Monday, June 13, 2016

The Compositor's Apology

I lied. I pretended to make discoveries.
Almost all discoveries are recoveries
Of phenomena other persons had found first,
And the rare, great original discoveries
Are original only to human beings
Uncovering phenomena unknown to them.
At least, that's how I justified my pretenses.
For a long time, I couldn't bring myself to call
Myself the compositor, even in pretense,
Despite all my pretending. But it's true. I'm not
A discoverer, nor am I an inventor,
My pretense being no more imaginative

Than conventional gothic flower arrangements.
If I seemed to have created an argument,
I borrowed all the parts. If I seemed to have milled
The parts, they were buffed, borrowed, and stolen phrases.
If I seemed to have invented a turn of phrase,
I had inherited the terms and the language.
If I seemed to have forged a new word, I foraged
The phonemes and spare letters among the block types.
If I seemed to have concocted new forms of gods,
Time, awareness, or other existential things,
I built them out of broken idols, scraps of hymns.
I'm stolen. I'm sorry. I'll decompose myself.

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