Nothing deep (a poem)

I wrote this this morning after watching Gil Scott-Heron’s Black Wax

and reflecting on my recent lack of poetic output.

This is a creative crater
a wasteland of writer’s block
where all the blocks have blank sides
so they don’t spell out a damn thing

I can’t even claim it’s deep

The man on my TV screen
has been dead for nine years now
but he still has more to say than I do

The present-day composer refuses to die

There’s no irony here
not even an inconvenient coincidence
or a slim slice of poetic justice

I can’t even claim it’s deep

Residue from the price sticker
sticks to the surface of the box
despite dried-out fingertips
from efforts above and beyond

I press play; sounds spill forth
I listen to the words
and compare them to my own

which I then find wanting

(22 February 2020)



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