Owner’s Manual: Preface

Revised from 2009.

To build a defense
against insomnia
and enjoin it from
canceling you out,

you may purchase drugs, 
or just forget how it feels
to be awake just long enough that
you trick yourself into sleeping

and thus render it
harmless. You will have to do this
often. Relentless and vigorous
defense is required.

To choose a tattoo
that will not be an
embarrassment
shortly after its application

you may need to look at
how it feels to lack a thing
you’ve never had. It is
often difficult to imagine

how a patch of your hide
could be improved so deftly
that such a lack 
could be erased.

To reject a parent
is to demonstrate
a certain respect
for their historic presence or absence.

It is usually easier
to maintain some contact
even if only on
the highest holidays;

declaring that any bridging
of the distance between you unsafe
is a way to honor the place they have made,
even if that place is a hole or a wound.

To own your life
is a responsibility that demands
a certain acceptance of folly
in your self-care.

What may seem on the surface
to be harm may in fact be logical
(if not always comfortable) adaptations
to facts and environmental factors.

You will choose often.
You may not always choose
wisely or consciously,
but you will choose.

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

2 responses to “Owner’s Manual: Preface

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