to the back — 

sorry, that happens sometimes
when the art
is separated too strongly
from the artist.

Oh, I put
a finger
on something
there.

I
bury my
face
in it.

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About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

One response to “On The Nature Of Masks

  • Eileen

    Tired of being this I………know that feeling……..stuck somehow in a raw vulnerable I…….no mask good enough to protect it.

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