Just burn…

Apropos of National Novel Writing Month, I thought I’d repost this favorite of mine.

Why do I write in the light
When the dark is so intoxicating?
Just to keep up appearances…
Do I continue to smile though I’m dying?
How do I find my voice
Amidst a cacophony of screaming?
I don’t want your self-help diatribe
I don’t want your power of positive thinking

I can’t hear myself think
Let alone pen a work of distinction
I need a strong, stiff drink
But that’s only self-medication
And what’s it all mean anyway?
When nothing’s going to give satisfaction
Just a book full of ink spots
That sits on a shelf gathering desolation

How do I come to grips
With my own profound unhappiness?
I’m nothing but thunderstorms and anger
Keep your sunshine and sweetness
I have no more words of encouragement
It’s cruelty, competition, unfairness
The theme for the day is belligerent
It’s outworking displays its aggressiveness

So save your kindly comments
And your gestures of reverent concern
For into the fires of failure
I let the manuscripts burn
Lick the curling hundreds of pages
Kindle the books, at each turn
Throw gas on the conflagration
And I’m gone, never more to return…

77 thoughts on “Just burn…

      1. I’ve talked to you dozens of times and never realized what a good voice you have for narration. I like it! I also noticed you managed to work in “kindle”…but maybe I should save you my kindly comment?

        Liked by 1 person

      1. You have been my sunshine my whole life, Sis. Even when Mom locked you in the cellar with the spiders. I was the one who came and brought you grilled cheese that I smashed flat and slipped under the door.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The weirdest thing just happened! So I’m replying to another comment and yours (this one) that I can see right above it, suddenly disappears and goes to spam! And then the one I’m commenting on does the same thing! What the hell?!? Have you been getting sent to spam like a while back?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes, and I filled out 2 forms with Akismet and they say they don’t see a problem. But people I’ve followed for awhile have been telling me I’m in their spam lately! And I hate Spam. Maybe I’ll do a post tomorrow and ask people to check…

        Liked by 1 person

  1. First off – do NOT listen to to Kevin! He is clearly corrupting you, very slowly. This is wonderful, with excellent narration, I am so excited! Bring on the Dark Side!! We have the best cookies, they’re just not in Gatlinburg…;)

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you! Oh, I don’t really need Kevin to corrupt me. I do just fine by myself. Ha! And yes, I think the Dark Side not only has the best bakers, but by far the best costumers too. Black, anyone? 😀

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Love the narration! Gives the already kick-ass piece some additional punch! No kindly comments here, nope. No sunshine either! 😈

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m sure it goes without saying that some of that is right out of my brain. (Not that you went there to find it… that would be pretty gross…) But anyway… the emotion.

    “I don’t want your self-help diatribe
    I don’t want your power of positive thinking”

    “Keep your sunshine and sweetness”


    Liked by 2 people

      1. Let it rip! You ever see how the Germans and Scandinavians stick a whole bunch of words together to form another? So do that! Angrafrustifaloveyhornostaloregretasarcastoppable. Or something. 🙃

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Phew! Love this and your audio! Fire away 🙂 (hope that wasn’t too sunshiny sweet!) Also these lines stood out to me…the visuals here (in the whole thing) are vivid:

    “Just a book full of ink spots
    That sits on a shelf gathering desolation”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I read the poem from my WP app and was about to comment, that’s when I read the comment about you adding audio, so I opened the post on my browser to listen. My, do you have a good voice for an audio book or what!?!
    I really enjoyed the aggression in this poem, this was exactly how I was feeling yesterday.
    That line “I am nothing but thunderstorms and anger” that sums it up for me. 👍

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ll try not to write a kindly comment, but I might be guilty of it. I do hope you’re feeling better than the state you were in when you wrote this poem. I’ve had times of crushing doubt, and I wonder if that’s typical of people who try to use their creativity to form something new (rather than criticize someone else’s work). I’ve found it’s helpful to remember the joy that writing can give to me. Not every time I write, but it’s there. And I can’t control if other people think my writing is trash or my books are nothing special. I try to focus on what makes me happy, and that helps me with the anxiety.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for this. This kind of thing hits me when I’m about to publish. I have a book coming out soon and all the doubts and insecurities that I have sometimes crash down on me. I just have to not let it paralyze me into inaction. I’ve been dithering with the blurb and cover for way too long… And the book is good! At least I think so! Agh! Right? Really, thank you for weighing in. Only another writer knows how this feels…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome. Know that you are not at all the only one with doubts. I’ve read established authors also get them, and I bet it’s pretty common. Congrats on the book coming out soon! Finishing a book is a victory by itself.


  7. SO GOOD!
    I love that you added audio. It’s good for the remedial poetry types such as myself. 😉
    The tone was so much clearer than the one that would have played in my head just reading it.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I love the audio for this poem, Meg! You sound fantastic and it adds to the poem as you read 🙂 I would love to try something like that for one or all of my poems. Unfortunately, I have a strong accent from my home province of Newfoundland, Canada, so it would never work. I’d end up sounding ridiculous. Ah well! Love the poem too btw 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes they are 🙂 Perhaps I will someday 🙂 Although I’ve heard my voice on the answering machine, and I’m not sure it’s a poetry friendly voice haha 🙂 I’m fine with that 🙂 Happy Friday!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Great to hear your voice and read along with the text. It adds so much more meaning. I have been listening to T. S. Eliot reading his own poetry while driving: the reader’s own voice makes the poetry stand out in such a different way. Thank you for this. Roger.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Awesome!! Full of fire! I was just talking to another blogger (Mark Ryan) yesterday about what he called, “pissed off poetry.” I think we’ve all done it. Those times when writing in anger/frustration makes things so much better.
    Can’t wait to listen but can’t right now. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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