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The

Judgment
is
the
Mirror
a self-help book
disguised as
poetry

Neil LaChapelle
The Judgment is the Mirror: a self-help book disguised as poetry.
Copyright © 2004, 2008 Neil LaChapelle
Cover design by Neil LaChapelle
Printed in the USA
ISBN: 978-1-4357-2796-0

iv
Table of Contents
Introduction................................................................................2

The Judgment .............................................................................7


A DECISION ....................................................................................... 8
NOT ALL JUDGMENTS ARE EQUAL......................................................... 9
SOMETHING MORE .......................................................................... 10
HORSES AND DRIVEN ........................................................................ 12
TEAMWORK .................................................................................... 14
ALMOST WINDOWS.......................................................................... 16
THE TRIGGERATOR ........................................................................... 17
TRIGGERATOR TRANSFER ................................................................... 19
RADIOACTIVE DYE ............................................................................ 22
MIRRORS ARE FUNNY ....................................................................... 24
CONDENSATION ............................................................................... 26
PROJECTION AND DISPLACEMENT ....................................................... 29
NEGATION ...................................................................................... 31
CONTRABOUND ............................................................................... 34
MY JUDGMENTS, MY SELF................................................................. 36
TRIGGERS INTO BITS ......................................................................... 39
SCABS AND STITCHES ........................................................................ 41
REACTION TIMES.............................................................................. 43
MY TRIGGERATOR TOUCHED ME ........................................................ 44
THE YUMMIEST TRIGGERATORS OF ALL ................................................ 46
The Mirror ................................................................................48
THE TRIGGERATOR FALLACY ............................................................... 49
OTHER PERSONS .............................................................................. 52
JUMPY HORSE DANCE ....................................................................... 54
FOR REAL........................................................................................ 55
MISE EN ABYME............................................................................... 58
FUNHOUSE MIRRORS ........................................................................ 62
PEARLS ........................................................................................... 63
SEE THEM ....................................................................................... 65
GREED............................................................................................ 67
TRIGGERS ARE LASERS....................................................................... 69
CANNOT HELP, BUT SEE .................................................................... 72
FAMOUS FAMOUS FAMOUS ONE ........................................................ 73
SAVINGS ......................................................................................... 75
v
As It Is.......................................................................................77
JUDGING I JUDGE ............................................................................. 78
SWEET SCENES ................................................................................. 80
SWEET DREAMS ............................................................................... 82
SHADOW BOXING ............................................................................. 84
THE PRACTICE EFFECT ....................................................................... 85
LOVE LOVES THE NAKED .................................................................... 87
HAVE TO, I ...................................................................................... 88
SNITS ............................................................................................. 90
GETTING FIXED ................................................................................ 91
THE BLEEDING ................................................................................. 93
HOW PERFECT A GIFT ....................................................................... 95
NUMBNESS EBBING .......................................................................... 96
PRISONERS OF SOMETHING MORE ...................................................... 98
OKAY LOVER .................................................................................. 101
BETTER THAN ................................................................................ 104
NOTHING NAKED UNDERNEATH........................................................ 106
I ANALYZE ONLY TO ADMIRE ............................................................ 108
SAFETY ......................................................................................... 111

