A poem, exploring the insecurities that often smother the act of creation, in which a “short-sleeved man” engages his “counterfeit gift,” fights through doubt and despondency to a realisation that words are not his to own but are merely leased for the duration of an idea. Like life, an illusory condition.

With every imagining, every truth ever told
a thousand shadows slip ‘twixt his skin and soul,
becoming one with all that fashions a rage within.
Visions that drip from his moon wrinkled lip,
raises a raven flock of parchment eyed sailors
to cruelly scourge those scanty passions
and peck pristine his pretty distractions.

Still, at the last, his boiling temples hushed
in liquid dark the short sleeved man dissembles
symbols, letters
poor silhouettes, moth-like, fluttering
in a mist of hope

that swills the page awash with tenant emblems,
letters, words
poor shapes reformed and plundered
from torturous dreams

that hunger yet for the drift of songs assembled
words, symbols
poor tricks he wrought by vagrant fumbling
of his counterfeit gift.


Originally published at rivenrod.com on January 13, 2017.

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