Poet’s Block (poem)

Fluidity is missing in all of my prose

There’s no found home in words

That break the backspace bar 

The keys hiss and splinter fingertips

No rhythm reaches my chapped lips

Each poem has been vexed

By a cabin fevered winter 

Not a single prose worth 

The ink stolen from a printer


There’s so much to be said 

But so ugly is the sound

Metaphors must surround

The turbulence dragging down

The corner of my mind like a hag tooth

Or a bent, gnarled nail 

Snagged hooks from wrong aiming fishermen

Brain scans needed to get the right medicine

To decide if psychiatrist or neurologist 

Should dissolve the metal wear


Maybe it’s from the tear that the lines leak-free

Pathways breaking as I scramble poems into making

No cursor is fast enough to reach what has escaped

For it lies far away from the tip of my tongue

Away from any body part at all, dissolved and undone

A book whose pages have been scattered like ashes

Past this life and onto the next creative soul


I don’t know why I can’t write

Just as I don’t know why I see and emote

What is not actually there 

I’ve tried penning my experience

But I can only speak plainly

No embellishments able 

To dilute pain that’s meant to be beauty

It’s just testimonial not art or enjoyable


There was never an audience anyway

Slam poetry is for large metropolises

Not for a small southern town 

That I can cover up with a thumb

And stick out like one in too 


My other fingers tear at blank pages to mark 

What’s meant to be the epitaph of my feelings

Yet they merely leave scratches not language

Peeling bandages with no hold that always pucker

I would say I have no more to bleed if that was true

I would take them off if it didn’t continue to ooze


Each time I speak I hit a wall in my head

Foggy pillars and sedative chicken wire

That my muscles are too sore to soar

The pill blocks what should not be there

The pill muddies my vision and thinking

The pill works, though side effects still sprawl

My stomach aches after every drop of food

Sleep’s difficult, though it always has been

It’s better than paranoia and visual miscues


I wonder if the same thing that controls

The emotions randomly shuffled into me

Has the dials for my muse and puppets her

On strings that have loosened and snapped

No more claps when the knees buckle back

And collapses that which made my truths fiction

An aesthetic picture I would say was just make-believe


Maybe I haven’t been able to write

At least not write when it comes to poems

Because I haven’t been willing to be truthful

Not just to others but to myself as well 

Saying that I’m well when, well, I’m not 

For in my novels I could at least hide my bluff

While with my poems I’m speaking directly

Heart, voice, and identity disarmed


Maybe I’m able to actually write

For once be able to write this out

Because saying what is real

Is better than playing pretty pretend 

During a time that’s difficult for everyone

During a time when we need to know

It’s okay to hurt


And it’s okay

To not make something creative from it.

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