Screaming Words on Silenced Paper

April 27, 2011
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I once lost my appreciation for poetry
just as easily as I lost the piece
of paper that held it.
I never should have trusted
paper with my willful words.
Why couldn’t I be one of those
organized neat-freaks who collect
all their poems in one notebook
and lock them away from reality?

No. I had to be pummeled with
inspiration at odd times, and now
I find myself looking for the post-it
that I wrote on at work and the
napkin from the café that held both
the stains of my mind and my coffee.
Do you notice any similarities?

Paper, post-its, napkins—
they can all be destroyed.
Light a match to them,
tear them to shreds—
they can’t last forever.

So you can hold onto your notebook
for now, because sooner or later
you’ll misplace it, and the only way
to remember the pile of words
that you’ve laid down is to go
back to that workplace or café
and listen to what they’ve
been telling you all along.

Who knows—
maybe someone will pick up my napkin
and know what I’m talking about.

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