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Summer 2017

The Method Actor

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When I was younger, I was confused
each winter when suddenly the world
was not green. I had been taught things
are what they are—We call this a chair
because it’s a chair. We call this
a trillium because it’s a trillium.

But when they said without doubt
that this is the world, even though
it was frigid and white
and sometimes we could not
even drive on what they still called roads,
it was obvious to me this was not
the world. And when they said you
are Godfrey, but then one day
I was a half-man, gawky
and whiskered, how could I
trust anything? At first,
I was ashamed. But, thankfully,
the subsequent thought:
I could be the trillium.
So when I shivered in the wind
and in winter when I disappeared,
I was. And: I could be the chair—
some people sat on me, some
chucked me across the room
when they were mad, and
some decorated me with jewels. Then,
what always happens happened
to me, too—people wanted to pay me
because I had discovered something
true about existence. And I took
their money, though often
it was not money.

—Jake Bauer

Jake Bauer serves as poetry editor for The Journal. His poems appear in The Bennington Review, Poetry Northwest, Thrush, and elsewhere.

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