vi
Introduction
This book is about judgment. It is about the judgments we make,
and the lessons they hide. If you have ever felt disappointed by
your own unkind behavior during an argument, this book is for you.
It helps you peer into your harshest outbursts, where uncharted
regions of your self lie hiding. As you explore these obscure
territories, they become less frightening. You annex and inhabit
them. The next time an argument strays onto that terrain, it won’t
seem so foreign. You’ll be calmer and freer to choose your
response – on newly settled grounds.
Most of the entries that make up this work arrived over a three-day
period in the autumn of 2003. More arrived over subsequent
weeks, and they were all revised periodically for a year afterwards.
They arrived in a tempest. I was struggling with four separate
friends and family members all at once, about essentially the same
issue. My offensive/defensive reactions towards them all were way
out of proportion, and I knew it. I was determined to rein myself in,
and to speak my truths with more grace and generosity. This book
is the result of my efforts to argue more lovingly, and so it may
speak most directly to anyone struggling with loved ones right now.
This book appears to be a collection of poems. It isn’t. Poems are
usually independent compositions. They may appear in a book, but
they can be read in any order. That is not true of this collection. The
terms and concepts of this book develop sequentially. You need to
read it from beginning to end at least once to become familiar with
its funny little language. On subsequent readings you can review
the entries in any order, without being left wondering what some
of the terms might mean.
The entries in this book do not embody artistic ambitions of any
kind. They are simple, on-the-nose, and unselfconscious. The
entries simply arrived in this poetry-like format, and I saw no
reason to change them as I edited them. As it happens, the poetry-
like format works out well for this book because it encourages
slower reading. These ideas need to be considered slowly, with
pauses to let things sink in. That is their pace. It is also their lesson.
To choose differently in the heat of conflict, we have to slow down,
pause, reflect and then act. We must interrupt our reactions.
2
The slow, halting format of the entries thus teaches the same
lessons as their content. However, the fact that form and function
work together this way is a happy accident, as far as I’m concerned.
The entries came the way they came, and it is only in retrospect
that I can see how their poem-like format makes sense.
The message of this book is not new. It echoes familiar themes
from psychological and spiritual literatures. Some readers will
notice similarities between this book and Part 1 of the Course in
Miracles, or other contemporary writings which emphasize
forgiveness and emotional self-ownership (such as the writings of
Don Miguel Ruiz, Louise Hay, John Bradshaw, Harville Hendricks
and others). The work is also congruent with Freudian traditions in
psychology, since it is largely about projection and self/other
reflexivity. Some entries refer explicitly to Freudian concepts and
processes, including defense mechanisms and symptom formation.
This book asserts that when we judge others, we are giving voice to
what is not right within ourselves. It would be easy to overstate
this point. Judgment is not entirely groundless. Some people do
actually harm others. It is ok to judge a specific murderer as
irremediably evil. However, some people can make this judgment
calmly, while others might undergo paroxysms of rage and run riot,
becoming murderous themselves. That extra energy in their
judgment points to some issue within them, and it turns them into
what they judge. So disproportionate energy is a key or a clue that
perhaps, in addition to the factual accuracy of the judgment,
something else is going on within us.
Emotionality is not the only such marker. Persisting in rational
argument can also become perverse. Truth is not justification. We
may be completely right in our perceptions of somebody, and we
may have an armload of valid reasons for judging them. However,
confronting them with this truth can still be an unloving act. Our
choice to be right instead of kind can tell us a lot about ourselves
that we are trying not to notice, as we struggle with others over
some point.
If we try to ‘win’, if we insist that the other person must reflect
back our own way of seeing as their avowed truth, we are being
driven by more than we think we are. The clues for discovering
what’s driving us can be found directly within in our accusations
against the other person.
3
Literally or metaphorically, but in all cases revealingly, we are doing
precisely what we are accusing them of doing, right there, right on
the spot, right in the act of accusing them. Accusations always point
both ways during the instant of their delivery, when driven by these
deep, visceral reactions.
Observing this mirror effect right when it happens shows us our
subconscious at work like nothing else can. We are judging, and we
see our judgment point both ways. We suddenly shift to a
perspective that is neither the thin mask of our speaking
consciousness, nor the huge fumbling mime of the subconscious
that wears it. For a flashing instant we stand beside both of these
selves – in a moment of expanded awareness – a new place to be.
As we get used to that third perspective, watching how the mime-
body does one thing while the muttering mask speaks another, we
begin to integrate them better. We start pausing when we notice
them doing different things. Then, in the stillness of that pause, we
can disengage from the dance, reorient and realign our selves, and
try again – starting a new action – one guided by what love needs
now, not by the momentum of what we were doing before.
Pausing and reorienting like this changes habits. It changes the
story – the story we tell ourselves about who we are and why. The
simple power to pause and choose allows us to reprogram
ourselves. It lets us rename and take ownership of elements of our
non-conscious, deeply embodied, pre-verbal postures. It helps us
command our previously automatic states of readiness. Changing
those states of readiness changes who we are.
We are what we brace ourselves for. Our body is in a certain way.
In any given situation, our body is ready for something. Below our
conscious awareness, like animals, our bodies brace for
emergencies, scanning the social and physical environments for the
dangers we expect. These non-verbal stances support our verbal
consciousness – they are stronger, more basic and more
fundamental than thought. However, once we start to name and
describe these stances, accepting them into our sense of who we
are, they become more manageable. We start to make them parts
of our story, instead of leaving them to crouch behind our words,
ready to bolt at shadows.

4
Making these stances part of our story is hard. The stances are
defenses, so they seem to be about everything that we are not.
They seem to be entirely explained by external realities; even
though they are stances we are performing. They seem to be about
everything that our conscious mind has always defined itself
against, all the bad stuff, the wrong/dirty/evil stuff, out there.
Judgments are mirrors because we confuse stance and threat.
Owning your judgments as your mirrors is a bold commitment,
prompting deep reflection and rigorous self-monitoring. It is an
advanced technique in self-awareness, and it is impossible to do
with perfect consistency. It is also not for everybody, or for all
situations. If you habitually doubt, blame or punish yourself, or if
you struggle with low self esteem, this may not be the tool for you,
at least not right now.
Also, if you are a victim of real violence, be aware that judgment
works on two levels: its personal inner meaning for you, and its
external function of supporting objective decisions. This book is
about the inner struggle. It does not propose solutions for external
problems like crime, abuse, oppression or war. People in bad
situations may choose to use the ideas in this book for expanding
their inner clarity and freedom, but that will not solve their external
problems. You can leave a bad situation out of clarity or terror, but
either way you may still have to leave. Nothing in this book
negates the need for decisive action to solve external problems.
My introduction might leave you thinking the book will be very
grave and serious, but actually, the entries themselves are kind of
fun! Not that fun isn’t serious – feeling more fun and less rage with
people we love is a very serious project indeed. But it is one that, at
the end of the day, delivers lightness. Rivalry melts into joy as
brewing clouds dissolve. Watching them dwindle, a brighter yes
dawns. Eyes lift and smiles clear. Light.

