Nobody Even Looks

Some days you wonder why you bother.

You sit and you search and you find them,

these unwilling words, you creep up on them

gathered there, unaware, lettering your

head, an alphabet soup of nonsense,

you catch them and you string them together,

cage them forever in the prison of the page,

juggle them up and down, muddle them around,

worry over them, care for and caress them,

make them into something by you, from you,

of you.

And nobody sees them.

Nobody finds them.

Nobody even looks for them,

these highly strung and overwrought,

overblown and overthought words of yours,

because they are hidden by millions,

squillions, quadrillions and gazillions

of other words, by other writers,

who seem to know better than you,

to know the right things to write,

every one of which seems to be

SEO much easier to find

than yours.

Some days you wonder why you bother.

The Moment Settles

In an obscured room, trying and failing

to write. Reworking, rewriting, retrying.

Failing again.

A pause.

The moment settles on me.

A weekday morning, alone in the house.

Wind blows through the eaves, traffic rumbles

and heaves. A golden blade of sunlight pierces

the armour of curtain, striking the wall,

sparking thoughts. It is late winter cool.

In these autumn years, the taste of spring

in the air, seasoned, salt and pepper hair,

I wonder what is there now, what is left

for me to do from this moment on?

Past working, past fathering, past building

a future, I sit and do what I wanted to

when the past was a present of youth. The

years gone before now number more than the

years yet to come, but I am not done.

I’ll carry on, though the writing is wrong,

and to right it would take me too long.

There is more to life.

There are birds to hear, seas to swim,

there is love to give, and to receive. There are

the miracle moments yet to come: spring;

baby cries; the kiss of a child; laughter

of friends, given freely; moonlit nights;

the scent of jasmine; more than this, more

than can be said in one lifetime.

I lean back, and as if to say yes, I am blessed

with a kiss from the sun on my face.

This Writing Thing

This writing thing, it seems

like a curse some days. It makes me

no money

and takes all my thinking, all my

time and attention, keeps me away

from things I should be doing, family stuff,

jobs around the house, things that

non-writers do without even

thinking about them. And some days,

after fighting for writing time, causing

upset and anger and problems for

people around me, I can sit

and stare

at a blank wall,

with a blank mind,

in front of a blank screen

for hours.

Then three words come, and that’s it

for the day.

In disgust, I walk away, and stay away

for days, but it has me, this opioid habit,

it won’t let me go, and I come back to it

days later, and squeeze three more

petty little words

out of my head, and I go round again.

What makes it worse is this:

if I could sit here all day

every day

and do the exact same thing,

I would.

Now, Then

(with acknowledgements to Charles Bukowski)

I sit here on the 3rd floor

hunched over in monochrome

walking clothes

pretending to be

a writer.

Alone today

but on other days

other people around me

have pretended

much better than me.

The story of the day

like every other day

is a story for me

about a person like me

with thoughts like me

doing things like me.

We write what we know.

But what do I know?

I sometimes read

what I have written

and wonder what the fuck

I think I’m doing.

Once a flood

some words fall together

that don’t seem awful

but most of the time

they look back at me

like unwanted children.

People wonder why I do it

if it isn’t making me happy

or going anywhere

and I wonder myself

I do wonder

but I keep going.

Perhaps this is the reason:

I need to hear

the gods laugh

the gods laugh

the gods laugh.