Tip of the Quill: A Journal
30|09:09 Justified

The trouble with poetry is what you think of it,
Not a manly art, not a practical art,
Not a good use of a grown man’s time,
Especially in times of overcommission,
Debts of money and time and promises
Stacking up against you,
Barking while you sleep,
Squatting outside the bathroom door
Demanding justification for time on the crapper.
In times like this, you write?
In times like these, you write those?
Yes, I reply, I write these.
In times of chaos, reflection is needed,
A cool head in the midst of the destroyer’s storm,
And poetry is a manly art, not just when deployed
As oratory from a President soothing savage fears
Or caged up on stages or in undersold volumes,
But as therapy, but as strategy,
But as coping mechanisms and respites,
To gather the courage to step back into oneself
Throw obscene fingers at the wolves at the bedroom door,
To say fuck off, I’m busy.
Would it be different if I were Bono? Stipe? Byrne?
If these lines weren’t presented in pixels or ink
But accompanied by growling guitar chords or ambient noise?
If they were performed live, before screaming crowds,
Or crooned from tiny earbud speakers straight into the ears
Of adolescents rocking back and forth in bedroom corners
Struggling to come to terms with teenaged revelations?
Would it be different if it had a chorus?
If I repeated myself every other line, would that be fine,
Would it be different if it had a chorus?
It could be worse, I think, and shrug,
I could be doing lines off a hooker’s back,
I could be shacked up with a fourteen-year-old runaway,
I could be a derivatives trader.
Instead, I do this,
Yes, I write those at times like these.