I hope you will find this light reading.

5
6
The Judgment

7
A Decision

The judgment is the mirror.

My life changed forever

The day I decided

To take that statement

Absolutely

Literally.

Every judgment I make

Tells me more about my

Pain than it does about

Other People.

The judgment is the mirror

Loving or

Scared

Inescapable

Fact

Of our physical

Separateness.

8
Not All Judgments Are Equal

Not all judgments are equal.

If I judge the room cold

That betrays

Little

But still, it’s just cold

In relation to

Me.

Others might judge differently.

Plus

If I judge the room cold

With very deep hatred

And lip-curling bitterness

Something

More

Is smoldering.

9
Something More

My judgment flares brightly

I pause

And reflect.

That flash of feeling

Can’t be

What I see.

The heat was within me

Not out there without me

Not out there where others

Pretend

They can be.

They wiggle the waves

That tickle my face

That’s all they can offer

And then it’s

All me

Baby.

10
My re- on their action

A function of habits

Filtered by feelings

Rehearsed

Within me

So

That searing heartburst

In my reaction

Is my own peculiar

Very own special

Get it here only

Something

More.

You would freak out differently.

11
Horses and Driven

When I feel driven to make

A point

To drive it

Home

To you

I rein in.

Or… actually…

I-driver reins in the I-horses – all me

Sometimes

Just sometimes

It works.

When I feel driven to drive my point home

Whoa!

Driven?

To drive?

Forcing Force?

Forcing who?

12
The driver dissembles at guiding the team.

When horses spit bits out and bolt

Running scared

Or happy

Or shocked

Or enraged

Or wild

The driver dissembles, explaining away

Each jolt with

“I meant that…

Because…”

“And besides

And since, then…

So therefore…

So there…”

The reasons are perfect

Except they don’t matter.

The horses are charging

And horses don’t talk.


13
Teamwork

When training my team, I shut up the driver.

And focus on horses

To watch when they jump.

There a flare! There a lunge! A reaction! A charge!

I charge at the other

A point in my

Mind.

Take this point take it home make it yours be that thing that I see
you are wrong I am right I should know I don’t care I’m in pain I’m
allowed you should pay it’s a fact they agree there you see you are
wrong I am right you must change let me be can’t you see what I
say can’t you be what I mean you should change we can’t wait it’s
so late we will die you must bend first my friend if you don’t change
this way it’s the end

Ooops.

What happened there?

Them horses got away on me.

Damn!

Wonder what made ‘em jump?

Well…

14
I’m lazy

So I choose a simple answer.

Each act I imagined was driven

I drove.

Each point I attacked in the Other

Is me.

My driver has everything

.sdrawkcaB

.no daeh ti ecaf ot emiT

15
Almost Windows

Judgments are mirrors and so almost windows

But all I see in them

Rebounds back

On me

And charging ahead

At those silver-backed helpers

Just leaves my self-image

In shards

At my feet.

Only one thing explains this raucous destruction.

Every judgment I make points at me.

16
The Triggerator

There was this jerk today

A real asshole…

And

This person I’m close to has hurt me a lot.

I am also beginning

To think that That Person

Is trying to steadily

Drive me

Insane.

Introducing

The Triggerator!

Triggerators are superheroes in many disguises.

Damn good ones.

Triggerators save us by jabbing their fingers

Precisely

Where

It will hurt us

17
Most.

How nice!

In fact

The greater the hero, the sharper the poking!

They jab until all we can do is

Pull back

And give those sore points

More attention.

Then Triggerators

No longer

Trigger us

There

So much

And that is what they are here for.

To help us notice the bleeding.

18
Triggerator Transfer

Triggerators transfer

Quite easily

In fact

Quite often

I transfer them

Okay

Always.

They’re tricky when transferred

Masters in disguise

The old lady, small dog

Loud kids and rude clerk

All trigger me

Just the same

Way

Somehow

Especially the small dog, for some reason

19
But

That’s just how I am

That’s just my way

It’s just how I’m built

It’s simply my style

I should know

I’ve been that

Same way

Forever

Since

I was reeeeeaaallly

Little.

It’s not myyyy fault

Some People drive me

So nuts!!!

20
Especially

Since

They seem

To follow me

Everywhere!

Why are they always

Picking on

Me?

21
Radioactive Dye

Triggerpoints on ourselves are so hard to find.

They somehow force eyes away

Not to see them.

But they’re visible

So we see them away.

Out there.

We see them

Where we are looking.

We actually squirt

We squirt out this ink

This radioactive

Dye.

We spray it on Triggerators

And look really carefully

And maps of our trigger points

Blink and shine clear.

This is a special mirroring service of Triggerators.

22
The ink is our judgment

Analysis

Crosshairs

Or angry and

Gossip-fed

Thoughts about

Them.

Our Triggerators.

We dance with our inkblots

With their blinking flashpoints

Not knowing they’re

Warning lights

Flashing at

Us

Forgetting

They shine

Where we spray them.

