Nov 28

Writing with Power


He’s no different from the other

members of our circle.  We meet

on Thursdays, blankets in our laps,

to fling cruel words at each other

on paper, each of us a bastard son

or daughter of Zeus, wielding tiny,

inky lightning bolts. 


Our cousins are everywhere.  Teens

in a poetry club in school, one girl

rising from her chair to read a poem.

“It’s about him,” she says, and points.

“And when he dumped me to go out

with her,” and points, “my best friend.”


Everywhere would-bes are listening to

the same seashell that suggests they

only write while in pain.  For years, we’ve

started our weekly moment with a

ceremonial paper cut.  Extra points for

poems with blood stains.


He might not last long, unless

he learns to grit his teeth and think

of writing as something slimy and cold

to be wriggled out of, to scratch and pull

at.  He keeps his guts inside.  We slice

the open mics, singing red until he leaves,

pen in hand.