Originally posted 9/15/2008. Inspired by the book by Robert Hogue Harrison of the same title.
The dead man I was born to replace
sits up and watches me from a distance.
Hello, blueprint! It’s comforting to remember
how few of us are innovations,
how almost everyone’s a remake.
Some few are sequels, but each of us
drags behind us the shadow
of some more or less distant Original.
I’d go talk with that dead man
but why waste time?
I already know
what he’s going to say: he’d remind me
that our monuments and buildings,
overstuffed with our plans, are built
to hide the horizon.
That’s how we keep things going.