Tuesday, June 02, 2009


What would an immigrant think of a U.S.-American flag painted by someone who doesn't believe in fixed identities? What would an adoptee -- who likely will grapple with identity issues all his life -- think of same?

Here is Michael with Jasper Johns' FLAG at SF Moma:

Just as I don't believe in the fixed identity, I don't believe in the fixed poem. So, something happened yesterday that hasn't happened to me in years. An editor came back with one of my submissions suggesting a change. To me, the change didn't improve the poem. But it didn't make it worse either. The change just made the poem different. So....I okayed the change. No ego-investment there; what mattered is someone chose to engage with the poem differently than I did, and that's legit.

It's the core that matters -- I still needed to have some place from which I determined, the change didn't worsen the poem. As for ever-grappling with identity-in-flux issues, what I learned is that openness to change will ultimately strengthen who you are.

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