A poet faces the great unknown empty.
If I put a word here, say
for instance, extravagance,
how would that look? Or
if I gave it a whole line
e x t r a v a g a n c e
like something that fills
the sad space in your life
by pumping itself up
to seem important.
What if I put in a long pause…?
not because I need to,
but to make you stop and listen
for whatever comes next as if
the words held sacred truth.
What about all that space
along either side of this page?
pull it in
or take it all the way out to the farthest reaches of space
just because it is there and I can.
Does it matter what I say here or how?
Do words depend on me to give them life
or do they possess lives of their own?
Do they rise and go to work each day,
and come home again to sleep at night?
Do they aspire to perform great things,
to come together with other words
in poems and speeches for the ages?
Maybe in the meantime I should
give them something to do,
some little task around this page
to make them feel useful.
to fill this void today,
would it be a tragedy
if I left it empty?
From The Museum of Unwearable Shoes (Kelsay Books, 2018)