Altered Egos




          “Every man should be apportioned two lives,”

          Conroy claims.

          Old school teachers still denote literature essential,

          so dropping a well-placed Spark Quote

          is a beautiful way to maintain a stellar GPA.


          In theology class,

          we learned avatar  is a Hindi term:

          the embodiment of a higher being in earthly form.

          My avatar, however, has no need for religion,

          self-help books, nor infomercials.

          She’s too busy networking,

          hooking up,

          demanding respect by asserting her sexuality

          before slipping into a new identity.

          It’s merely artistic license:

          Samuel Clemens fathomed the fame of a cleverly-crafted nom de plume,

          Malcom Little was too small for the unknown power in Malcom X,

          and George Eliot rightly surmised Mary Ann Evans untimely feminine.


          For science class, I’m nurturing this theory

          that Darwin knew the necessity of quality face time

          with fellow homo sapiens

          after arduous weeks of solitary study on Galapagos –

          He just wasn’t sufficiently evolved

          to put the platitude in his book.


          Though Freud might observe the missing letters

          and diagnose my subliminal text as unquenched desire,

          I hypothesize his Id’s simply suppressing jealousy

          about the instant gratification

          available at my fingertips.


          This hubris is not unique to my generation:

          my eccentric aunt, inspired by Kennedy’s pledge,

          once bought the naming rights to a moon.

          All I’ve added is a more vast imagination,

          creating space for myself and 10,000 select friends

          in this wide web of self-made stars.





                                                                                                Boyd Bauman