what do you write?

what do you write when there are no more words?
when lyrical syllables float out of reach
like fluffy dust in a summer storm or they
tickle and tease, like your cousin did
that summer of your fourteenth year. you
remember her–budding breasts and full lips
and you, too young to know forbidden fruit but
too wise to turn away, and a chilly night
of ‘no, we shouldn’ts’ by the lake
and her, in moonlight brushstrokes
and you, now a man

so what do you say when you have your way
and nothing’s left save to ruminate over its failings
or to swim to shore past the woebegone riptides
left in remembrance’s wake? do you dare
whisper new beginnings, or fall
back to old lyrics to a brand-new tune?
and if you write that song, singing in
repetition like a dean koontz novel,
will the old times sing in harmony
or will ghosts of cousins past
boo you off life’s shattered stage
the one with the splinters right by the steps?
what do you write
when there are no more words
’cause the group of six who sing you secrets
ain’t singing since you’ve lost their tune?

what do you poet when ain’t no poets poeting?
do you take a month at your discretion
and fuck the meter and damn the rhyme
and piss on the stage ’cause ain’t no time
and save me jesus i lost my name
and help me father i’m not to blame, so
what do you write when ain’t no words
’cause six into one is too absurb
i guess it never comes out right
but still i wonder, what to write

what do you write when ain’t no words?
when all the phrases are out of reach
can they hear your teardrops, their purple smells
and wonder what you’re feeling
hell, it ain’t no wonder you can’t talk
who wants to listen to a poet balk?
and what’s left to say when ain’t no words?

’cause this shit, man, is for the birds.


  1. EagleAye says:

    Wow! I love this. This is one of my favorites from you. This line got my attention especially, “what do you poet when ain’t no poets poeting?” I loved the language and pacing of this.

    1. Thank you so much. I actually just closed my eyes and wrote this because I wanted to write but nothing was coming. I guess sometimes, you just have to pull out the cork.

      1. EagleAye says:

        Sometimes my most inventive work comes out when I don’t know what to write. It’s funny how that works.

  2. cecilia says:

    Wow.. double, triple wow. You are a Power. c

    1. Thanks, Cecilia. You’re sweet.

  3. Bob Mills says:

    Bill…just close your dyes and write line this more often. Seriously; this is wonderful work my friend!

    1. Thanks, Bob, I appreciate it.

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