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Meaner than a Junkyard Dog,


Turner's Evil Twin


Our genes have junk in them.  Not all the messages

That DNA contains does RNA read out.

Inheritance has drastic editing.  What, though,

Are unused possibilities the relic of?

A better us, or worse?  Are we as we exist

Young Dr. Jekyll failed or full-blown Hyde avoided?

(If avoided).  As of now we cannot know.

All we can say is, both the shadow archetype

And Doppelgänger, and the succubus as well,

Hang near us.  Life, genetic outcome of a code

That has its blind spots, parallels what it is not

An endless replicase of what it has destroyed

To be.  Dumb corpse one carries, Siamese dark self

Whose only life is to embarrass, in our joint

Past where did we in aim diverge?  Is it that aim

Was in itself the agency of difference?

Ambition's never quite evaded progeny,

A shadow is by definition follower.

But in the hidden mirror of the goal suppressed,

What proud construct of junk discarded bides his time?


Turner Cassity



From The Destructive Element: New and Selected
Ohio University Press/Swallow Press, © 1999.
Reprinted by permission of the author.

Background by
Erd Ogivae

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