The Self

Part I  (Super ego complains to the Id)

A multilayered thing this self:
a tangle of discordance, the sum of  things stuck inside.
for I was implanted with a Mormon God when very young.
Twist as I might   my feet never touch holy ground

When I look,  the pool reflecting me ripples,
the sheen goes away, guilty apprehension appears
the whirlpool sucks joy away; my image is incoherent.

Reflection and assessment, the rational view
and the hidden insistencies conflict.
Is the whirlpool image  my true assessment?
the unease of me others see, and I do not?

The weight of Mormon demands I reject but surprisingly obey
the implantation of Godliness rejected, but of being chosen, I’m not.
And in  battle with this ubermensch the self might never win.

Guilt runs deep like water seeks all cavities
this God is a ghost in me
and I’ve not found another to vanquish it,
not the force of love or flowers sweet
or vain achievement, however great, prevail,
so I look in the mirror and see
a jumble of illusions,
and ghosts hidden from general view

 Part II (the ego regains itself)

Asked to write about myself
I ventilate
all sorts of rubbish
I shouldn’t publish
‘cause it will bore.

Oh, hum, the rant is dumb
all the inner ghosties numb.
The first ghost was a Mormon God
it remains, a puddle of pure guilt.

So it simply doesn’t do
to look in the fuzzy self mirror
without a musical background
and raucous laughter,
a fragrant warm meal
and lots of good red wine.

Kent,  Bowker 11/21/2013

Composition in Yellow

line by line a Ping Pong poem
illuminates a setting sun, a yellow
rising moon dream obscures
a dangling love, words papered
on walls brilliant, clear
to her, he hoped, writing about the sun
star rising over the ping pong
board, using absurd slices of bread
paddles as his fevered head swings
back and forth in the ruckus as sun
moon dance together holding on
to tales we tell ourselves
to become our life, mystical,
to eclipse all their poems
bright and shimmering
pieces flitting away.

Kent Bowker    11/2/2013


Under threat of war, alone with the The Primavera,
three graces in a room full of Botticelli’s wonders,
the year “Libya Bomba Lampadusa”,
( the Uffici eerily empty of tourists)
my heart opened so wide it rendered
speech silent.  The moment would last,
return fitfully from time to time the sense of serenity
scarcely found in the incessant drum beat of my work,
flying from one black security site to another
across the country for years, my body often
tighter than a drum. Tension radiating outward
set the tone, the terms of exchange, quenched
love, loves softening,  it stopped the tongue.

Now this service to country and the devil
has ended and the withheld
tumbles forth in a flow, words, into a world
of caring.  But love  strapped with duty
strangled my dearest
creating ruptures never repaired.

It takes time to relax the strains
repair  damage, to accept the love
one needs to live, to honor my loved ones
to hold them close within.