Tiered Inside


Tiered Inside

My true self will read all of Proust someday.
Its eye on the ball, it will glass-slipper its way
past every stroke of twelve. It will delve deep
into great ideas, its genetic alleles still
maintaining a Nietzche
in what’s-right-now hip.

Oh, that true self–
that would-be me if I would only be it–
that shit.

But then there’s that other bit–
it’s not a self, so much as a space,
a tier infesting the chest
like the stateless thirteenth floor
of a building too fearful to count–
a sob story–not a tale, but the level where quashed sadness
convenes, recording minutes in blobby diligence, but not
reading Proust,
looking through the glass darkly rather than snookering
into its fine shaped shoe.

This bit does not understand
either Nietzche or the hip, but it does get
that life is a blip–
even the life of the true self, even the life
of the would-be true self, even the life
of whatever self finally just lets be.

This bit grips hard when the selves
loosen, tells them who’s boss.


Here’s a draft poem for dVerse Poets Pub’s prompt on Entwin(n)ed Poetics, about twins, opposites, divided selves.  Do check it out.  (Also, sometimes photos do not show completely on older browers- if it looks weirdly truncated, just click on it.) 

Explore posts in the same categories: poetry, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

38 Comments on “Tiered Inside”

  1. brian miller Says:

    what an interesting journey k…the bit that holds it all together…i guess we can be glad of that eh? you use such cool language in this…allels and snookering…some fun internal rhyme as well…blobby diligence…ha…smiles….nice glass slipper, stroke of midnite as well…just hope you carriage doesnt pumpkin…smiles.

  2. Miriam E. Says:

    “Oh, that true self–
    that would-be me if I would only be it–
    that shit.”
    ha, agreed. definitely agreed.

    it is a challenge, is it not? the would-be me constantly nagging – constantly hinting at ‘what could be’.
    you nailed it Karin – perfectly worded.
    now off to read it for the third time…

    thank you for the prompt and your poetic treat/contribution…

  3. hedgewitch Says:

    Very satisfying the way you’ve clearly woven your words here deliberately in strands that compliment yet stand out, the tone of tongue-in-cheek, the embarrassment of riches in your various allusions and double entendres–each finding the niche, the slipper it wants to tout, even if it will not fit the foot. Great internal rhyme here, too, as Brian points out–I especially like the short bit hip blip grit which gives it a curtness that lets you slip your central tier image in like a hot knife through butter, a piece of stark amidst the art with which I’m very taken. It has both a clarity and a darkness to it that instantly drives home the title, and the point, (and a few personal reflections as well for me) then nicely slides away as you resume a tone of (self?) mockery and badinage, or perhaps it’s just a linguistic way of being human. The slowly declining, repeating phrases at the end in particular are just perfect. (I don’t think any of my selves will ever have time to read Proust–though several have valiantly tried…) really a polished and finished feel to this, which is all the more impressive since I gather you just wrote it. Fine, fine work, k.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, yes, I got it down this afternoon – hectic day, but it was good to have something to focus on and tell everyone I couldn’t do household stuff. One of the great things about blogging and hosting a prompt. Thanks for your kind reading. k.

  4. I like that bit of yourself, that bit that does fall, that 13 floor, that part that loosens its hold, that bit that doesn’t understand N or the hip, but does get that life is a blip ~ Great voice here K ~

  5. Mary Says:

    I don’t think we can sell ourself short because our ‘true self’ is not all that we think we could be. Reading all of Proust someday….yes, I suppose you could and might. But a true self is not about what oe might do (or might not) but who one is today. And that person is good enough!

  6. Laurie Kolp Says:

    Lovely contrast b/t 2 selves. Life really is just a blip.

    Thanks again for your great prompt, Karin.

  7. grapeling Says:

    If I said you’d found your niche, would you ban me? : )

    The pace and rhythm and rhyme, and these lines, perfect:

    /like the stateless thirteenth floor
    of a building too fearful to count–/

    Thanks for the prompt.
    ~ M

  8. I love how you define the selves… the thirteenth floor, that space no one talks about or is there but is not… we are a mystery even to ourselves yet we always try to project the acceptable. Nice write!

  9. kaykuala Says:

    This bit grips hard when the selves
    loosen, tells them who’s boss.

    The patience held back would likely explode in ways that might cause confrontation. But it needed be done! Nicely K


  10. Rowan Taw Says:

    I think we work hard to create what we believe is a “true” self, but it’s that loosening that really reveals it (when we aren’t looking).

  11. claudia Says:

    Its eye on the ball, it will glass-slipper its way…cool..and think in each of us are these two different voices and sometimes it needs a clear word to ourselves to get the “true self” one back to the surface again

  12. What a great balance between those inner parts. The true self has to be a symbios between those forces – loved that reference to the 13th floor

  13. David King Says:

    This is wonderful. Interesting that you and I have the same problem with our selfves. I’ve had to give mine a severe talking to and explain, look Proust is not the only author, he’s just gotta take his chance with the general run!

  14. Damn, you had me there! “This bit does not understand
    either Nietzche or the hip, but it does get
    that life is a blip–” I loved it. Reality check. 🙂 Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  15. Dream Says:

    You really bring out the tiers …..its all those bits tiered in wonderfully making you……YOU. Wonderful read.

  16. Truedessa Says:

    Enjoyed this take, but really liked this line “Its eye on the ball, it will glass-slipper its way” so clever and “life is a blip” – surely can relate..thanks for the interesting prompt.

  17. punnypalaver Says:

    powerful write–our imagined live always seems to lovely–love the tier/tearful tearing away of what we want and what we got. The self that finally “just lets be” You’ve portrayed the struggle and the inevitable shrug quite well.

  18. hypercryptical Says:

    Excellent write. I sometimes wonder who my true self is – is it the self I claim to be happiest with or the self others are happier with? Or is it the primitive beast that sometimes (luckily rarely) invades my thoughts – despite my attempts to shut (her) out…?

    Anna :o]

  19. Pat Hatt Says:

    Bit by bit we’d sure be at a loss if there was no winner of the coin toss, then we’d be at a loss, as things filled with moss. So good thing there is a winner, to at least cook dinner lol

  20. coalblack Says:

    “Oh, that true self–
    that would-be me if I would only be it–
    that shit.”

    I love that, and “blobby diligence”.

    Personally, I’d rather be pecked to death by rabid penguins than to have to read all of Proust.

  21. Loved the words you used to describe the differing states of being. Great poem.

  22. Mama Zen Says:

    I adore this!

    “its genetic alleles still
    maintaining a Nietzche
    in what’s-right-now hip.”

    That absolutely blew me away.

  23. Ah yes, the extremes. 😀

  24. Akila Says:

    oh well truely from a poet’s page! 🙂

  25. sreeja Says:

    very interesting train of thoughts …i can read this many times without losing the interest….thank you so much for the visit…

  26. the feeling of hopefully, but not yet, that’s what made me comfortable. Human–humming. you’re great !

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: