Don’t be a Writer (Poem)

Don’t be a Writer

 

Don’t do it.

Don’t put yourself through this

You deserve better than this

Hear me now

Or you’ll find yourself

Up at five in the morning

Digging into yourself

Into your guts

In impossible ways

While the world

Is still asleep

 

Don’t be a writer

Don’t do this to yourself

Bukowski told you

Roth had warned you

Everyone warned you

Experience doesn’t add up

No two books are the same

It never gets easier

So save yourself the hurt

 

Be something else

Be an accountant

Be a gardener

Be a carpenter

Be something else

Anything else

Except a writer

 

And if you found yourself

laughing at this

Smiling at this,

Shaking your head lightly

Then you weren’t meant for it.

It’s fine

It’s good.

Get out now

Leave the room

This wasn’t meant for you

 

But if my words sparked an anger in you

A fire in you

A daring need to prove me wrong

That unnerving urge

To get on the page

To scream at me

Laugh at me

Lurch towards me

In defiance

Of all the gods

And men

Or simple me

Standing here

With such apparent vitriol

 

Then congratulations

 

You are it

You’ve done it

You are there for it

You will live

And die by it

You will lose your mind

And find your soul

One way or another

Until you know

The full meaning

Of the warning

 

“Don’t do it.”

 

Yet

When the years have come

Gone

And passed by

You and I

May know a moment

Of peace together

Over coffee

In a city somewhere

Lost in time

As the world

Has gone somewhere else

 

And

We will stand there

Alone

In the universe

 

Laughing.

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