23
Mirrors are Funny

Mirrors are funny

In more than one way…

More than two ways

Or three, but two’s plenty

(Comedians are mirrors

Of triggers made harmless

But that’s not the point here.

Won’t go there for now.)

Mirrors are funny because they can show us

The way that we look

Exactly

Almost.

But they flip our image

And inside-out switch it

And we don’t look

Like we look

In our photographs

Quite.

24
They twist us

But we prefer mirrors

We do

To horrible pictures!

(Taken, we feel…)

We know mirrors better.

We know what to look for

More practiced

At poses

Our mirrors

Reveal.

The camera looks back

The way Others see us.

We prefer flip-flops.

They feel much more

Real.

25
Condensation

What bugs me in you

Is one puzzling piece

Of that puzzling problem

Of me.

My still boxed-up pieces

I trust

Can be clustered

Around it – your

Piece of me

Trust

I will see

I can guess

How this scene

Might appear.

If

I catch myself lunging at

You then that piece

26
That I lunged at

I know

I will need.

The rest of the pieces

May be

Piled around me

But that one

You showed me

May well be

The key.

There’s no sample picture

Of this puzzle finished

But since I was lunging, I trust

I can build

With this key

That you showed me

I now sense a pattern

I feel a scene forming

27
I needed that piece

Here

Next to these…

I knew it! I knew it!

They do fit together!

I rebuilt that scene!

That pattern was lurking

Condensed

In my judgment.

Resetting it properly

Made things come clear.

Clarity! Insight! Wow!

What a rush!

But now

What will I

Do with it?

28
Projection and Displacement

When I project a bleeding scene

Of mine

Upon a Triggerator

It looks odd.

Left is right and right

Is wrong and if I’m making subtle moves

My mirrors belie me.

Misguide me.

I can’t see

Those movements

As mine.

They’re all turned around

I’m all turned around

Left, right, here, there

29
Carp fishing, fish carping

grain threshing, fox hounding

Kid birthing, mom cribbing

beast nursing, nurse beating

Drivers in harnesses
Horses hold reins.

The Triggerator looks

That way

Always

To me.

Like somebody else

Who is crazy.

30
Negation

Negation is a tricky twist.

A Triggerator’s trickiest.

It turns our special mapping ink

To glue

Super

We figure them out

Them

We cover them all

Them

We coat them with

Our own judgmental

Spray.

Our trigger maps blaze while

We firmly decide

With total

Determined

Conviction

Never to see Them again.

31
Never.

Not to look That Way again.

We are Not-Them.

Case

Closed

We sweep them aside

With glue-covered

Hands.

Conviction.

We don’t look to notice

The big mass of Triggerator

Stuck to our skin.

We never look There

That’s what we decided

But somehow our steps are

Encumbered

Restrained.

32
That Not-A

Glues that A

In place

And us with it.

I have been Not-A-Child

Of one special Someone

I was Not That One

In every way.

I have been Not-A-Jerk, Not-A-Prude, Not-Bourgeois

I’ve Notted and Nohowed and Nevered until.

I wound up in knots

Proclaiming my freedom

From all I would not ever

See say or be.

I thought my path cleared.

But it was just narrowed

Pinched

By the Not-As, glued to my skin.

33
Contrabound

I will be different

Than all those before me

I will be different

Than all those that ‘x’

I will be different

I’ll do things much better

Surpass and outpace them

And fully and utterly

Leave them

Behind

No more ties

Or relation

Or reference

To them

Since I’ll be all

They’re not

And nothing

They are.

34
That way I can safely

Securely

Forget them

Assuming

They’re finally

Utterly

Gone.

35
My Judgments, My Self

My image is twisted

And bent and distorted

And so hard to see when

Projected out there

On my Triggerator.

Where to start?

There are books and then books, on so many shelves.

Some I have

Read a few

But I’m lazy.

So

I keep it all simple

Make no fine distinctions

And choose

That that image

Of Other

Is me.

36
All of it.

Then the joy begins.

All of those judgments

Are parts of a mystery

A real whodunit

Inside me.

(Detection is fun

If you’re cool about pain

And how good it feels

To get free.)

Each one of my judgments reflects me

Each one

Once I

Displace it and double-negate it

And expand it and unpack it

37
And sort it and flip it and spread it

And give all the hidden suspects

Their right names.

However

The answers are there.

Each conflict a gift

A chance to remember

A chance to relinquish

And reclaim my peace

The judgment is the mirror.

My judgments are myself

Not for shame

But for my own

Blossoming.

38
Triggers Into Bits

Triggers aren’t simple.

They have different segments.

Awaiters, Recognizers, Reactors, at least…

The biggest ones even have Seekers.

Awaiters await for something that triggers.

They keep the trigger points tense, on alert.

Recognizers yell when they see their reflections

And their screams send Reactors running.

And

For big major triggers

Recognizers keep screaming

At Awaiters, Reactors, more triggers, themselves

To run out and make sure no frightening mirrors

Will leap out and flash them more pictures of hell.

39
This trigger, that trigger, new triggers, ancient ones

All drive this Seeking of triggerous hordes

And since this wide world is well furnished with mirrors

They find what they seek while still Seeking more.

