Dry spell: A poem

Notebook, pencil, and pencil sharpener
Pixabay/Creative Commons

Write, rewrite,
tap tap the shallow keys,
scratch the paper,
scratch out your last
ten words,
leave two.
Is it still writing
if you erase
more than you put down?

Wordsworth wrote “Tintern Abbey”
in his head, changed not one
of those 162 lines
when he wrote it down —
you, you with your dreams,
you sit and stare at uncooperative words
until your eyes sweat
and your forehead cries
and did you just mix those metaphors
or was it poetic license?

You can’t tell,
you’ve stopped being able
to tell
hours ago, years ago,
what is the difference
between experimental,
Jackson Pollock-like art
and the scribbles
your mother would hang
on the fridge.

comparing the two,
but these are only thoughts,
only private frustrations
never meant
to see the light of day,
relatable as they are —


Tap tap,
scratch scratch,
the shallow keys,
the paper,
and you remember why it is
you write.

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Contact Sean Tseng at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @STWeekender24.