• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 11
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The Eye

My good originals I cannot own.
I do not write them down. I lose my pen.
Responsibility is mine alone
for shirking. For avoidance. So again
the moment’s lost. The naked page lies pale,
reproachful as a fish upon a plate.
Fragmented thoughts pile up, a rickety wall
I cannot, or I won’t negotiate.
Is it because I fear that what I make
is worthless? – shows me up to be a fool?
And is it that, despite myself, I take
others’ opinions as my measuring-tool?
    It’s not so much a sense of what I lack,
    as this knowing inward eye, that holds me back.

This knowing inward eye that holds me back,
that blinks and flashes when I write a line,
halts my intention, knocks me off the track,
waylays me with its will to undermine
what seemed original and almost fine
to my pre-chastened self – now finds me dumb.
That eye is knowing and that eye is mine,
and I, because I know it knows, succumb.


The Eye

So, stern instructor, what have you to say?
Surely you will not block my thought unless
you can, in rueful recompense, display
a wiser, better poem - with redress.
    The page is covered. But the words more trite
    than I, beneath that eye, can ever write.

So I, beneath that eye, can never write
my feeling into words or prove my thought.
‘Constraint will render dull expression bright’
or so they say. That vision’s dearly bought.
A happy metaphor extends a hand
to welcome small conceits into the dance.
Before they even take the floor they’re banned,
to stumble there and fall, under that glance.
So everything you see is counterfeit,
and every line and every word suspect
and I am the imposter you will meet
wearing my name, and posing for effect,
    while into the amnesial pit have flown
    my good originals I cannot own.