Letting Go of Personal History
Travelers tell their stories over and over
anchors to the meanings they left behind
only a safe plane ticket away
waiting to be reclaimed
while their tales let everyone know they’re the same.
But my stories were choking my consciousness.
Culled, spiced and spun to impress or persuade
to make me feel proud and significant.
Robotically pathetic monologues.
So me and myself struck up a vow:
For our coming month in Taiwan we would forswear truth.
Instead we’d share fictitious pasts for every person we met
with, however, a critical second condition:
no tales may contain glory, pride or success,
no history may seek sympathy, pity or adulation.
So at the bars, in the cafes, at parties
as I replied to “where are you from?”, “what do you do?”
I watched people turn away bored
as I offered banal, pedestrian reports.
Using expedient unethical magic
or perhaps just selfish indulgence
I let go of the ropes docking my ship of meaning
drifting away from the shore of certainty
I found more pleasant freedom than I expected.
Notes: Prompted by d’Verse poets, I’ve thrown together a quick group of stanzas to share a true “letting go” experiment I once did. The theme of these verses is again a type of mini-death that I mentioned in my previous poem.