The War of Art
I don't like to write poetry on computers.
Put a pencil in my hand, and that's when I come alive.
Lead strokes graze the glass-smooth surface of paper like
warning shots across confounded water.
The battlefield is drenched with salty drops from the thinking cloud
The counterattack! Harsh grinding of the blunt end of the pencil
Wipes out most of the graphite in its path,
leaving nothing but black shrapnel.
Furious exchanges occur, ghost-lines intersecting
Becoming more defined and less clear.
Lead staining my hand as it goes back and forth,
The pencil baton twirling as my hand wavers between writing and erasing
Hot oil ideas churn in the caldron
But when the time comes to dump them on the enemy,
They're too sticky to come out.
The war never ends. Even when the battle's over, the battlefield scrapped
And the results placed on a fresh sheet of paper
Surprise revisions paratroop down from clouds and continue the fray
The only way to stop the madness is to hollow the mind of any momento of the battle
And let it stand for others to see, a war memorial which honors the soldiers
But says nothing of what they went through.