we recite from memory when testing the mike– engage in a wholly self-conscious moment. I typically resort to the prologue of the canterbury tales, whan that aprille with his showres soote etcetera. sometimes you’re phlegmatic from too much butter on your morning toast. you take scalding baths as often as you brave freezing rain, are alternately more and less gentle with yourself in process, dissect progress compulsively, claw chapped lips, slough away the carapace under cover of bathwater, chafe skin pink with towel’s nap, attempt to reveal yourself more vividly in a hundred different ways. your efforts, for awhile at least, are minor and halting. there may or may not be an aria in the offing.

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