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Fall 2011

Playacting

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Early tribal cultures, while celebrating their rites of initiation or sacrifice, retained a very precise and subliminal awareness that the compulsive extremes to which they went...were in essence mere playacting, even though the performance could sometimes approach the point of death.
—W. G. Sebald, Campo Santo




Something inside says
there will be a curtain,
maybe or maybe not
some bowing, probably
no roses, but certainly
a chance to unverse
or dehearse, after all
these acts. For some
fraction of the self
has always held out, the
evidence compounding
in a bank becoming
grander and more
marble: even our
most wholehearted
acts are partial.
Therefore this small
change, unspendable,
of a different metal,
accruing in a strange
account. What could it
be for but passage out?.



—Kay Ryan



Kay Ryan's latest book is The Best of It: New and Selected Poems.
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