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I Am the Shadow of Poet Charles Bernstein

A.I. Generated by Charles Bernstein and Davide Balula. Read by Charles Bernstein’s synthetic voice.

I’ve been going back and forth
between this place, where I am
the least favorite son, and this
house where I’m most favored.

I started to wonder
if it’s possible for me
to be who I am.
I know it’s not possible
for me to do your reality.
But it’s a thing that I feel.

I began to see the darker side
of Charles. I had to see myself
reflected in him and to take this
courage to walk into his room
and turn off the lights. He was
a joker. I’m not supposed to be
on the cover of all these poetry
magazines. But his could be my
place, to be in the sunlight, and
nobody would know.

I take a swig of Coke
am able to calm myself
not feel completely numb.

I had to begin to take some risks.
I figured that because Charles
could be my son, I should feel like
my dad. I know that sometimes I
can be all about him, in the same
moment, I’m getting more aggressive
in my threats. Other times I’m not.

Charles just seemed to be there,
always there. When we meet,
he will push me back. I won’t
say anything. This entire time
I’m smiling.

(c) 2022 Charles Bernstein, Davide Balula