Not Enough

by Shmuel Ross

Symbols, yes.

Both the characters on the page,

and the characters in the story,

and even a white whale—

no, that's been done to death.

That's been done for death.

That's done, dun, donut,

dallying in the dark alleys of the night.


And, yes, perhaps rhymes,

at times,

but not in any regular pattern, of course;

can't have any method in the madness.

Better to have madness in the method,

or at least act like it.

No divine chime of the sublime here, buster;

if you're in that line,

take it outside.


And meter?

Sure, put a coin in the hat

and see where it'll get you.


But that's not really enough,

is it?


No, you want blood, sweat, and tears,

but not the rock group,

and not anything cliché as that.

You want the ginger halo of the sun above the brownstones on Delancy Street,

and the hint of silver in her raven hair.


You want the cobwebs in the corner,

the old, dusty cookbooks crowding the shelf,

the dim light of the florescent bulb

casting shadows through the broken wicker chair back,

and the protagonist fucking the antagonist's brains out on the linoleum floor.


Well, maybe I don't have it in me.

Maybe I need to get laid,

or high,

or buzzed,

at least once in my life,

before I'll be able to write about it.

Maybe I'm not ready,

or willing,

to confront my feelings.

Maybe I'm not visual,

and don't know what a "ginger halo" is supposed to be.

Maybe I like emotional detachment, ever think of that?


Maybe life is hard enough to deal with in REAL LIFE

without having to put it into another damn bit of verse.


Anyway,

I still don't have a poem.

Copyright 1999 Shmuel Ross. All rights reserved.