Know Your Place

put your toes to the line
know your place
you aren’t worth a bar of silver

your identity: you have none
here, we paint your face
clown-face, so sad, so happy
chalk line on the pavement
follow the red tape that direction

you think you’re something special?
Ha!
think again, you dumb bitch
you aren’t anything we don’t say you are

today you walk this way
tomorrow you don’t say orange
it doesn’t exist, never did
don’t question your reality
it is exactly as we say it is

know your place
stay in line
you’re nobody
except a number
replace a name
forget your face
wait right there
now step backward


tara caribou | ©2021

34 Comments on “Know Your Place

  1. wow, that cut …
    shades of the wall, the machine, brazil – the clown face is such a good place it hide, literally or metaphorically, but sadness is not just on the inside … as much as we hold ourselves to be true, as much as we rebel against wrong, we still so often do what we are (often subconsciously) told, what we are programmed to do – nothing more than wet machines? i speak of my own experience and interpretation, but yes, this cut. i liked.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Walk in file, stand in line…

    Recall: Reality is the only word in the language that should ALWAYS be used in quotes (I really ought to properly source that phrase one day, but I think it was Leary).

    Cutting. Piercing. I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Powerful writing, Tara, this cuts to the core. Secret, I think, is to show that you are ‘in’ and disguise your feelings from those with whom you have no connection. Just a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

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