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Image for the poem Empty

Empty

what if i came up empty
what if there were no more words...ever
nothing  
what if i dredged the bottom of my soul  
only to come up clean --    
not completely clean  
but not with the muck and mire of my youth clinging to the bucket  
none of the usual memorabilia from years of doomed friendships and affairs  
or the unusual, either    
like the sequined bikini of that dancer in Norfolk  
with her whiskey mouth  
and her bouncer boyfriend who could have just taken the money  
fancy brass knuckles or not  
and Tony  
and the gun he used to spatter his good brain across the bedroom wall  
all those perfect words and magnificent dreams like soup stuck to the sheet rock  
and the smell even after they cleaned it up  
and Leslie  
and Maria  
and Margaret's husband listening in the other room  
joyfully ruined, the situation in hand  
and Carmen who was Charlie first  
and became a flamboyant prisspot angel  
who looked so good in a skirt hemmed up to the same ass I'd snapped with a towel at the gym  
and Lucille who couldn't sing a note  
but swore stardom was one goddamned song away if the right person only heard  
and JD always -- always -- cheating on his good woman  
and her -- Mary Ann -- that sumptuous pink rose of a girl who just tolerated his shit  
and I know I could have done better by her  
but it had to be JD  
and that single failed semester of so-called higher education  
and the work-a-day bullshit that followed -- just the endless tedium of it  
and the fifteen cent on the hour raise after six long months  
and leaving this job  
and that apartment  
and this city  
and all that restless wandering  
all that punching and being punched  
and knocked down  
and rising from the ashes one more time  
not some shining dragon bird  
but just me with a little more chipped away  
a little less steady at the wheel...  
so what if all that shit  
all that wild ride was somehow erased    
all that heartfelt angst and black hole sadness eradicated  
so there was not one goddamned word to put on paper  
not one so-called poem to write  
just Netflix  
and corn chips  
and a big soft belly spreading across the sofa  
in a room that smells of hopeless beers  
and farts  
and loneliness  
and boredom.  
   
that, brother, would be hell.
javalini
Written by javalini
Published | Edited 15th May 2019
Author's Note
This is a poem about writer's block, which is, ironically I guess, one of my best prompts these days.
Writer's block and obscurity -- demons that haunt the souls of poets and other wordsmiths...
This is a poem about writer's block, which is, ironically I guess, one of my best prompts these days.
Writer's block and obscurity -- demons that haunt the souls of poets and other wordsmiths everywhere.
It's an effort to exorcise one of them, I guess. Or exercise it, maybe.
But it's a long, probably boring story.
Thanks for reading, especially if you got to the end. Comments and critiques are welcomed.
The image is in the public domain. I liked it so much I donated $5 to the photographer.
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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nomoth
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