It’s ten o’clock
And I’m at my desk.
But I don’t know what to write.
Though I know tonight I don’t want to work
on the novel that’s working me.
And I don’t have anything to write about.
But for once, I want to write short. Concise.
Something with punch and flair. Something
Cool. That’s the winning writing recipe –
Like a poem that I wrote when I was 26,
And in love, and very, very drunk.
That’s how all my poetry started
that was accepted by presses years ago.
When the editors wrote back,
Telling me how much they loved a piece,
And always clipped to the acceptance letter
Was the accepted poem, a photocopy? And
Of course, I couldn’t even recall writing the poem.
It sounds kind of funny, I know.
I always started by writing something.
Anything and nothing. Sometimes,
even gibberish. What a confession!
I think, therefore, I drink. Therefore. . .
I always wrote after staying out
All night. Howling and prowling.
These days, Saturday night out normally
Ends at ten-thirty. Such a domesticated
House mouse can’t write good poetry.
And today it’s soda pop or coffee? Crackers? Yogurt?
– It’s not possible, nor is it probable.
Yes, poetry has left me. My first love is no longer mine.
Poetry’s for the young.
The wild, the free. Those Bohemian types
who don’t even write for Internet space
and contributor’s copies. Prizes? Huh?
They’re out there in the night,
In the jazz clubs and punk rock bars.
– It seems that they don’t give a damn
About poetry, but poetry cares very deeply
about each of them.
They don’t think of it. It just happens.
No, I don’t write much poetry these days.
I could write poetry 20 or 30 years ago.
Sometimes I look some of it over and I’m
Amazed; at times, even proud.
But a lot of it is just pure shit.
And I must admit, I loved to write poetry then.
I don’t like to write it now. Maybe I grew up
Sometime during the course of the past two or three
Decades, but probably not, I don’t know. . . .
I think I could write short once upon a time.
Now I’m longwinded and my desk’s as large as a barge.
I don’t know where that little poetry canoe got to, but I know
It’s way down that river somewhere and I’m lost. . .
Samuel Vargo spends most of his time writing for national, liberal, online magazines. He’s a freelancer, free from the hard deadlines he had when he worked full-time for 20+ years as a print journalist. He just can’t write poetry like he did as a young man. Darn! Shucks!