Short Essay on the Lyric-Conceptual Divide

All opinions are the speaker’s of the poem. Appropriations ≠ endorsements.


Everything that happens in the poem happens to me but the me is not me or rather it is not I though I may have been me in the past.


This poem will contain an image, the value of which I will assert either by virtue of itself or of its context.


A long-armed teenager bites his lip, on a loop, so that he is never not biting his lip or about to bite his lip or having just bitten his lip.


This image is either interesting or it is not.


If it is interesting, it is because it interests the artist and/or the audience.


If I am the artist and it interests me, the boy is a stranger or is known to me.


If he is a stranger, I took this image either with or without consent, or the only extent to which I have taken this image is from someone else who took it first, that is, from the internet.


If he is known to me he is either known intimately or barely.


If he is known barely, he may be a stranger, the image of whom I took with his consent, thereby he became less strange to me, or he may look familiar because his face is a famous face featured in a proliferation of images.


If he is known intimately, I may or may not have once slept with him. If I have not slept with him, he may or may not be a virgin.


He may be a poet. If he is not, he may or may not have aspirations of being a poet.


He may not be a poet.


If he is my first real lover from high school, now dead, this has become a confessional poem. If the gif does not exist, this is a fiction.


After seven months of sobriety, his longest ever, the drug took hold of him again. Through everything, his family never stopped believing in him and loving him and only wish that he could have believed in himself. To all of you who are facing this horrible scourge as the family or friend of an addict, please reach out every day and be there for him or her. Let them know how much you love them and that there is nothing they could do to lose that love. To all of you who are addicted, never give up. A slip-up isn’t a failure, and you don’t ever have to be ashamed.


The boy bites his lip. Again.