Groping Around In The Dark

How scary it would be

to see every face as the same

so you couldn’t recognize your wife from your mother

your butcher from your brother

they all look the same

so every face becomes like seeing the sea from 40,000 feet

and a wave looks the same as a tsunami

and the color doesn’t change

and what’s beneath is God’s best guess

and there’s no guide dog for these people

we can say that’s sad and we wish we could help

though it’s so simple

these people don’t need a discovery at the level of insulin

they need name tags

if we all wore name tags we could cure the fear these people suffering face blindness

face every time leaving their house

that each face becomes a jigsaw puzzle

and they have to do their best to match up the pieces by fashion, body size, stance, height, voice, accent, sex, smell, hand gestures, habits, tics, peccadilloes, make up, hair do

don’t make up all the abstracts that make up how I recognize you

you are beyond abstract

you are reality

that even if I had face blindness

I would know you right off the bat

cause, though, I may be face blind

I am not soul blind


I would know you.

12 thoughts on “Groping Around In The Dark

  1. Steven Myers

    the liberty bell is ringing.
    i really enjoyed this
    and am pleased to now be thinking about the dance of the seven veils as
    they fall away from everyone
    only to be covered up again by green leafs
    and then fall again and back and forth…

    1. cottonbombs Post author

      I learned about this condition on this week’s Sixty Minutes. Apparently there is this medical condition where people are unable to recognize anyone’s face. They showed how terrifying this could be and I’m sure it is. But. I thought of J.D. Salinger who wrote about how wonderful it would be to live in a place where you couldn’t recognize your own home, so you would enter a different home every night and kiss a different wife and children and how the true seer sees right through the physical to the spiritual and out popped this poem.

      1. Steven Myers

        that j.d. salinger challenge sounds rough for people not in the habit of being in a family or having roomates or switching form one steeped in sarcasm to one all smiley all the time. didn’t salinger isolate himself for the last ?? years of his life or is the portrayal of him in the movie field of dreams not accurate? in the book with a different name-“shoeless joe,” the recluse writer was jd salinger rather than terrence mann. anyway, maybe salinger was dreaming in waves of grass always greener on the other side, but regardless, i find it to be a an excellent objective and constant challenge and very much like this poem—to see through all the layers.

      2. cottonbombs Post author

        Salinger was almost as famous for not being famous as he was for writing Catcher In The Rye. He was such a recluse that I know almost nothing about him except that he wrote my favorite book. I’m a big W.P. Kinsella fan. Have you ever read, ‘The Last Pennant Before Armageddon?’ It’s a great short story. If the Cubs win the World Series the world will end. You know we’re safe for the time being.

  2. granbee

    To be able to see straight through to the soul is what I yearn for everyday! When it comes to close family and friends, don’t we actually recognize the person behind the face more than the face? Think about if, Guru Peter. Thanks for this great poem exploring this eternal wish of manking to truly “KNOW” each other.

  3. Betty Hayes Albright

    Wonderful ending to this!! “I am not soul blind” – great line.
    (Makes me think of a close family member with Alzheimer’s – she has trouble recognizing people, but she still knows their “essence”….)

  4. Steven Myers

    i haven’t read “the last pennant race before armageddeon,” but would definitely like to.
    i’m beginning to think it might be a useful idea to scan and post some of the references we’ve been sharing as pdf’s like this one i did a few months back.

    i’m gonna check if there are any legal issues regarding posting published material,
    but i would think since it’s not for commercial reasons, it should be ok.
    i’m gonna buy a scanner too. they’re probably less than a 100 bucks by now.

    1. cottonbombs Post author

      This post on Trotsky makes Animal Farm read like a ball game without the box score. Thank you for sharing. I had never heard a hint of baseball perhaps being a Russian invention. Purists like to point to Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown 1939, but it doesn’t explain the painting of the boys playing baseball in Boston in 1794. Hell, maybe the Russkies did invent the game and then forget they did. Like Canada with basketball.

      1. Steven Myers

        i like thinking about inventions or discoveries forgotten by those who made them, as you mentioned about canada and basketball. there is usually one kid on a baseball team who also plays hockey and while coaches and scouts drool over the kid as a catcher with a gun down to second base and opposite field power, the kid loves hockey and we never know what could have been in baseball.
        makes me wonder about sea faring peoples who made it north america, made a few trades with natives and then returned home. the pilgrims had other plans.

      2. cottonbombs Post author

        Sure, those kids are out there, like Justin Morneau. One of Canada’s greatest players wears #33. Why? It was the number of his favorite hockey player, Patrick Roy.

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