In those unbearable times

In those unbearable times
When the voice is not there
All one can do is wait.
And read.
And try to think.
He should go out
Talk to people.
Get sleep when he can
And don’t skimp on it
But avoid it when it’s a bad idea:
It’s a bad idea.
Don’t get wracked down with that stuff
It’s just words. Papers, stories, poems
Don’t write themselves,
Especially not when you’re unconscious.
Sometimes alertness comes from exhaustion
The primal desire for safety and sleep.
It’s a funny world when you’re scared of paper
Isn’t it?
When a question or a due date might as well
Be a circling pack of wolves?
So stay awake
Don’t shrink from words
Or exhaustion
Or wolves
We think best on the edge of breaking down
Find a divinity there between
Studied urgency and delirious resignation:
The ferocity of Conscience
Indignation, Passion, Poetry.
Those are my snarling wolves––
A howling pack of words.
There is no more time to wait:
The voice calls out like these dogs,
Like pre-dawn sirens, like birds awake at the first
Shades of red
Like intimate, saintly footsteps
In those most bearable times.


About andrewwhiting

A sentimental and sarcastic poet, lover of language, traveling and nature (not a fan of the Oxford comma).
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1 Response to In those unbearable times

  1. “Howling pack of words” and “we think best on the edge of breaking down”
    This exquisite expression of the writer’s life, had many wonderful lines, but these two dove headfirst into my skin. Few writers can describe the writing experience in a fresh new way that both delights and comforts (in recognition that we share the same word-wolves) You’ve done it – fresh and delightful.

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