Seven Traffic Lights now up at Terror House Magazine

Lyndon Johnson

I don’t think a man ever gets to know who he really is
I think, we are all disinclined in that way, and though
I would like to say, that
I saw everything and that it was all laid out before me, that
I was presented with the facts, that my decisions were well informed, that
I knew what I needed to know, and
I think that for the most part
I did, but now at the end of the day,
I can’t say for sure that
I ever really knew. You know

I did not start that war
I did not go in there thinking, “Let’s get these god damned gooks”
I did not wake up one morning dreaming of choppers spitting fire from the sky
I did not go out there and pull these young men off the streets
I did not lure them to this war like some Sunday morning glory dreamer
I did not, but
I also know in another way that
I did. Or maybe it was just that

I was born into a state too long and too wide to be fully comprehended, and
I was never able to shake off the cold coming down from the hills
I had big dreams in those Texas mornings
I mean a man can see himself one way and also see himself completely different
I can love you or make you think I love you and it really doesn’t matter which is true
I saw my mom and dad and they wore their love like a holy stone
I saw their ordinary mornings; her hat, his hand
I saw the dust all around them
I saw the dust, but as I think back on it now
I never saw it at all
I couldn’t see.

I think you could come down here and think anything was possible
I knew a man came down here with half-a-dollar in his pocket and made a fortune
I believed
I could do anything, make things happen, get out in front
I thought I had a clear sense of what was true, that
I had come up from solid ground, but somehow
I got tripped up, and it was all quicksand, and
I believed I was doing the right thing, but now
I don’t think
I ever knew. And that is why

I say a man never gets to know who he really is, more than that
I dare not say
I am not going to try to redeem myself, and
I am not going to harbor regret as would a weaker man, and
I am not saying that everything I did was right, but sometimes
I wonder if there’s a way to know the score, and
I would like to know the score, but
I also know that to some extent
I never will.


from American Software