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I Want Answers! (from Dara Cerv)

I Want Answers! (from Dara Cerv)

When Adam asked me to head up this Real Pants feature, he reminded me that I’d basically be recreating a “regular” “column” he created on HTMLGiant. Since that was half a decade ago (jesus) and I have never watched one game show in my life, I ask that you keep your hands at your keyboard and just kinda kick it around the comment section with us, wait, what am I even saying–

Wells, ANYWAYS, I’m really into people and I’m really into learning things about them, so I’m most likely going to use this column as an excuse to 1) get to know some of my favorite poems//peoples a little better; and 2) show you some really cool shit.

One bit of cool shit is this new issue of The Volta. I really love The Volta because the issues are small and that makes me feel as if they care about their audience and their writers, because they want everyone to read everything. This Dara Cerv poem is absolutely slaughtering me, though:

This is a meditation on conclusions

Drawn about the dream that I am dying

On the outside of the inside of the dream

A head in a teleprompter says

We are all dying

And I don’t hate him for it

So, Dara–let’s keep it simple. What I wanna know is if you’ve had any head trauma, and (if you do) how do you go about making it less traumatic?

Mark Cugini

Mark Cugini is managing editor of Big Lucks, a strategist for Real Pants, and the author of I'M JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE (Ink Press, 2014). Find him at

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About The Author

Mark Cugini

Mark Cugini is managing editor of Big Lucks, a strategist for Real Pants, and the author of I'M JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE (Ink Press, 2014). Find him at

  • It’s all about courage! See the game is basically like Mark picks a writing thing he likes, something so confounding and good that you have to wonder where it came from, and he puts it up here with a little question about it maybe, and then we all get to wait and see if the person who wrote it sees his question and dares to answer him.

    It helps to have seen a gameshow before, but it’s not totally necessary.

  • And this poem by Dara Cerv is a great way to kick things off.

    • Dara

      Thanks, Adam!

  • What is gatorade

  • Dara

    Hi Mark! (Thanks for your kind words about my poem. “Slaughtering.” I like that.) I laughed so hard when I read this question because OF COURSE I HAVE HEAD TRAUMA. How else to exist?

    But more specifically, I definitely feel like I have head trauma around subjectivity and how humans can never get into each other’s brains, and how there are always many levels of translation. First, from a person’s brain to their mouth and into the air, and then from the air into other people’s ears to their brains. Then each subjective experience is shitting some stuff that gets tangled in our neurons, and then our feelings, etc. I think it’s amazing that we can make sense of anything, given how stuck inside our own experiences we can get. How to understand and empathize with others? It’s tough for a lot of people. And it’s endlessly fascinating to me personally. Anyway, using something intuitive and universally available to most – let’s call it truth-speaking/clarity & the desire to not totally fuck each other up more – then let’s symbolize it with a head in a teleprompter for fun – kind of makes the whole thing less traumatic for me.

    While I’m here…we are all dying and it’s effing traumatic. We stop thinking about it sometimes and go about our day, and then all of a sudden it appears, terrifying and immediate: I am going to die. The people I love are going to die. I just go blank. Some of us think about it constantly. The way I deal with this mild form of trauma (because I would never want to minimize what I consider larger and more pervasive trauma, which happens all around the world to people every day), is to occasionally remove myself. I make it commentary that I cannot hate someone else for making, because it’s the truth and I must hear it even if I can’t say it myself. And really, I am the puppeteer, so it’s me who I don’t end up hating. Win-win.

    I hope this makes sense. I didn’t get much sleep this week.

    Head trauma. Haha.

  • Dara

    (Is that game-showy enough?)

Real Pants

Posi but not teenage

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