Too often now I stare at a screen
and try to recall what it was like
when I could easily change blank
into not blank.
Sometimes I’d make
a good thing, more often I would not.
However it ended, at least there was
a result. Back then emptiness
didn’t stare at me like an adversary
the way it does now. The challenge now
is to survive, more or less,
while fighting the whiteness of that void.
Yesterday, Aretha Franklin passed.
Today daylight is still sagging
in the absence
of her possibility.
Eighty years ago to the day
Robert Johnson passed. The moon
still hasn’t recovered all of the melody
it loaned him.
Somewhere in between them
Elvis Presley died — same day,
different song; I know people miss him
but what song we lost that day, I can’t imagine.
I’m not ready yet. If I go tomorrow
the only song I’ll take with me
is a small one, a pebble in a shoe
shaken out after a good day walking,
forgotten once the immediate pain
subsides. A tuneless whistle
to get by one of life’s little discomforts.
Right now, that’s all I’ve got.
So back into the empty white I go
to blotch it up then read the portents there,
turn them into full-blown glory. I want the earth itself
to mourn me. It may not happen. I will try.