New Poem: ‘I Am?’



I Am?

In a corridor she turns
among elbows and bags,
among songs and candles
he turns inside himself
asks too
while standing, boardside
desks arrayed with demanding eyes
she wonders
just as he must have
as all must have –
still do –
the singular searching
piercing interrogation
even God Almighty
even the one of that name
could not escape, no,
not who am I
but one agonising fathom deeper,
the imploring impossibility of
who do people say that
I am?

(c) KB 2013


This has always struck me as one of the most fascinating and psychologically rich questions… one that cannot have a satisfactory answer, and yet one that we keep on demanding answers to in hungry status updates and messages longing for affirmation, for confirmation of acceptance and love. It carries a strange mix of vulnerability and narcissism…and is thus the most human of questions.

Connectedly, just wanted to say public thanks for the encouragement that’s come in recently regarding the poetry. It too is an uncomfortable mix of the above (vulnerable, narcissistic) but something I keep being drawn to, and feel I might as well share. Glad some of them have been well received.



4 responses to “New Poem: ‘I Am?’”

  1. Spot on. And most days, the fear of seeming narcissistic or the fear of being found in my vulnerability keeps me from writing.

  2. “Who do people say that I am?”

    I say that you are the beloved, and also a very good poet, keep them coming.

  3. Interesting picture, I think it reminds me of an Ood – Dr Who.

  4. Peter Rollins has been recommending you (antagonistically so!) for quite some time, now – but sadly this is the first time I’ve read any of your works. I’m still digesting the poem, but I can say that I deeply appreciate it. Sincerely, thanks. I look forward to engaging with your books.