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The impersonal I

by Jeannine Kauffmann 7 months ago in performance poetry
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When I say I, seldom do I mean me.

The impersonal I
Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

The impersonal I. I choose to write in. Is not a journal nor a diary?

Hear, I use I, the way people would write us or they. To create a space between the story and them.

The impersonal I, to speak for those who have forgotten how to form the words or the way to speak them.

I am not the centre of attention of most of my stories, poems. Just the narrator in the first person.

Mulling over life and its meanings, I encounter strangers with emotions and moments to share.

Perhaps sometimes, it makes it easier for me, what is told in secret to relate it as mine.

Especially the things I have only observed and understood in a way maybe far from what is in fact the truth.

Rendering them in you or they, would create too much of a distance and deny them their story.

So, I look out for people's privacy too, and their pain, isolation, sadness

Over the page, I turn and see another bus stop chat, cafe neighbour whispering, needing for a moment a kind smile, a nodding head.

Not another life but an anecdote that came to me. Snippets of other people’s tough reality.

Although, as I use it as mine, I want you to know. This is how the other lives and cries and screams just like you.

Look all I do is change the tune. I can relate with the distance of time and take away the tensions or despair.

In fact, what I say. I learn second hand from observing, listening, keeping my ears to the ground then I render what I did understand. A slice of life that could be mine or yours. Easier to tell if I use the impersonal I. But I do know the ones that are only mine.

performance poetry

About the author

Jeannine Kauffmann

Poetry writer in the early morning. Poetry as a wake up call. Then later I draw lines and colours. I have a page on Instagram my art other than words although it contains words too. Titles are important to finish a piece like a full stop.

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