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cutting words

on the white poppy

a butterfly’s wing

is a keepsake


A keepsake? More likely a ransom. The cost of freedom. Basho understood this, the price of cutting loose, of becoming or regaining the self, whatever its toll. His haiku relied on kireji, cutting words, a kind of breathy punctuation conjuring unspoken dimensions of expression.

An ancient Japanese poetic device is likely academic, esoteric, and completely irrelevant in your day-to-day, but it’s damn essential to me, unless you know some other way to travel between unspoken dimensions.

And I’m not chirping about the pedestrian dimensions of a Calibi-Yau manifold, I’m talking interior dimensionality, the place identity is manufactured. That’s much darker matter than the quantum stuff of stars and much harder to find. Much less hold.

But that’s what I must do: cut a way to my core. Broken and bereft of context, I must pierce each dimensional membrane, until I find what I’ve become. An almost impossible reality for the mind to grasp. I just need a toehold. Luckily, Basho and others scouted the route and carved a crude pathway through poetry.

With sentience, it always comes down to language. To describe is to see. To posit is to become. Every world turns on a word.

Cutting words.

It was time to swing a lexical ax, chop through the forest of branes between me, myself, and I to find home. And, among multiple universes, infinite choices, strike the one place that is truly mine. Would I know it?

The keepsake.

The ransom.

There is always a piece left behind in sheering events. The compass never loses true north, though we do: Rosebud, Tara, Eden, a butterfly’s wing on a poppy.

What had I kept?

What could I give?

Unspoken dimensions to hack through, but too sharp an edge would sheer it all away. What words to wield? What ties to cut?

The simplest. Pretension is the most dangerous of dimensions. Minimize. Shorten the path from here to there. This moment. Exhale. Listen for the breathy punctuation, the cutting of words that open worlds.


on the white poppy

a butterfly’s wing

is for our sake



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