Disco Ball

By Peter Halstead

We make ourselves letters
That we trust with our selves
For want of anything better
Dark day pardoned
By flashes of sun
By sparks and by shards
Lighter from life
By slivers and splinters
Basking in snatches
In glimpses of winter
Ours for the asking
A funhouse mirror
That shatters and flinders
That flashes no nearer
To stars that matches
No facets or faces
That catches only
A bit of the world
A touch of the soul
Only a shadow
Never the whole

November 5th and 6th, 2022


The self is a fragile thing, made up of shreds and splinters, of the simple letters of words. Letters are hardly enough to paint our millions of colors.

We base our self-image on funhouse mirrors, on distorted fragments we snatch from a calliope, from a rotating disco ball, from fractured glass that only reflects small parts of ourselves, that anything can shatter.

From strobe light flashes we piece together panoramas that any small wobble can devastate. Infinitesimal precessions can sink planetary orbits.

As Freud said, we see ourselves as others see us. We prioritize passing remarks from strangers over the lifelong protests of those who care for us. And so our worst enemy is our own doubt. Depression is usually an inside job.