Fearing.

There are better uses

Of mirrors.

40
Scabs and Stitches

Triggers aren’t pretty

To look at or touch.

They hurt.

That’s why I won’t touch them

Without all that help from my Triggerators.

My triggers are field bandages

Or dressings of sorts.

Made up of crude stitches fom non-sterile needles

And plaster, and mud, and bits of my flesh

And scabby black flakes over hot reeking pus-pools

Plus these high tech detectors called Triggers on top

To keep whatever

Might peel back the dressing

Away.

In the field, this will do.

During feverish battle, at the scene of the crime

Whatever works works

For survival.
41
But right now I’m safer

My war wounds are rotting.

If I keep on Seeking, Awaiting, Reacting

My war wounds will fester

And poison me.

I must relax.

As the dressing is

Touched

Examined

With care, gently

Loosened.

Rushing this might do more damage.

(There’s no big hurry

Once I know

What I’m dealing with.)

Thank you, Triggerator

For holding the light

While I cut.

42
Reaction Times

Wounds beget more wounds

Your triggered volley

Jabs at my soft

Tissues and I

Jab back

Too much

Too fast

Too blindly

Too madly

Not seeing

Where all that juice

Came from.

Wounds are born

Of speed

And blindness

They need time

And light

To heal.
43
My Triggerator Touched Me

My Triggerator touched me

I saw my trigger flare

I almost let my horses

Charge

But then I remembered

The flare is all me

At least partly

Inside me

But importantly partly inside me

Okay…

How?

The judgment is the mirror

True

Okay

But maybe not this time

So much

Just every other time

But this

44
Time it is surely a

Fluke

That I am reacting

Like my old favourite Someone

Not that other old Someone

With someone

Just like

That other

Just like

I do.

45
The Yummiest Triggerators of All

You dance the same dance

The same matching steps

From each of our sides

We’re in synch

Wounds sweetly matching

So come and let’s bleed

On each other

In places

Where nobody’s

Looking.

You are the one, babe

My dreams all come true

But that

Except that thing

That isn’t quite right

Nor that one, nor that one

Nor that one, nor that

Hey! You traitorous Triggerator!

46
This is my nightmare!

My hugest of triggers!

Get away! Get away!

You can’t touch that!

You can’t go there! Don’t poke that!

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…

Gosh, look at that…

That does feel better.

It was time

To get

Air on that

Thing, now

I guess

So what shall we do for dinner tonight?

Is there some of that stuff from last night left?

47
The Mirror

48
The Triggerator Fallacy

I still make this error

Most of the time.

Damn.

Hey!

I just judged myself!

Won’t go there.

Maybe later.

Or not.

Maybe now...

So… the Triggerator is not out there

Or back then

Or those people.

The Triggerator is data

From there, then, or them

Processed

By gangs of vociferous triggers

Within me

Physically

Inside my own

49
Braincase.

I could probably point to that physical war zone

The Triggerator

If I could see it

But I don’t have a brain scanner

So I’ll just pretend

I’ll point to my head

And say, “There lives my Triggerator!”

Cool.

When I forget this brain thing

And my teams are stampeding

In all directions

But inwards

Back to

Stable

I forget

That the Triggerator’s not out there

Or back then

Or those people.

50
Ooops… I’m not thinking.

I just think I’m seeing

All that outside stuff

Forgetting my brain

Thus, I make the Triggerator fallacy.

I must remind myself

After not minding myself

That the Triggerator lives inside

Me.

The flesh and blood helper who supplied me with data

For hinting and pointing where

Triggers might be

Used for building my Triggerator…

This is important…

I really believe this…

That flesh and blood helper

Is different from me.

That fleshy being is an Other Person (O.P.).

Misery blossoms when that’s forgotten.

51
Other Persons

My horses are amazing!

They walk, they talk, they perform plastic surgery

Or try to.

They always fail because they live

In my head

But think they can operate

Out there

On

the Other Person.

Biiiiiiiiiiiiig mistake.

I remind them, other persons are

Other Persons!

I repeat to my self

O-t-h-e-r P-e-r-s-o-n-s.

My Triggerator, my horses, my triggers, my pus-pools, all of these


things are interconnected by millions and billions of tiny nerve cells.
I plead with my horses, I have no nerves going into the braincase of
the Other Person!

Horses forget.

They try to change the Other Person


52
Pretty them up

With a few incisions and little stitches, some abrasion and other
alterations, those Other Persons will turn out Just Right.

Eeek.

Equine surgeons get you into a lot of Trouble.

My screamers and reactors think that if I just throw my distress at


those Other Persons

Harder

Harder

Okay, harder…

Maybe differently…

I’ll pull rank.

I’ll… act really sweet! You catch more flies with honey than you do
with vinegar, wink nudge

Oh fuck it. I’ll pout!

That’ll show that Triggerator.

Triggerators think they are Other Persons.

I’ll show them.

I’ll be hurt.

I hate you.

Don’t go.
53
Jumpy Horse Dance

The Jumpy Horse Dance is extremely exhausting.

