a sedentary day

there are these waking hours

when your to-do list

eludes you like forgotten keys

or prodigal sock pairs

or vanishing combs

such that the fire

of your morning brew

leaves your fingers cold

and your screen (or paper) empty

and your imaginary people

whose lives you are destined to chart

sleep in their locked VIP rooms

with their demons and personal assistants

refusing the taste of pancakes

or bread or cereal or tobacco.

these are the waking hours

that work not like the egg timer

but like the plastic Scrabble hour glass

with the pink sand that does not always

flow when it is your turn

to use your Q and Y and Z

and your mind is as blank

as your playmates bored

and daydreaming.

Let your mind roam in this empty day.

Let it soak in the sun

or the rain

or the smoke and fog–

whatever keeps your town alive.

Let it be a dwarf as small as your pixel

or pigment ink and make it uncover

the expanse of your overstuffed rooms

and treacherous, roach-infested dungeons

before finding a crack in the window

and float like dust in the ebb

of the whispering streets.

Or let it be a giant and make it trample

against the brimstone you have long

prayed to be unleashed against the lives

of your most hated:

your math professor,

your bully,

the douchebag on television.

Let it relish the attention of helicopters

and missiles and screaming ants

before mindlessly wandering

in the sea of your imagination to rest.

Don’t drag it yet with the productivity mantras

you practiced from your newsfeed

but let it guide your fingers

in the tango of the blank page

that will call on you tonight.

And of course you must be waiting

and of course you must not deny this

for the table is now a palace

and the page a ballroom floor

where your people will dance

and you will dance with them

the song of all their nightmares and dreams.

Poem No. 6 for this week’s theme, “writing summer.” I need to begin looking elsewhere for ideas.


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