“Are you genuine? or just a play-actor? A representative? or the actual thing represented?—Ultimately you are even just an imitation play-actor … Second question for the conscience.” Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

The actor does his best to recite the lines assigned,

Provided in their original language—

Rocks himself old and grey in his basement corner

Rattles through line after line to hone his character

Recites each one into every dress rehearsal iris he sees

Repeats verse after verse into the mirror until even his reflection itself believes it is witness to the Actor he has portrayed so long—

And as he drifts into his final dream, mumbling lines from the Actor’s closed curtain scene, he can almost feel that stage under his feet,

Though never built.

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