There are so many steps

And turns

Combinations

You can dance very smoothly

Or bounce with no rhythm.

However you do it

It’s draining.

None of us dancing it knows what we’re doing

So we just lurch all over

Use all local mirrors

To manage our

Partners

Pushing their limbs and their feet and their heads

So hard

That it throws us

Off balance.

We should use all those mirrors to steady ourselves.

54
For Real

For real…

I mean it!

Get real!

I mean, gosh, c’mon dude…

Keep it real now

Okay?

Some Other People really are What I Say They Are.

Period.

And if I tell Them they Should change

They Should

Exactly as I Say

Because I Know.

Because I do.

So there.

Ummmmmm….

55
But not

Not a word

Not one word

That we Say

Sticks a nerve

From our heads

Into

The Other Person’s

Brain.

And not

Not a word

Not one word

That is heard

By the Other

Is processed

By anything

You or I

Drive.

56
And some of the processes inside

The Other

Are Triggers.

Flaring

With data

From you.

Welcome to Trignation.

You’re now the screen.

Presenting

The Triggerator!

Good luck.

Watch out for the horses!

57
Mise en Abyme

Mise en abyme is a thing

I have seen

Where two mirrors

Facing each other

Reflect

A view of each other

Back to each other

Together

Forever

For real

Each is reflecting

The other

So

Each looks like that

When you see it.

58
The sight of the other

Shines from

Within each

So that becomes

Their image

Each then reflects other containing

its own image shining across

in round one

Then

Each receives image of

self in the other

Reflecting this back again

in round two

And that’s what the other reflects, (self in other in self).

Each now sees other reflect self showing other (round three)

so each reflects that this time (for round four)

self in other in self in other,


and then…

59
And then this goes on

Forever

At

The speed of light.

Triggering

Love

Hell

Choose

Love

Because

Each successive reflection

Of one into other

Gets smaller

And smaller

And smaller.

60
Framed by love, hell will dwindle

Framed by hell, love will shrink

As less is projected each time

Between mirrors

Each triggers less in the other

But yet

The mirrors reflect on each other

They shine on each other

For ever

And

Light dances freely

Between them

Shaped

By all

That both

Have offered each other

In the luminous passage

They share.

61
Funhouse Mirrors

Try to put

Funhouse mirrors

Into mise en abyme.

It won’t work.

Each receives light from the other

At off angles.

Each bounces the other’s image back

In unflattering ways.

Each tries to demonstrate that it

Controls the light

By pushing it

Bending it

Caving in

Rippling

Anything

Whatever will make it gleam

More than

The other.

You can hang them facing each other in the same hallway
But the effect isn’t nice and it’s hard to walk between them.
62
Pearls

Thank you, Other Persons

I never really knew you

Or really know you

But

In the mix of us

I muddle through

Alone

Are pearls

And yes

They are

Getting brighter.

When Triggerators are firing shells at my face

From the inside

The pearls are hard to see.

Inside those fucked up ugly shells

That cut me

Wherever it hurts

The most.

63
But when I remember

To calm myself

And not return fire

Then

I can crack the shells open

And use them

Scraping

Away

The gangrene.

In this mix of us

I muddle through

I find those shells

Thinking you threw them

Forgetting

These festering wounds

Were simply hidden

Until

The missile

Struck.
64
See Them

See them.

Lovingly

Reflect

Your acceptance

Of all that they offer

Then when they’re done

Reflect

Pause

Reflect on yourself and

Trust they’ll return

The favor.

Which they will

Whether they choose to

Or not

And both of these gifts

Are revealing.

65
Conscious mirroring works

Because

It expands

What happens

Anyway

66
Greed

As I’ve mentioned before

I am greedy

So

When Triggerators show me

My sore spots

Could focus on an Other Person (O. P.)

And gesture pose posture and wheedle

(No direct cables to their brain, you see.)

But

I am greedy

It is so much more fun

More interesting

More exciting

67
To solve this new riddle

About my

Reactions

Which are things

I can do things

About.

That I do

Leaving

The O. P.

To their own

Riddling

And pondering

Their own

Enactments.

68
Triggers Are Lasers

How big is that

Triggerous spot on the

Triggerator?

Tiny.

Each trigger point

Reflects

Back

Only

The tiniest

Bit

Of info

But when those dots shine together

In quick constellations

An outline appears

That sometimes looks like

My own Monster

69
And so I setup laser detectors

Just where those bits are.

My security system

Against them.

My triggerating Someone

Long dead

Was quite careful

Conservative, placid

Volatile, warm.

My Someone at present

Is bolder and wilder

Warm and quite steady

Careful, but free.

So different

Each

Of two different sexes

One looks great naked

The other…
70
Don’t care.

But when my new Someone

So charming and different

Breaks a few light beams

My monster

Appears

Just the same.

A sparse constellation

A few scattered fruit flies

Could shine like my Monster

Could cross those thin searchlights

Could trigger my sensors

By chance

Just like It.

