by Steve Gaines

the fourth wall has been shattered
blown away!
stage and house is all one…
no longer a clear line of departure between us and them

the actors… the audience

they can smell us
they can almost touch us
they can become us with only the slightest inclination
out of the space they occupy

how curious an experience…
living so on the edge and vulnerable
picking cautiously at the ruins of that once wall
that cell of quiet protection and its comforts
how somehow terrifying
how exciting…

Having grown up behind that impenetrable proscenium
I feel just a little undressed…
naked under the curiosity of so many probing minds
transparent perhaps…
lost in the secrets of this fragile art having come apart…
suddenly and completely

I guess I could close my eyes
pretend they are not there
I guess I could fly blind
in and out among those hungry critics
ignore them…

or lead them somehow astray
as they seek an objective perspective
inside this suddenly infinitely small world…

…or I could play their game

smell them
touch them
become them
inside the quaint space
of their own silent misunderstanding
of their question faces… as unknowing as mine
as afraid
as curious and excited

how extraordinary!
such ambivalence to swim in
and yet such infinite opportunity
so many directions to choose from
seeking the ever present happy medium
from such rare and narrow choices
such ill-defined subtext to grow in…

its like living in an intimate dream
where the fog
is so palpable you can walk on it
where the morning will never come.