It strikes me now as I sit down to write
some ill-tempered thoughts about motivation
that blood is dripping from my knuckles
from a cut I got while attempting to open
a stubborn metal latch, which wouldn’t bother me
except it’s obscuring the print on the w key.
Hemingway would be thrilled. Besides the fact
that my glass is empty, I’m heeding his advice
to the literal letter. There’s nothing to writing,
he glibly intoned. Just sit down at the typewriter and bleed.
But my finger smarts and I begin to wonder
if the advice of others would prove less painful.
Anais wrote to taste life twice.
Flannery wrote to know what to think.
Sylvia wrote to express her life but did it too well
for she ended up face down in a kitchen oven
having expressed every last thing that she had.
Orwell wrote to expose the lie.
Harper wrote to please herself.
And as for me, I would never presume
to insert my name among these greats
who I’ve called by name for we are friends
So I’ll just keeping dripping blood on my keys,
and murmuring the ballads of Pablo Neruda
because I know no other way than this.