Guest Blog: D.W. Lichtenberg “AN IDENTITY WHERE I NEVER SMOKED CIGARETTES”

We asked the artistic collaborators of Peter Max Lawrence and Truong Tran, creators of At War,  to contribute something to our blog that details their own identities in conflict. D.W. Lichtenberg has collaborated with Truong in the creation of digital art for At War and in other projects, but he is also a writer. He writes on paper, on a computer, and also on empty packs of cigarettes, which he saves. The piece below  explores what D.W. might erase if he could erase his addiction to nicotine.

AN IDENTITY WHERE I NEVER SMOKED CIGARETTES

An identity where the anxiety of death did not straddle my bed.

An identity where I didnʼt walk through airport security realizing I had holes in my socks.

An identity where I was not drowning in the dependence of others.

An identity where we said goodbye to being so beautiful to us.

An identity where you said, listen Iʼve been drinking (not me).

An identity where there was no pack that began it all again.

An identity where you were the only one.

An identity where all the things that attracted me to you were not all the things you disliked about yourself.

An identity where Iʼm forever talking, forever closing the distance.

An identity where I never got used to having you around.

An identity where I liked talking on the phone.

An identity where I never attended a childrenʼs play by Maurice Sendak with someone I was doing coke with.

An identity where I accepted the passing of time.

An identity where nobody I knew quit smoking.

An identity where Christmas didnʼt feel like nothing after opening all the presents.

An identity where time isnʼt the only thing that can tell.

An identity where nothing.

An identity where everyone I love is drunk.

An identity where I am the one that brings the best of us all, not you.

An identity where I was never related to an addict.

An identity where Iʼm not only there when Iʼm drunk.

An identity where Iʼm not constantly wondering what my mother is thinking.

An identity where I am the life of the party.

An identity where I never realized I was totally alone.

An identity where I didnʼt give the last one to Wanda.

An identity where your dad drowned, not mine.

An identity where you were not denying that you were in love with me.

An identity where nothing.

An identity where nothing no one.

An identity where nothing no one never.

An identity where I was interested in more than just what makes you sad.

 

About D.W. Lichtenberg
D.W. is the author of “THE ANCIENT BOOK OF HIP” (Fourteen Hills Press, 2009). He currently lives in San Francisco where he edits corporate video by day and LA PETITE ZINE by night. He collaborates with artist Truong Tran on video art and digital collage. He hopes to one day write the Great American Bumper Sticker.

Photo courtesy of D.W. Lichtenberg