I will always say, “I am.” It has not always been this way. And it is not to say that it is not true that “We are.” Poets never become the center of a light until they become the infinity of the periphery, along with everybody else.

I can now say, without hesitation, and without conceit, “I (simply) am, am what I am.” I could not have made the simple connection without Thoreau and Plath, Bishop, Williams and Pound, and Angelou. I could not have sung had they never shouted out, throwing back the bushel baskets to show their own brilliant light.

Now I am in a dark place, or maybe call it a quiet space, where there is little movement. Well, I am writing a novel and directing a fledgling advocacy association. But the poetry is hardly heard, back in the base of the caverns, in the room I have so recently vacated. I raise my arms to conduct the choir but there is no one there. I plan readings. I write plays. I wait, too consternated by the simplicity of myself to move. But I am not afraid.

I am not afraid. I have been in the darkest place, the dirtiest place, in the muck beneath the rug. Anything above the rug has become light to me. The room is expansive, flickering copper and ivory sycamore.

And I am not manic. I am not sick. I am not god. I am not anybody, but still, “I am.” I am what I am. One poet, a solitary hitchhiker along the highway flashing heavy vehicles and people with eyes on their GPS. I am so lucky. Lucky to have been buried for all those years, under pressure. I am not the greatest emerald, but “I am.” I am what I am.

I am inviting anyone interested to sit on this bench with me and discuss rhythm, to discuss life, to discuss revolution. Certainly, if anybody else feels this center, this vitality, two people will magnify the theatrics of two characters on a stage, and seven people…? Whell…

We are. It is what it is. Simply magnificent.

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