Caledoniyya

Some Late Sunday Neruda

The carousel of job-interviews continues to spin, and as an ode I proffer some Pablo Neruda.

Uncannily, this is exactly how I feel as I stand before the panel.

Awkward, anxious and with a smattering of confusion:

We Are Many

Of the many men whom I am, whom we are,
I cannot settle on a single one.
They are lost to me under the cover of clothing
They have departed for another city.

When everything seems to be set
to show me off as a man of intelligence,
the fool I keep concealed on my person
takes over my talk and occupies my mouth.

On other occasions, I am dozing in the midst
of people of some distinction,
and when I summon my courageous self,
a coward completely unknown to me
swaddles my poor skeleton
in a thousand tiny reservations.

When a stately home bursts into flames,
instead of the fireman I summon,
an arsonist bursts on the scene,
and he is I. There is nothing I can do.
What must I do to distinguish myself?
How can I put myself together?

All the books I read
lionize dazzling hero figures,
brimming with self-assurance.
I die with envy of them;
and, in films where bullets fly on the wind,
I am left in envy of the cowboys,
left admiring even the horses.

But when I call upon my DASHING BEING,
out comes the same OLD LAZY SELF,
and so I never know just WHO I AM,
nor how many I am, nor WHO WE WILL BE BEING.
I would like to be able to touch a bell
and call up my real self, the truly me,
because if I really need my proper self,
I must not allow myself to disappear.

While I am writing, I am far away;
and when I come back, I have already left.
I should like to see if the same thing happens
to other people as it does to me,
to see if as many people are as I am,
and if they seem the same way to themselves.
When this problem has been thoroughly explored,
I am going to school myself so well in things
that, when I try to explain my problems,
I shall speak, not of self, but of geography.

3 comments on “Some Late Sunday Neruda

  1. asqfish
    August 24, 2011

    ASA, Carefully watch odd opportunities around you, unlikely though they may seem, you may be ignoring them and knocking on the same door again and again, Good Luck!

    • Layla
      August 28, 2011

      Haha! I love the notion of ‘knocking on the same door’ – alas, I fear at this time I cannot be choosy! 🙂

  2. skumbogumbo
    October 4, 2011

    So true! What is this persona inside my mead that I call “me”. Sometimes I like to think that he’s so smart, funny and most of all cool… Sometimes I think he’s the opposite, but I doubt other people notice these huge changes of charecter nearly as much. It’d be interesting to be filmed for a week and then watch it back, I bet I’d learn a thing or two… Probably same reason no-one likes the sound of their own recorded voice- it just doesn’t match to what we think we’re saying!

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This entry was posted on August 21, 2011 by in Culture and tagged , , , .
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