Ian Truman

The Curse – Poem

The Curse


Did you try everything?

Did you really give it all?

You’ve lost sleep, money, loved ones.

You’ve spilled your guts to the page

Time and time again

But did you really go all in?


Was every waken minute of your life spent

Thinking about it,

Working on it?

It is the universe’ fault or your own at this point?

Did you write enough?

Did you really make it every day?

Did you really spend every lunch break writing?

Each and every single one of them?


How come you’re still looking for something else to clear some wiggle room?

Why the impulse to follow the herd?

Why look at other jobs at all?

Why care about an endgame that wasn’t your own to start with?


Was it the fact you weren’t from New-York,

or LA,

or Toronto,


Or anywhere that seemed to matter to publishing.


Was it because you never traveled, not really?


Did 36 hours in NOLA on 300 bucks just to make it to a conference really amount to anything?

Did you really dress in Calvin Klein so no one would know you were sleeping on a bench that night?

Was it worth it to cross the line into New York on a midnight bus just to be at a table for a few hours?

Is this really what they meant by going at it for real?


Was it because you’re working class and can’t seem to find the leeway to keep up with the cost of living or is that just a cop out?

Are you that broke?

Is everything so expensive?

Are you a fucking princess after all is said and done?


Did you really starve yourself enough?

Did you really save up every quarter,

Every buck,

Every coffee you spent money on?

Why did you buy anything at all this week if it wasn’t for the sake of the word?


What if your “all in” really was everything you had and it still wasn’t enough?

Was it because you couldn’t write “content” to save your life like everybody else seems to be able to do.


It’s so hard to make a move,

Any move,

Once the thrill of your 20’s is gone

And the debt collectors want their capital back.

You can’t get another loan anymore, the party’s over.

They had you on the hook since day one

And it’s time to pay up for a good few many years now.


A guy I knew once said to me,

“We retired in our 20’s and now we have to pay for it till we’re dead.”


Oh how right he was.


You had been warned you were staying poor

And you made the decision to go there anyways.

This is a time of consequences and you can’t fail anymore.

Years of your life,

Thousands of dollars,

Engulfed into the word,

Your art,

Your name

Your way.


Do you still have it in you to go on?

Can you remind yourself of words you scribbled a decade ago now:

“pick a line, stick to it, don’t fall down.”


Words you had tattooed into your chest when you made that call

Words to make sure you never forget

As you look at yourself in the mirror.

“Struggles and Hopes.”


The dichotomy of life.

Your life,


Do you still have it in you to make it stick another round?

Another book?

Another year?

Pick a line

Stick to it

Don’t fall down?