it’s ok
I tell myself it’s ok
the narrative is still ok
I tell myself the narrative is still ok
I always want to approve of the narrative

I am always telling myself that I am doing the right thing
it’s ok to go to the movies
because it fits into what I’m building
it fits into what I’m building
it’s ok to do what I’m doing
because it fits into my story for myself
it fits in
it’s ok because it fits in
I am never going against myself
I always tell myself I am never going against myself


I don’t care
I don’t care
I /won’t/ win
I /don’t/ care

I don’t need to be “full”
to “know”
to “remain intact”
to “believe I am intact”

I don’t need to feel good about my story
I don’t need the story of myself to carry through
I don’t need to think the story of myself has remained intact and carries through

– Aaron Kiely, “The Best of My Love”

This line of thought in Kiely’s poem speaks to me on a deep level. I think this is something everyone is familiar with – the desire to have a cohesive ‘narrative’ structure to one’s life, but for writers it is so, so much worse. It’s a nasty habit to get into – sitting there thinking of a life in terms of a plot map. The real danger is because you’re bound to identify some moment as the climax, and then what do you do with what comes after? Read it hopelessly, bored? At best, you might sit back with that happy relaxed enjoyment with which we navigate the resolution of a happy ending. Or perhaps your life might not have a literary climax. If you read it as a narrative, that makes it boring – a sad thing because I don’t think any life is ever truly boring.

Love literature, write literature, but don’t live it. Let life be its own thing.

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