I came, seeking identity, needing
to find my Self among throngs of another Self
that I could no longer understand. I came
because I was running to someting, away
from something, because I wasn't whole.

And I've unclothed many layers of Self,
and layered many more. And I have
scars and scarves and a new pair of boots,
and these protect me from the world.
For one such as me, who never has worn
powders in colors, I find
new comfort now in shades and shades;
shadows over my eyes to hide
shadows under my eyes,
a new face, because I cannot shed the old faces.
I am finding my identity
the further I sink under cover.

I came, because I thought I wondered how
to save the world, to give to the Pool of Knowledge.
After all, we are mostly water in our particles.
If I could open a vein and pour in new wisdom,
maybe I could save myself from drowning.
The only things it turns out I ever really
wondered, were things I thought were selfish things.
I wanted answers,
but I was afraid of the questions,
for every question turned in upon itself and became
seven questions more.
The seventh son of a seventh son
of the meaning of Who Am I.

When I am dust,
will it mean more that I tried
to give the world a message, in hopes
to ease its pains? Or is it more
to have been here alive, in this moment,
living as I live and loving as I love?
Today this is the best thing I can ask,
tomorrow this trite question pales before that of
which flavor of microwave pizza.
One moment I am on my knees before Shakespeare,
the next I'm blowing bubbles in the park.
Except when I am in the shower,
naked before my Self,
looking at each piece in turn to better
clothe it in foam. Then
I forget, because you have to keep on your toes
to dodge the fickle temperatures
of gods and central plumbing.

I think that I am like these grains of rice:
cheap, and wholesome, and easy to cook,
and ready enough to be mixed with whatever.
But the handle snaps clean off the pot,
and interrupts my grains of thought,
and I eat from a cracked plate,
and I wonder if that's a metaphor too.

So I am only writing this to tell you
(though I should be reading theories),
that not only are there no
easy answers, there are no
answers in the world.
But maybe you will find a way
to ask the same old questions,
such that no one's ever asked before,
and when that day comes
they give you a diploma.
Or so I understand.

Stream of consciousness poetry, like life,
is said to be a futile endeavor.
And yet, more people, probably, will read this poem
than my dissertation.
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