Benefit Of The Divided Self


Benefit of the Divided Self

In those moments when the mind’s
as barren as the moon,
as obscure
as its dark side,
as dry as
stranded dust

that shows
no foothold/print, no place
where one has stood
arms arced across stretched space
reaching for a scoop
of star spangle–

You see those arms–yours–
as if they belonged to someone else–
and wonder if their reach can ever
carry you–

and how does that work
exactly? The saving of
one’s self–

Is the difficulty
why there are always two of you
inside?  The one who watches
and the one who does–witness
and perpetrator–

And if there was a car
pinning one of you down–
crashed there in the frontal cortex–could the other,
like a mother,
lift it off?

You see her/your biceps veined
as they strain against the
steel fender–
you feel them shake
with the effort, while you/she waits
in some pain–


A draftish sort of poem–not sure it goes with the picture, but I like the picture (all rights reserved.)  Note that I often post pictures directly from my iPhone these days–it allows me to post with a ton of pixels–all those pixels show up when I check on the phone, at least, but I am not sure that the whole picture comes out on some browsers.  So if any of my photos look seriously out of kilter, try clicking on it and the whole picture should come up. 

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16 Comments on “Benefit Of The Divided Self”

  1. all we can hope for is light and life

  2. claudia Says:

    very interesting thoughts.. and i like the pic as well…i’m kinda in love with power poles… i think there are different facettes of us in us… and some will only appear when we’re safe, others are for the rough times – and they support each other i think… so…yes… makes sense…

  3. hedgewitch Says:

    A strong sense of dichotomy here, so yes, I think it complements the picture, though perhaps the photo leans more to sameness in each division–but maybe that’s part of the thought as well–that despite how we perceive our compartmentalized thoughts and actions, they are both inextricably part of the being we are…I love the scoop of star-spangle, and the sense of standing open, and am equally flattened by the car, hoping for release by some internal mothering. A very vivid, thoughtful piece, Karin.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      You are right re photo–more sameness than perhaps the piece intends. I just liked it though, and had it! (The photo I mean.) Thanks as always for your kind and thoughtful comment. k.

      On Fri, Dec 27, 2013 at 10:19 AM, ManicDDaily

  4. kkkkaty1 Says:

    …I get this and am going to keep it…how well you describe the imbalance of our inside track of mind and soul….at least I think that is what I hear…not just about conscience but the very deep
    seat of our discontent with ourselves and how we want to change some of who we care, but cannot…we feel we are not up to coming to our own rescue…or we don’t do a very good job of it…even sometimes causing more harm than good…I like the dust that shows no footprint…;_)

  5. Mama Zen Says:

    I can’t even come close to explaining this, but this piece captures exactly where my head seems to be. Brilliant write.

  6. janehewey Says:

    this may be a new favorite of yours, karin. the two selves, both necessary, as witnesser and perpetrator come together with the arms–mother and child. you/she. wonderful work.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks so much, Jane–I actually thought of you when writing, as I think of you having a sort of Buddhist perspective. (I’m not sure that this poem does! But I think of the idea of witness-actor as something that comes up in meditation.) Thanks again for your kind support. k.

  7. The picture and the poem goes so well together.. those arms stretching… there is a great grittiness that I’m not sure can be improved… I like the draftish character…

  8. This is the closest I’ve ever heard anyone explain how to lift one’s self up by one’s bootstraps. Seriously, I’ve never thought about it like this – beautiful idea.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Mark. I don’t know what I was thinking about exactly–in a hotel room and feeling very drained, so jotted stuff down that I returned to last night (when I was home at last.) Thanks for your kind comment. k.

  9. Jamie Dedes Says:

    I like the photograph too … and love the way you used the moon to make your point … and draft or no, the poem engages. 🙂

  10. ds Says:

    Witness and perpetrator. Yep, I get that. Draft or no, this is a wonderful poem.

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