Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Reflections of an Aging Writer

It's not dead, not yet
maybe not even dying
but we play a dark game
with the pillow, don't we?
look, it's breathing again
our timing is perfect

I scribbled these walls myself
on dotted lines
how could I imagine that more ink
would possibly help?
this encircling fence
is already underwritten

The greatest horror by now
is to be taken seriously
please tell me it spoke to you
please, won't you like me?
so full of myself
it spills on the page

Another midlife windbag
the pages are full of my avatars
who can I blame
that I haven't lived?
always back to me
and my naïve paternal sentiment

But the door's over there
just past the wet floor
I painted
and if I leave footprints?
...I still care
it's not only my carpet after all

I guess I'll just wait
till it's dull and dry
how much longer can that be?


Probably needs more edits. (Thanks A--I didn't take your specific advice, but it helped.)

Autobiographical? Let's say I'm extrapolating. I'm neither a writer, nor particularly old (no doubt this is obvious), a little early for a midlife crisis yet.



Artemesia said...


Because you wrote:

but we play a game
with the pillow, don't we

I thought you could pick up a game here where
You thought to change the word ‘characters:’

I scratched out this prison myself
on dotted lines
can dribbling more missed balls
possibly help?
this rimmed hoop of wire
is already overshot..

It's never too early to take stock, vary the recipes, skim the surfaces, clear the broth. I like your poem as is but agree that 'characters' has a little too much weight. But it's still O.K.

I like your poem, lightly expressive of some very deep thoughts.

LentenStuffe said...


There's tremendous power in the fear in this poem, which is not downplayed by the self-reflexive levity or the conditionals or subjunctive moods. And of course the very activity that cuts also shields: the pen is both sword and shield, is it not?

I liked the hesitancy and uncertainty, but I liked the honesty most of all.

Keifus said...

Hi John. I'm not much one for rage, but I'm not into going gently either. More like muttering aspersions under my breath. "What's so fucking good about that night anyway?"

(Want a particularly insidious earworm? Try setting that poem to the tune of Roxanne by the Police:

Don't gooooo
gently into that good night
Don't goooooo
gently into that good night
Don't goooooo
gently into the night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light!

Anyway, thanks. I'm all better now.


Keifus said...

Say there, Mr. Stuffe. Any chance I could get invited to read your blog?