The world, it’s been said and oft-repeated, is a stage.
I too am one such a player – a masked pretender cued by the reflection my audience mirrors back to me.
But I am also a writer – one who has further played the role of poet, at one time or other. I have characterized my own self, as well as my personal stage where the show goes on.
Last week, when I wrote about the show Orphan Black, and how Sarah is my favourite of all the clones who resemble her, I explained my preference as a matter of admiration:
I always appreciate characters who can seamlessly fit themselves into any circumstance alongside others, for I’m not always so seamless in my own life, and often feel the need to pretend to be someone else to navigate situations effectively – something I’ve over the years come to refer to as pulling a rabbit out of my hat.
The origins of my rabbit-out-of-my-hat analogy – all but forgotten until the sudden return of the turn-of-phrase to a written state, whence it began, was poem I wrote back in 2006 during my angsty late-20s.
As I have slowly been resurrecting my old poems as situations warrant, so too am I now giving this one new life.
A life – as I envision mine – under the Big Top.
How amazing I would be, were I more like you;
With your power to draw me out as an ace,
Or an ass,
Alternately from within your sleeves;
And slide me back together again
After sawing my center with a blade
Barely sharp enough to break the skin.
I can’t even pull a rabbit out of my hat
Each time it’s time to perform;
Yet here I am with my head in the mouth of a lion.
Here I am playing with fire.
(Inspired in part by Dead Can Dance, The Carnival is Over, 1993.)