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Published by Chase Gifford and Ryan Paich


Copyright 2016 Chase Gifford and Ryan Paich


Shakespir Edition, License Notes:

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Shakespir.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.





Table of Contents:










Unbeknownst to you,

you are wearing it, the brass,

content with one expertise:

the ability to hear time itself

ticking through your mind.


The gears and springs align perfectly

pressed against the face

of their creator -

propelling a toxic, self-reinforcing apathy;

spurred on by the ticking mechanical precision.


I am man and I know it.


I see my feet and hands and they obey my every command.

My thoughts exist.

Was I man before I thought, I wonder,

was I man before I knew of my feet and hands?


Can an infant know?

What makes her man?

I can see her feet and hands.

I can measure her brain activity.

Surely she is man.

Isn’t she?


Twenty-four hours restarts the routine,

unable to rip free of the automatic impressions

distorting your vision with fogged lenses –

the eyes of the mask.


How perfect everything must seem,

not once trying to remove the terror – the invention.

A face hides behind the familiar inner wall.


I become proud.

I spent all my years

tuning it to the perfect rhythm

with true precision.

Now –

it is in the condition

proper for making predictions

about tomorrow

by remembering yesterday.


As the pieces begin to age and rust,

something breaks –

destroying the delusion of comfort.


You begin to understand

every decision has a face that cannot last,

every will may be broken at some point

by a force that leaves you no choice

but to face reality –

removing the mask.


It begins to speak as you stare

into the hazy eyes.


This isn’t real.

This isn’t real.

This isn’t real.


“You know that I must tic

or how else could I talk

to you about what it is like to be a clock?


Time and time again I am asked by humans,

the unsolvable question, ‘What time is it?’

By the time I answer it will be a different time.

No matter where my hands lie, I am relative, an illusion.


Well now it is my turn to question…

Do you think we are any different, you and I?

After all, I am designed by man to be what I am.


Where do your hands lie?

They are predictable, as are mine,

in the same place every day at a certain time.





Man must learn to crawl before he can learn to walk.


“No,” you utter.

You pick it up and can see it for what it is,

breaking it by smashing it on the floor,

you retort, “I can already walk.”


Default settings are so inviting but

no longer feeling impressed

by impressions that already fit,

dropping to your knees,

the air feels cold against your new, present, face.


Thoughts begin to invade –

about something else,

a mask moldable to your every desire.



Immediately the soft clay feels satisfying,


the obvious choice

to fashion your appearance.


Wearing it shapes justifications at your will

forming any belief you need.


Yet this mask is a clever deception,

having no true form,

it exists as an adaptation;

a pure deceiver.


I feel my heart racing and tell myself, “I’m not scared… I’m angry.”

The anger feels powerful.

“I’m not angry, I’m strong.”


I feel protected knowing this mask is opaque.

Not even I can see through it yet, still,

I lie awake at night wondering,

“Do I feel afraid?”


It’s fake – this clay.

You try to refrain

from accepting how you’re feeling on a day to day basis.

Haste this advice before you’ve wasted your life

and betrayed it with crimes against all of mankind.


Accept the pain

chase it

until you’ve slain it –

embraced it.


Swallowing your fear will always make you choke –

you could never be as cold

as this clay.


The chill stretches through to

your fingertips.

They quiver.

Suddenly you are dangerous.

The mask unlocks an unfamiliar courage.


The corners of your mind protest violently,

begging you to cast aside the poisonous filter.

If you keep it on,

it will be impossible to remove –

as you forget your true face.



ripping the clay from your skin,

the mask takes with it a patch of flesh

from under one eye.

Reeling in pain and disgust, cursing yourself

and the mask,

you know what is about to happen.


Could this be real?

Could this be real?

Could this be real?


It begins to speak as you gaze desperately

into the corrupt eyes.


“Look at you, falling apart –

you couldn’t get what you want if you followed your heart.


When has being yourself ever felt like who you are?


Is this real?

Look in the mirror,

feel the fear

as you realize the skin under your eye is now mine.


It won’t be the only scar left behind after I’m finished infiltrating your mind.


Don’t be mistaken.

I have taken

a part of you

yet I am

a part of you.


You know it is wrong for me to be apart from you.


Your hands shake.


Temptation burns under your eye as you reach for the mask


itching to ease the pain.


Knowing it cannot be destroyed

knowing it can always be found

a cry bellows from your gut, “No!”

The mask’s face morphs, stretches,


into a distortion resembling a smile.


Hurling the monstrosity into the distance,

your thoughts begin to slow –

you feel something else.

Growing tired of the cold, you dare to leave its comfort.




Golden light manifests.

Am I unworthy?

I place the gold onto my wounded face.

Its interior shines with my reflection.


A powerful madness

begins to grip my mind,

gently at first, then fiercely,

forcing my gaze vertical.

Then, my thoughts race too fast to decipher;

stars tear viciously through the black fabric above…


I am not summoning these roaring thoughts. I am only a passenger forced to surrender and experience this message. Not thoughts. Impulses. Realizations. Rapid-firing… restructuring my world.


My mind rings clear with deafening silence.

The realm of human emotion becomes primitive.


I move with purity

untwisting the tangled root of my being.

This mask provides a divine awareness from within all knowledge is accessible

without bias,

without distortion.


I begin to grasp ancient truths

which provoke me to witness this atmosphere with flawless accuracy.

I am an infant.

Why do I know more now than ever before?


In my wake there lies a life I remember –

but now

I see a fire of white light

screaming toward the surface

of every moment I hold close –

almost as though

I was absent.


The fire invades

my body as I stand aside watching –

no longer feeling but knowing

there can be no control.


I need to stop the flow of insanity pouring through,

its divinity impossible to contain.

Ripping free the mask leaves me confused as

it vanishes from my hand;

and speaks…


This is real.

This is real.

This is real.


“In God you trust?

Are you not curious?

Want to get serious?

I’m so mysterious,

explaining myself would

leave you delirious.


I am all knowledge without the biology –

yet if you’ve defined me you will not find me.

I am confined inside every being’s third eye and

reside behind all of space and time.


We are consequence of consciousness,

and coincidence of elements.


The answer.

“I understand,”

Dropping to my knees I whisper softly into the sky.

“Don’t let me forget.”


The masks are nowhere in sight;

This was too real to be make believe.

The masks did not write this verse tonight.


Rising to my feet,

I get it,

It was me.


I hear a voice from within

with wisdom so great I question

if it is even insight.


You cannot be here forever,

this gold won’t always last,

before you even know it,

you will be wearing brass.”


  • ISBN: 9781370119943
  • Author: Ryan Paich
  • Published: 2016-11-29 06:05:07
  • Words: 1413
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