As in time

Will a close

Someone

71
Cannot Help, But See

Oh dangers

So dangerous

Abnormal

Must be

Perverted

Demons

Seducers

Ghosts

Still here

And there

And always

Some where

Some way

I cannot

Help

But see them

Everywhere

Mirror images of my

Acceptance

72
Famous Famous Famous One

Famous famous famous one

Alive in a world of light

It’s so warm in your presence

So cool

So sexy

I want to be there

Too

In your world without suffering.

Where I am

Is too boring

And onerous.

But I know

Just what it’s like

Where you are.

One sweet daydream

It’s perfect

73
I know I’m

Like you

One of you

And Someday

Some Someone

All Someones

Will see

Me and

Never

Gaze elsewhere

Again.

And everything will

Finally be

Perfect

74
Savings

The poor

Those poor

These poor

That poor

Poor poor vulnerable

You

Save the

Protect the

Release the

Unleash the

Poor poor vulnerable

Them

Resist the

Refuse the

Demand the

Unseat the

Dangerous powerful

Him
75
For reasons

Yes

Plus something

More

For equal and opposite

Actions

Equal

Reactions

Against

Contact

76
As It Is

77
Judging I Judge

I judge that I am judging

Yep.

I scold myself for judging

I scold…

Damn!

I guide myself with lofty

Principle

“The judgment is the mirror”

Fool I was

To slip like that…

Ooops!

Or hey!

I notice

I am judging

Hee hee!

Delightful irony

78
And shame for slipping

And fear of triggering

And urges to manage

And pain from harsh thinking…

Sweet empathy

Loves you

Brave children

All

Now what might my Someone

Need me to reflect

To see that he too

Is perfect?

79
Sweet Scenes

Gorgeous gentle darling

It’s warm by your side

You’re so sweet

And so kind

And so sexy

And loving

God

What would I

Ever

Do without you

All that good stuff

Is inside you

Must be

So I’d better

Hang onto

You for dear

Life

Hang tight

Hey!
80
Why are you triggerating?

Oh yeah.

Start again.

Gorgeous gentle darling

In your sweet upturned face

I see all my Someones

Together

Sweet scenes

Playing out on

Your shimmering

Skin

My skin

I offer

In return

No shame

In our ongoing

Mutual

Illumination

81
Sweet Dreams

I dream a sweet dream where

I meet an old friend who

Finds out all about me

And all that I’ve done.

So impressive!

I get

All the sweets

I expect

Finally

Unlike

Before

When I got

Some but

That other

One I like less

Did too

Yeah
82
The dream is very sweet

It’s about my sweet friend

And not that Other

Or any before

And certainly

Not about

Being

Torn

Between any

Inevitably

Disappointing

Someones

83
Shadow Boxing

Yes, I know… yes…

okay… yes…

I’m sure…

yep, okay…

Yep, I’m sure he was

Boxing with you…

But… I know…

Yes, I see…

Well, I know…

But, still there’s…

Yes you were certainly justified.

But for me…

No matter how good my reasons for boxing you

It’s boxing

He left you no option

Did you take that one?

84
The Practice Effect

Think it

Ooops

Think the new way

Thiiiiiiiinnnnk…

Darn!

Think it

React!

React!

React!

Hmmmm…

Think it over

Think the new way

Think it

Aha!

I SEE it!

I SEE

I think

Something

Like some kind…

85
React

A trigger point

Thanks

Think again

Think the new way

See the new way

See it

As it is

See it

As

Be it

As

See

Think

See

Be

Do

86
Love Loves the Naked

Love loves the naked

But stripping takes practice

Since these clothes are tricky

To shed

“My judgment, my mirror”

I feel a new freedom

But then in a war zone

I notice

That phrase in my hand

Blocking barbs

And blows and missiles

And charges

I try to instruct…

If I fear the judgment

I can’t use the mirror

Trigger

Fade/flare

Choose

Love

87
Have to, I

Sorry, I

Have to, I

Can’t help, but

See that

What you judge

In others

Fits you

(With a twist

Or two)

Exactly

And I

Have to

Say something.

It’s making me

Mad, or

Something, I

Have to, now

88
Tear down your

Lying

Enlightening

You…

Oh, yes…

Damn!

I forgot

The paradox of offering

Humility with grace:

The impulse

To offer

Is miscued.

Violence.

Advice can only work sought

89
Snits

Have you ever been close to

A really big snit

With two others triggering

Like mad

In your space?

When you keep aloof

You don’t flare as bad

As the second you join

Their dance,

When you trigger.

Ooops

I remember

Affirm it

Again

Judgment as mirror

Always.

90
Getting Fixed

A surgeon comes at me

Fixing to reshape and form

What’s right from the

Mix and muddle

Of my life

Lift, tuck, nip, scrape…

Your recommendations?

Okay

Since I’m

Already numb from

The meatball field surgery

We may as well get

Your plan started

I’ll help

91
I’ll hold that tray for you

While you fix that clamp

Don’t bother with cutting

I’ll do it

Direct me

My own blades are sharpest

And I can cut deepest

Is that the idea?

Then good, please

Relax

Rest

I’ll cut to that plan

I’ll take it from here

I’m super! You’ll see!

