Altar Ego, a poem for “What is Now?

Altar Ego

“Altar Ego”, from composer Bill Gilliam’s DVD, Memory Vision (2008). Images by Arnold Wytenburg.

Delighted to perform this piece with Bill Gilliam on Sat. May 9 at 345 Gallery, Toronto.


Altar Ego

Something has happened to

the I on this passage. I is

no longer a point of view,

stuck to this emotion or that,

the site of accumulated

experience. I has shed

the necessity of self defence.

I is a floating centre of perception.

I has widened to include

you and you and you be-

cause no barrier intrudes

between us.

I has become compound,

many-faceted. Complexity

leaps to a larger simpler

system. I is surprised

the words continue even

here. I is resting in

a continuum Am.

The diphthong of pain

Aeiii ground down

to seed syllable AUM.

Have you noticed that if you stay

with an image long enough

the fear you felt dissolves

into a live love you can embrace?

Penn Kemp


Painting by Jim Kemp
Photo by Gavin Stairs


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