8 C.K. Williams Quotes on Repair: Poems, Collected Poems and All at Once: Prose Poems - Quotes.pub

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Neither that I picked my nose compulsively, daydreamed through my boring classes, masturbated, once in a condom I stole from my father’s drawer, enraptured by its half-chemical, half-organic odor; nor my obsessions with smells in general, earth, dead rats, even my baby sister’s diaper shit, which made me pleasantly retch; nor that I filched money from my mother for candy and so knew early on I was a thief, a sneak, a liar: none of that convinced me I was “bad,” subversive and perverse, so much as that purveyor of morality—parent, teacher, maybe even treacherous friend—who inculcated the unannulable conviction in me that the most egregious wrong, of which I was clearly already despicably, irredeemably guilty, was my abiding involvement with myself. Even now, only rarely am I able to convince myself that my reluctance to pass on my most secret reflections, meditations, theorizings, all the modes by which I manage to distract myself, arises from my belief that out of my appalling inner universe nothing anyway could possibly be extracted, departicularized, and offered as an instance of anything at all to anyone else. An overrefined sense of generosity, I opine; an unwillingness to presume upon others by hauling them into this barn, this sty, where mental vermin gobble, lust, excrete. Not a lack of sensitivity but a specialization of that lobe of it which most appreciates the unspoken wish of others: to stay free of that rank habitation within me I call “me.” Really, though: to consider one’s splendid self-made self as after all benevolent, propelled by secret altruism? Aren’t I, outer mouth and inner masticating self-excusing sublimations, still really back there in my neither-land? Aren’t I still a thief, stealing from some hoard of language trash to justify my inner stink? Maybe let it go, just let it go.