writer

Write, but don’t

Don’t be a writer,

don’t hobble yourself.

Instead,

be a doer.

Make things happen.

Doing is where

the rubber

meets

the road.

Doers make the structures

where writers

craft

their reality.

Writers inspire,

but…

write while doing…

something.

Words have no value

if they carry

no weight.

Make weight,

write with a purpose

to challenge,

to contradict,

to insult

(if need-be).

Just

write.

We rotten beggar-scribes

All these voices,

talking into emptiness.

And I

shouting with them,

adding my desperate plea

to the general cacophony.

I criticize

and minimize

their efforts,

but, really,

who am I,

(shouting to be heard

as well,)

to judge?

I pine for acknowledgment

every bit as much

as the most strident

of supplicants does.

It is a desperation

that reeks so strongly

that it escapes the digital void

that spawns it.

I reek of it

too.

1991 marked

Twenty-five years
of talking to the void…
shouting in an empty room.
Blank sheets of paper,
or these newer mediums,
have been my only audience.
This,
as you well know,
has changed somewhat
in the last few years….
But I am still
fairly isolated
and whispering my missives
to whomever may hear
and that,
of course,
is all I ever wanted
even if it fails
to satisfy.

Backing out.

Strangers
shake my hand
but friends
turn
a blind-eye.
I don’t want
a hug,
just affirmation
that they see me,
hand
outstretched.
I like the corner,
I put myself there…
not to be ignored
but to guard myself,
and watch.
Maybe they have forgotten
that i am here
at all.
The outstretched hand
has gone to my pocket,
or the drink,
and i have dropped
my gaze…
indifferent,
now.

Tidal zone

There is nothing more beautiful
or honest
to the writer
or the reader
than the naked truth.
When both know it,
both experience it,
it makes the moment
more powerful
and real.
It can mark periods in life,
it pins them down,
so that
when you stumble upon them
(in song,
in journals,
In musings)
you recognize the brutal truth
as beautiful.
And yet…
for both the writer,
and reader,
acknowledging it,
in the moment of creation,
is almost impossible.
We are forced to wait,
’till long after
the benefit of such knowledge
has passed;
when only useless hindsight remains. We live life,
instead,
like shore-birds,
running towards the truth
when it recedes,
to peck at its leavings,
and running away
when it encroaches,
never wetting our feet.
Instead we eek out a meager living
in the tidal-zone
between
the reality of what we truly feel
and our willingness
to confront it.

Blood in the streets

I found myself
listening
to Morrison’s
An American Prayer
the other day
and I recalled
how much I once wanted
to have my work
sound as well
when read
aloud.
His poetry has been
vastly underrated,
his narrative style
misunderstood.
The cadence
is addictive,
the balance of syllables
perfect.
I will humor myself
and read
(with soft intonation)
one of my longer pieces
and pretend,
for just a minute,
that I am holding court
(and a pint)
on a dark backroom
of a bookstore,
or some venue,
while people listen
with rapt affections.
Then I break my trance
and step away
from this hollow
ego
dream.

Watching and unwatched

I truly want to be recognized,
my works and words
held in high regard,
my presence requested
at readings
and fĂȘtes.
Except,
that I don’t.
I revel in anonymity…
the silent observation
of a world in motion.
How can one have both?
I want the reader to love me,
but from afar
and with trepidatious reverence
as if observing wildlife
in its natural setting:
fearful of intervention…
a world I can remark on
and remain unmarked by.