It Hardly Matters

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Writer's Block

Among twenty episodes of American Idol,
The only moving thing
Was my thumb on the remote.

I was of three minds,
Like a popular Internet browser
In which three tabs are open to celebrity gossip.

The wine key twirled in the pliant cork.
It was a small part of the evening.

A woman and a keyboard
Are one.
A woman and a keyboard and a wine key
Are one.

I do not know which to prefer,
The spiciness of Mexican
Or the savory of Thai,
The order-placing
Or just after.

Cigarettes filled the long ashtray
With barbaric ashes.
The shadow of my wine glass
Crossed it, up and down.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An unbelievably trippy aspect.

O fat men of Brooklyn,
Why do you imagine olden times?
Do you not see how the hipsters
Walk around the blocks
Of the neighborhood you live in?

I know noble shops
And affordable, discounted clothing;
But I know, too,
That the sale rack at Scoop is full
Of what I need.

When the waiter flew out of sight,
He marked my iced coffee
On one of many order tabs.

At the sight of my Sudoku puzzle
Full of purple numbers,
Even the editor of the Times' Sunday Crossword
Would cry out sharply.

She rode over the Williamsburg Bridge
In a metal carriage.
Once, a fear pierced her,
In that she mistook
The direction of her train
For Queens.

The TV is flickering.
The writer must be napping.

It was sunny all afternoon.
It was sunny
And it was going to be sunny.
The writer sat
In her back-yard.

*Inspired, of course, by Wallace Stevens's "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird". Read it, please. Let me add another thank you to this world: Mr. Stevens, thank you for a beautiful poem.


  • A train to Queens...The Horror. The Horror.

    By Anonymous Jay Nebraska, at 11:40 AM  

  • queens-ku

    seven train (local)
    tiny empire state building
    we're the city too

    By Blogger Claire Deveron, at 1:35 PM  

  • Dear Queens Residents...sorry I'm such a BK snob :) Thanks for reading. Excellent ku, Claire! ~mega

    By Blogger mega74, at 2:00 PM  

  • You have totally seen inside my very soul.

    By Blogger Kate, at 9:13 PM  

  • a beautiful poem, you may like to read "thirteen ways of looking at a tortilla"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:34 PM  

  • Your poem has been amusing my writing students for years. May I credit you?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:08 PM  

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