To continue

He couldn’t write to save his life, evidenced ad nauseam; nor would he want to burden words with such an execrable chore

It wasn’t writer’s block, no – not that he thinks he deserves the moniker – it’s rather akin to a nietzsche niche

There isn’t much that occupies him, though he’d come to welcome that particular distraction from his quotidian routine

Often, however, as with most of his endevours, the struggle is finding a reason to continue, other than “for something to do”

It’s clear that his style – if, in fact, he can be said to have one – is never going to win him favor or a place at the writer’s table

His writing is now little more than a masterclass in insipid repetition, a neverending exercise in ever rending prose…

art: Listen by Jeanne Bessette

Rules

he followed the rules, of the bespoken tools
others would break them, he’s a foretoken fool

he squandered each day, by obeying the fray
a prisoner of self, ever losing his way

he wasted each night, no voice for his plight
no answers would come, no choice but to write

he’d never feel peace, as his questions increase
no eyes ever find him, the torment won’t cease

he’s destined to fail, it’s the image they hail
immured by delusion, their own private jail

he finds an accord, an escape from the horde
in releasing the pen, to fall on the sword

art: Portrait of Vsevolod Mikhailovich Garshinavast by Ilya Repin

 

Notable

Adorned in his button down
The curve of her back
As she eagerly leans over her lap
Where his freshest open wound lay
A flower to her nourishment drawn

A petal hovering above
Anticipating the page’s turn
Hair held up by a yellow no. 2
Save a languorously dangling curl
Persistently insistent on reading along

Backlit by the fleeing sun
Who perhaps fears his written word
She betrays her position
With a finger’s pause on the paper
As her lips subtly recall bearing witness

His pacing has stopped
It never gets him anywhere
Wounds notably heal as he watches her read
As he reads her every angle and nod
Ashamed that her eyes might see him witless

Eyes so intense and intelligent
Holding the page like it was his hand
A sparkle of dusk, dew manifests on the blooms
She understands the darkness before her
There’s hope hiding and love in the lines, a coming dawn

Inchoate

I have nothing to write

And the page stares back at me, derisively so
In a challenge that I shan’t deface its pristine, alabaster sheen
…with love, sorrow, or anything in between

That nary a scar will mar its virgin skin, leaving behind faded remnants
…discarded, inchoate thoughts,
rambling, incoherent madness,
or maudlin, inconsolable laments to souls indelibly lost

It unabashedly watches me struggle, as if to read my mind, predict my actions, feel my emotions

Yet, ever-present in the admixture, is pity and encouragement
Aware of its role as palimpsest – a dutiful willingness, an infectious silliness, a wide-eyed thrilliness to lead me on a treasure hunt to uncover the truths and fictions buried within

It may guide my hand into old-timey prose – I am, after all, anachronistically inclined
Or into “childish” rhyme, I suppose – being once lambasted for that very predilection
Or into any among uncountable innocuities, both clever and banal
Or into, perhaps, something deeper, more sinister
…all for its own amusement

Will it show me a teen who cuts himself shaving, proudly bearing the sting
Or a razor-wielding, young woman who cuts herself craving
…to feel anything
Or a regretful, old man whose bullet will heal all of his most cherished scars
Or a curious, little girl in wonderment staring up at the twinkling stars
…that she will one day conquer

It’s taunting me with rhymes again…

Perhaps stories of dragons, whose iridescent scales are shifted to crimson, while hunting in the violet draped skies of a blood moon’s luminescence
Of a thorn-weary rose, stopping to smell its brethren and awash in the redolence
…of memories and petrichor
Of a child swinging, laughing, living in the moments of happiness, incapable of living otherwise
Or of a man merely swinging
…at the end of his rope
…incapable of living otherwise

Or will I, in frustration, cast it aside in crumpling dispair, or fashion an aeroplane and set it to air, or fold it into exquisite lines of precision and anthropomorphia

It doesn’t matter to the page; it knows they’re all stories

The page knows what I like, but more importantly, it knows what I don’t like; for it’s actually a mirror to the writer, while merely a window to the reader – who may still reflect on the page, but with less clarity, oblivious to the subtly, too distant for the intimacy

Alas, I have nothing to write

In the end, I know there’s only one to blame

In the end, I know these are baseless accusations and ridiculous imaginations on the evil machinations of a page not at fault

In the end, I know it’s the pen who mocks me, and derisively so

Haul

he sat in darkness, his darkness

warmed by the seductive dancing of firelight, as its fingers caress his rufescent cheeks

a trace of cognac coalesced in the corner of his glass, pulling itself toward the diminishing flames that reflect upon its crystalline surface

mesmerized, he watches his long journey unfold in the fireplace, absorbed in the knowing cackle and crackle of his storyteller

a journey from innocence, to something far less so

the sheer weight of his memories – of failures, of regrets, of heartbreaks – too numerous to count, is outnumbered only by those he tries to forget

he’ll drag them into the fire, using what’s left of his courage in one final, brave act of redemption

in his stupor, he doesn’t realize the room has already gone cold

he’s been lulled to silent tears by shadows in the eigengrau, who recount the darkest stories, for those are only theirs to tell

his courage, which has now tumbled over the rail of this ship he couldn’t right, chasing the embers even while the ground rushed to embrace it, floats near the empty prescription bottle at his feet

broken, like him

he’s unaware of the snifter’s lurch for freedom to the keel of his wayward, sinking vessel

its tortured desire to return to wholeness and denial

his fading, singular focus was only of himself and his own pain

very like the way he lived

and this was a haul he was dying to forget

Weep

He weeps for the boy hiding deep within his eyes

A boy born a teardrop, wept from mother sorrow

As a child, out of mind, out of sight; so now he is never seen

Taught to speak only when spoken to; so now he is never heard

Taught to watch where he was going; so now he is ever looking downward

Forced to live on the outside without living, then it became his way of life

A distraction, an afterthought, a life of transient impression and impact

A longing handprint on polished mahogany

He weeps for the boy hiding deep within his eyes

But not for what lay before the boy

He weeps in empathy, while the boy weeps for the man he is destined become