I don’t usually post my work online for two primary reasons: 1.) If I want to publish the work with a literary magazine, then putting it on my blog sacrifices the first publishing rights typically required by publishers; 2.) I guard what I write like a dragon. However, below is a poem I wrote a few months back (for fun) that I think may resonate with many writers. For me, one of the worst questions that anyone who is not a writer can ask me is: “What do you write?” Most times I shrug the question off. But in my head it goes something like the poem below. Enjoy. Comments are always welcomed and appreciated.
But I’m not a poet
and those labels, you know—my
worth pieced together in a price-tag:
hi, I’m me and I do this, that, the
other thing you’ve never heard of
and you don’t care, really, right?
oh, they tell me, you write
like it’s a disease written on my name
well, they ask, you write what exactly?
and maybe I am diseased with a word
here and there, but who cares about
exact computations, quid pro quo —
words put up with me, too, you know?
oh wait, they tell me, you write
but what? you mean for money, right?
well, I pay them, actually — the words
I mean, they’ve got to eat, bribes work too,
a little blood across the page, fiendish
creatures, really — always hungry
if you know what I mean
oh, you write, like a hobby?
they ask, it’s not your day job, right?
well, yeah I write this, that,
the other thing, you know, only that —
well, what do I know, really?
only, well, do you know how there’s
this weird syntax in your head
speaking words you’ve never spoken
doing math that that never adds up
in a language you don’t actually know?
oh . . . you don’t know what I mean
that’s too bad, because, well —
because when I really think about it
I guess I’m writing that.