A Poem for Ben on Day 23

The tyranny of the blank page
is a farce
is a myth
is a lie
is what we talk about when we talk
about doubt
about dismay
about the ever diminishing returns

It is not about the page

It is about us
forever balancing desire
with dread:
the jubilant (desperate) need to create
to send some glittering form out into the world
to speak
when our own tongues lie still in our mouths;
the fear that it will merely fumble and stilt
an ugly mimic
clumsy and thick of speech
shunned by sun and moon and stars alike


the page never resembles that truer glimpse
never approaches the ache or the chill
never looks like it
or sounds like it at all

neither does it fully resemble
the glimpse that a reader gleans
their ache or their chill
looks nothing like it
sounds nothing like it
at all

The page is a cipher
(with or without polar bears)
connecting writer and reader
via sparks and filaments
not smoke and mirrors
they will never know what it was you glimpsed
as you will never know what it is they see, they hear
there is only the page

This is the beauty of it
and the terror:
what you made me do?


(with thanks)