I can do it!

It’s great, since I can’t feel anything

Clearly

I barely notice the bleeding

92
The Bleeding

Isn’t it great we don’t trigger each other

That way that Some People do?

Isn’t that great, my doctor, my surgeon…

Isn’t that really great?

Great?

My very own surgeon

To fix up my

Issues

A doctor

Oh wow!

Lucky me

Isn’t it great that I feel no pain?

Isn’t it great we can cut me

And stitch me

And slice

And I never complain

Ever?

93
You’re so impressive! So brilliant! Remarkable!

Where did you learn how to

Teach me to

Cut?

Wherever, just please please please

Please please please

Please please please

Always please keep up

The pressure

‘Cause

We’ve cut into an artery

And if you move your finger

I’m dead

94
How Perfect a Gift

Have you noticed

How perfect

A gift

This book

Would make

For somebody

Else

In your life?

95
Numbness Ebbing

This one mirror

Is losing

Its charge

I react

But only

A little

But little

Only

I feel

But

Little

By little

I feel

Numbness ebbing
96
The real wounds

The mirror

Reflected

I feel

Oh God!

How huge

Complex

And painful

How so

Overwhelming

They seem!

But ‘till recently

So did

Their mirrors

97
Prisoners of Something More

I am NOT such and so!

How DARE you!

How COULD you!

I of ALL people!

You’re WRONG!

In FACT

Those are the things

That I NEVER do!

ALL of those

I NEVER do!

Almost…

With WHOM? But HOW?

Those HORRIBLE things?

That SOME PEOPLE do?

NOT ME!

I DON’T!

NEVER do

Except when YOU make me so

98
MAD!

Except when I get…

Mad

At YOU!

At people…

Or car doors…

When they make me…

I make me…

I make…

Me…

Make me…

I DO!

Gosh I DO them!

Those HORRIBLE things!

What a HORRIBLE person!

I AM!

JUST LIKE!

HORRIBLE!

OTHER!

99
PEOPLE!

That

I am NOT like!

On PURPOSE!!!

Okay I’m like them

But only with YOU!

Because…

You MAKE me!

So therefore

I hate you

For how

You MAKE me

Feel.

You

Make

Me

Feel

100
Okay Lover

Okay lover here’s the deal

We’re going back there again

It seems

To that place

Where you know

We had problems

We like it because it’s so

Scary, or

Thrilling…

Our feelings are strong there

So here

Is my offer

If you like

We can try

When we get there again, when

You do that

Do that and before

101
You can stop I’ll be

Rushing

Right back at you

Screaming

So

Here’s the deal

I own

My own

You worry

Your worries

You need not appease

I won’t reassure

We both know

Our flare-ups are ours

And too big

102
So I choose

To sit down

And rename things

Like motives

And faces

And persons

And reasons

And trust you

Will mind

Your own monsters

When we talk about it later

Let’s be further than before

103
Better Than

Here is your problem

The way that I see it

You do things

That are clearly

Sick

In these ways

For those reasons

So there

Are your issues

Inside you

That I can see

Better

Than you

You see?

Like I said

You’re getting all

Triggered

104
By issues that

Make you

Not see

Your pain

The way

I do

If you’d take in my

Words while

Ignoring your

Pain

For one moment

You’d see

What I’m saying

See what I say

105
Nothing Naked Underneath

Feel it, let it fade

Feel it, let it fade

Raise it, let it fall

Let it fall

Two wounded wounders

Clad armed and crouching

Nothing

Naked underneath

Our armor is perfect

Deflects every weapon

We love it so dearly

Each blow threatens death

To the death

We protect

Our steel casing

106
Let it fall, let it fall

And the weirdest thing happens

The weapons approaching

Still stop where they did

Just inches above

Our unguarded frailty

The weapons still stop

At the old armor’s border

The war cannot

Come any

Closer

It doesn’t

Quite

Reach

Us

Never

Did

107
I Analyze Only to Admire

I analyze

Only to admire

You

Special One

And much else besides

I stoked your exhaustion

Which touched off your worry

Which fanned such anxiety

Confusion, and fear

Erupting

As rage

Lasting days

I recall

But

I analyze only to admire

So

108
How courageous you were

With your own special Someones

In that ancient household

In chaotic times

Passed around Someones

How heroic your choice to

Hold rage and frustration

As tight as you could

For just ages

And in your long climb

To a much safer place

With distress and disorder

Consuming your mind

How powerful

Astonishing

You were to keep going

With all of those fires

Still burning

Inside

109
Beloved, you are a hero

And I

Thank God

I turned out just

Like you

Thank God

For beautiful

Mirrors

110
Safety

I want you to know

I see what I did

What I thought you did

To me

You did

Whatever

You did

I know

It’s yours

To see how you see

See what I did

What spooked me just now

Next time it pops up

I’ll be better

111
For

Now

I am pulled by

Some tense startled horses

All ready to bolt

At rustles

My thinking is done

I still want to run

I need time

To get over

The panic

Some

Time

112
Soon

I know

I’ll be finally

Ready

To do

What I know

I will see

Through my pain

Love you

113