Creativity is a terrible thing,
When it gets you in its clutches.
It won’t let you sleep, rest.
It jerks you awake,
Kicks you out of bed,
And before you know it
You’re at the keyboard
At 3 a.m.
Belting out a poem
Belting through the bleariness
To get it down
Then head back to bed
Where it starts again
The brain twitch, the jerk,
The plummet into wakefulness.
You don’t even make a living out of it
But it’s the way you’re living
The gift, equal curse
But when that sweet chariot swoops you up,
Oh the rush, the voltage,
You’d trade your grandmother for it
Were she still around.
Is it any good pleading? Thompson says.
For your life? Not really.
But you can’t just toss me aside like a dog carcass, not after all I’ve done for you.
You were more than serviceable, W admits. But you’ve served your purpose. You can’t argue with me.
Will it be painless?
Well, get it over with then.
One minute, W says.
He reaches into his satchel and pulls out his laptop.
Finish your drink, W says. Out with the old and in with the new, he smiles, keyboarding fiercely.
And with that, Thompson is gone.
It wasn’t Miro’s colourful coq
Nor Chaucer’s Chanticleer
Nor the one that crowed three times when Peter
It was just a garden variety rooster
That waddled onto the page
When my back was turned
& scrabbled between the lines
Before I sent him on his way
feathers all ruffled
Into a sunset red
as a coxcomb.
I was out among the fields, here one more time
Vigorously out hunting the butterflies of my mind
All the poems, the stories that had given me the slip
And would it seem once more; I had to be quick.
All the bright, beautiful things just beyond my net
Any moment now I’ll snare one; damn! Not just yet
I’m good at last lines. I really am.
The rest of my poems are crap but my last lines
Are really something.
I’m thinking of bringing out a book called ‘My Fifty Best Last Lines’.
The trouble is it’d be like bringing out a book of punch lines without the jokes.
‘By gum, I wish I could do that’ or ‘It’s okay for you two. I have to walk out by myself’ fall a bit flat without the jokes attached.
I suppose I could make the rest of the poems as good as the last lines but it’s a pretty big ask.
Now I can’t even get a good last line to this poem.
I was the flavour of the month
For twelve years
Then suddenly I wasn’t;
You either surf the zeitgeist
Or you don’t
On my early walk
I passed a group of musicians
Under the bridge
It sounded like
They were tuning their instruments
For a concert
Perhaps a twilight one on the bank
each other —Boing boing — like hollow
amongst the rocks and reeds already
drawing a crowd