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Amber Paulen

Written from Rome

This is something I typed up some years ago, from my apartment in Rome, during an eve of burgeoning transformation. In a purple folder, which I have lugged from place to place, there are a stack of such rants and raves, epiphanies and lumpy sonnets. I was sorting myself out, I was giving myself a vision, ensuring its longevity. There are mysteries within the obviously known, but at that time all seemed withheld from me, creating a struggle of my own doing. I find that placing this here, a natural and chronological outcome of those last emissions on Henry Miller, helps to tell the story I have long been desiring to tell.

i am, i am, i am
what? there is no answer, how utterly surprising
i want, i want, i want
to be
no, not to be, there is no wanting to be, only being
i could sit at this desk all day
some would say doing nothing
sometimes i would say i am doing nothing
am i only doing nothing
why can’t i do something
like get a real job
or obtain a real way of life
besides passing time in my own way
besides counting each cent that i spend
i wish i would have always counted each cent
instead of waiting to the end
i like being broke
it’s a challenge
went to the bar last night
didn’t spend a dime
and got drunk
and had a good time
it’s all so fucking contradictory
in my mind
thought to be bad
felt to be good
my life
i say i’m a writer now
to fuck with people’s heads
to believe in my own
it feels good
it’s my excuse
it’s my other option to nothing
it’s my only other option
i feel i have no other option
it is what it is
my life
as a resident of roma
as an occupant of this apartment
by the police station
with the crazy man in the courtyard
by the church
with the illuminated sunset
by the termini
with the other crazy men
my life
i am what i am
it is what it is
and always has been
it flows and sinks in the same grand motion

Rome, Italy


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