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,

London,

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?

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As Sleep Won’t Even Let me in its Heart.

A year ago,

On this very day,

My life collapsed,

As my (now) ex-wife

was busy with another man

At a Christmas party

Other than her family’s own.

 

Now, I am here, in my home,

Without my daughters for the holidays

For the first time

And the pain is more than I had expected

Or hoped for

Prayed for, maybe

During a moment of wishful thinking

 

But now there are no tasks to keep me busy

No gyms to go to

Or work to be done

Or friends to have over

And feel the sadness of the world with me.

 

Maybe in time

This season of greetings

Will know a place in my heart again

But for now I find no reason to cheer.

 

I was a father and a husband

But tonight, I am nothing

Absolutely nothing

 

Tonight,

I am neither

Father,

Husband

Or even lover,

 

Not even a lover.

 

I am none of these things that made my life worth living

And I am feeling it more than I’d care to admit.

 

So I turn to the word

Once more,

And time again.

The only way, it seems,

I know how to deal with these moments.

 

And I am so tired of this

Tired of it

Tired of writing about it

But it is my only escape.

 

I know nothing else

As sleep won’t even let me in it’s heart.

 

“Holy night.

Saviour’s birth

Long lay the world in sin.”