The book lies there, face-down on the nightstand,
taunting me in all its silent repose.
I’m sure I could reach it with my right hand,
but for such reading I’ve lately been indisposed.
The title and author have escaped me,
which shows how long it’s been since I read it.
A dust blanket o’er it’s back is draped, see,
and to disturb its rest… Oh, I dread it.
Perhaps, once again, I’ll give it a try —
for a writer, books are grist for the mill.
But what if some dust gets into my eye?
The chances of reading then would be nil.
I’ll leave it right there for another night
and for now graze on pixels by iPad light.
The rhyming poet his words moves around,
even though no one ever talks that way.
It’s more important to match that end sound
than put a verbal horse before the dray.
Sure, the rhymer throws words no one uses.
Great you’ve got vocabulary to burn.
Though he may try accepted abuses,
like slant rhymes and language kinda “fureign.”
Lately, I can’t conjure story or verse,
a condition I still fight more than fear.
Since I have no muse to help break this curse,
I’ll play this game to get my ass in gear.
I’ve a Shakespeare costume, and I don it.
then strut and fret on this page…my sonnet.
Within, the emptiness rules, cold and dark.
It’s been this way how long I just can’t say.
Probably long as I’ve not raised a spark,
in here to warm and light another day.
I’ve given up groping my way around,
gave up about almost all I once did
once upon a time, like new stories sound.
Now new stories have run away and hid.
You’d think I’d hear old echoes in this space
where once so many voices talked to me.
I can’t bear to listen, in any case,
lest your voice I hear and dreamed-up you see.
It’s new dreams I need, to fill up my mind,
not blank memories of this life left behind.
The further twisting of this twisty tongue,
made of words homegrown and appropriated,
has gone unabated since I was young,
and some I have even procreated.
I guess that’s the price for a language loose
as the American vernacular.
I’m fine with words made up by Dr. Seuss,
but it’s the disuse I find spectacular.
You may not notice how the public speaks
as they hear language on TV mangled.
In texts their lack of care or knowledge peaks.
I gave up on participles dangled.
I’ll still weep for Mother Tongue, totally annoyed,
whenever I hear, “completely destroyed.”
Day 24 of my poem-a-day quest, which I’ve already completely destroyed…uh, I mean…
Oh, and the prompt for today was a poem with a title beginning with “Complete…”
I’m certain right now we all can’t agree
that things around here surely aren’t okay.
Online attacks, shootings, guys taking a knee,
we’re messed up in a state of disarray.
I’ve seen a lot in my decades of life,
stuff that made us crazy, yet always great.
Our history reveals days full of strife,
yet we’ve survived those times of raw hate.
But right now I’m scared of what might yet come
from the Us versus Then, Win or Die throng
that shouts down compromise like it’s dumb,
“If you aren’t leaning our way you’re dead wrong.”
Dead wrong or just dead by uncivil fray,
this new United States of Disarray.
Day 14 of my NaPoWriMo poem-a-day challenge. Supposed to be a “state” poem. Fuck that. Just know that I HATE politics, having worked closely outside and inside that disgusting sausage factory. So I always make it a point to not take sides. I’m just pointing out right from wrong. Right now, too many people are just behaviorally wrong. Let’s at least try, for our nation’s (and world’s) sake, to step back, take off our myriad hats, and work together to restore this to being a nation OF the people, BY the people and FOR the people…ALL of the people. I pray we can do that before I die and my granddaughters miss out on what I was lucky enough to share (at least I believe I shared to the best of my being) in my lifetime.
This stuff is killing me, keeping me awake at night and spinning my already hideous gyre of depression into a deep-dive death spiral. It’s crippling me. If some day soon, you notice I don’t visit you anymore (as I’ve seen myself approaching more and more lately) you’ll know all of this strife has become just too much for me and I can’t be me anymore. Today’s poem was not that me.
Apparently I have nothing more to say,
but it’s not only words that will not come.
My heart that bled ink for you ev’ry day
is but a husk now, empty, voiceless, dumb.
I’ve fought like hell and I’ve just let it go,
like a man breaking a horse to saddle
Used all the old tricks, still my heart shakes no,
no longer a poet’s heart. A rattle.
And so I leave you, unfortunate few,
another will take this place, I’m quite sure.
Wordless poets might as well bid adieu,
after we’ve given up finding a cure.
And so to this disease I’ve fallen prey,
even love has failed to heal me today.
I’d ask your name, but I already know.
It’s who you are behind it I forget.
Or perhaps I never really knew, so…
Maybe you are someone I’ve never met.
I’ve forgotten so many old faces,
their names have nothing to hang onto there.
Though sometimes I’ll enter these old places
and recall how that light danced in your hair.
Some tell me this is part of growing old,
losing the treasure of recollection.
But that faculty has long since grown cold
since I felt the sting of your rejection.
So here by this window I sit and write,
of you nonexistent, and times so bright.
Back from making new memories with a sweet little girl in North Carolina to this cold space where I forget so much. Some worth the forgetting. Some not. Which, I can’t recall.