so, uh, just before you stick that there label on this, my shirt

perhaps you could do me a small favour first

maybe hold off on the label for just a moment

could you grab this piece of white policeman’s chalk

and carefully trace an outline

around my still and lifeless body

or, not so carefully, really

we just want to get the gist of who i might have been…

in fact, if you don’t mind humouring me for another moment

and pressing ‘pause’ on the label-adhering-to-the-shirt procedure

perhaps you can first assist me

in clambouring into this cardboard box that you brought

it looks like it might be quite the tight fit

and so i could sure use some assistance

to ensure that not a single part of me

body or clothing

and certainly no incandescent thought-bearing bubbles

might possibly be able to be seen

overlapping any of the corners or edges

once you have managed to close it ever so tightly around me

and taped me right up in there…

one more time, if i may be so bold

i know you’re in a rush

and you expected this whole write-and-rip-and-stick business

to be a whole lot more simple and routine and completely done by now…

but if i may

interject for a second

causing you to lay down your broadstrokes brush in surprise

and take particular notice of me

the person

the individual

the unique one that has certainly been affected

and informed and shaped and moulded

and influenced

by society

by my parents

by the school environment i was forcefully forced into and through and out of

the fallout from the colossal tug of war battle

between nature and nuture

echoing from my recently shaved head

through my still healing inner arm tattoo

all the way down to my shoe-forsaking feet

these feet may have been made for walking

but not so much for shoes, that’s for sure

can you see me?

do i exist yet?

are you struggling to find the right boxes to tick as you take this all in?

privilege-aware white heterosexual faith-filled male

forty one years of age, yet in many ways, still twenty-seven or thereabouts

“Keep up with me if you can, younger ones!”

introverted extrovert with subversive tendencies

poor? perhaps, when compared to you

yet excessively wealthy when compared to the millions of nameless ones around the world

who cannot afford in so many ways to be hooked up or plugged in or connected with,

in. this. specific. way.

and on and on the wheel turns

the hamster seems to be tiring, yet she labours on

while you appear to be hesitating

while i am done.

attach your label to me now if you please

and let’s move on with this charade

this little game we play

this binary interchanging of 1’s and 0’s

this tap tap tap on the button as the buzzer sounds once again

“i am choosing to hit the button of my own accord”

[of course you are!]

i am ready for you now

see how i bare my chest

waiting and


the death blow from that sticky piece of paper you would have me display.