Honest self-scrutiny too easily mutinies,
    mutates into false memories
Which find language a receptive host,
Boosted by boastful embellishments.

Self-esteem is raised on wobbly beams,
    seeming seen as stuff enough
To fund the hedge of personality,
Though personally, I cannot forget

Whom I have met and somehow wronged,
    wrung for a jot of fugitive juice,
Trading some ruse for a blot or two,
Labored to braid from transparent diction

Fiction, quick fix, quixotic fixation.
    As the pulse of impulses
Drained through my veins, I tried to live
Twenty lives at once. Now one is plenty.   

  • Ravi Shankar, "Contraction" from Instrumentality. Copyright © 2005 by Ravi Shankar.  Reprinted by permission of Cherry Grove Collections.

  • Source: Instrumentality (Cherry Grove Collections, 2005)

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