Monday, 15 August 2011

Identity Turbulence

Writing is easy: all you do is sit staring at the blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead. ~ Gene Fowler

The decision to retire from this labor of love wasn't an easy one. I bartered with myself and with our esteemed Editor in Chief. I came up with some dandy ideas and plans, none of them truly coming to fruition because I wouldn't find the time.

In order for me to continue editing the poetry section I had to ensure that the quality of the work given to the public to enjoy maintained the standard they were accustomed to. That meant that I had to do my equal part and I wasn't capable of spending any more time in the trenches.

I've learned a great deal from the years I spent behind the scenes, but as Julia Cameron pointed out to me and thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) just like me, I had to discontinue being a "shadow artist" and step up my personal game. Perhaps a new editor will step in where I've stepped off?

I am deeply indebted to the hundreds of poets and authors who trusted me with their words and their work over the last eight years; first at The Hiss Quarterly and then here at The View From Here. Thank you for all your talent and perseverance.

In parting I'll leave a last piece of poetry that I accepted months ago. It is oddly profound for a final verse. I hate goodbyes, so I'll just say, "See you around."

Identity Turbulence

8am and I am
still tripping
from the night before.

My mind an ant colony army
bitter seethe of psilocybin,
Heineken, and Dramamine.

Skull padded with music
from headphones: I’ll drift
there to meet you, lazybones…

I’ll be fascinated by the miniature:
toy villages as seen from jumbo jets
the blue eyes of rooftop swimming pools

LA’s jammed freeways mimicking
neural traffic, hinting at something
humorous as well as terrible:

There’s a Mind somewhere
coordinating the color
of all airport walls.

There’s a Mind handing out
complementary peanuts
and single-serving friends.

For the flight’s duration, I attempt
inexistence, an aisle-seat obstacle
to others’ bathroom desires.

For now, the airplane is real
while I am not. Maybe I’ll come
down; I will come down.

Meager and well-adjusted. Regular
exercise. Unafraid of the future.

I won’t even recognize myself.

The Author of Identity Turbulence is Eric Phetteplace -- he grew up in Lyme, New Hampshire, obtained a bachelors in Creative Writing and Mathematics from Stanford University, and recently graduated from the Library and Information Science program at the University of Illinois. He reads philosophy, writes poetry, and listens to electronic music.

The picture credit goes to Peter Messerschmidt who took it in Amsterdam, July 2011. I asked him to, and handed him the camera.