self at war 
poem by  
  keith  o'connor
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how to become a neurotic
. self  at  war 

the memory voice 
in my head says  
I took that book  -  without  
receiving permission  
from the owner  
the other voice in my head 
a nice little voice  
You really didn't steal the book  
you spent many years looking  
after the owner 
for little pay  
therefor it is only fair 
that the book be recognized 
as part payment  
for your work  
even though  
it was promised to someone else  
and that someone else  
never helped the owner  
that other voice in my head 
the not nice one 
the memory voice 
the memory voice that says   
you never got permission from the owner  
you're trying to make 
yourself feel better 
about stealing the book 
but I know 
no matter what you say 
I will always know 
a state of war  
now exists  
between my feeling nice 
about myself  
and my memory  

in war 
there must be a winner  
and a loser  
my memory 
of taking the book 
must be taken prisoner  
and hidden so deep in my mind 
that it will never find 
the light of consciousness 
never to taunt me again 
with it's truth 

you are now a neurotic  

Keith O'Connor  
Ottawa Canada  
2001  aug  19 
2001 dec 10 

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