Guest Poet Mary Masi

     am i i or we?

               have i always been our vessel?
               or do we, lifetime after lifetime,
               surface and recede?
               are we sharing or feeding?
               am i i or we?
               is the voice of me lodged in this throat?
               folded in the gray behind these eyes?
               or somewhere among the vespers
               of the shades who are and are not me?
               am i i or we?
               does the voice of me speak as my mouth fights
               for some place within the ears of others?
               or only as i sit in the company of these mouth-silent phantoms
               who have haunted me since our birth?
               am i i or we?
               is the voice of me heard within me?without me?
               by the phantoms?by the others?
               or only through the vespers and only by me?
               am i i or we?

June, 2000

Mary Masi's Questions:

1. Is the sense of the following clear in the poem inner conflict among multiple selves? reincarnation? the "voices" in one's head? standing on the line between self realization and insanity?

2. How does the poem read?  Smoothly? Any suggestions?

The Albany Poetry Workshop