This advance copy of Thom Yorke’s The Eraser has been in constant rotation as an attempt to figure out what he’s getting at. The feel of it is more personal, tortured, desperate.

. . .

Monday: I’ve been to some quiet hells. One being a courthouse room where I sat and waited my turn to present my driving ticket to a judge in dispute–showing my insurance card and proving my innocence against a cop’s insolence–reading the first few pages of Slaugherhouse Five while shifting zigzag up the pews for over an hour. And this was on the second attempt. The first, a Friday night, I was directed to the room and it was full of at least 50 people, and the judge was quite a cranky bibby. Roughing this one out, I could tell, would be at least a four hour wait. It was best I got up and came back later.

the little devil on my shoulder…
mine wears saffron
long flowing robes

he says:

don’t write about
your non-self
you’re not expecting
anyone to care
are you?

I brush him off
he moves to
the other shoulder

you’re not
this body–

blah blah

damage done to the psyche

can be undone, son

all the world is overwhelmed
with personal traumas seen or unseen
and confronting them
on a small scale, moving on up the scale…

is our inevitable calling, to
hold back and deny…
we’re just going to
turn ourselves into
stone

and I can’t
allow that to happen

not to me

so I write about my non-self
my not-this-body

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