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
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,
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.