Is it worth it? Living fast
to die young, tortured and tormented,
the life blood of your imagination
trickling to a stop on the page
on most days.
Constipation of the cortex, a constant
occupational hazard, will you live long
enough to laugh at the twisted
angst of your younger self?
Wouldn't you rather
be Chatterton in a bath chair
with a wrinkled quill? Churning out
rows of words – three thousand a day
or Dylan Thomas, pint in hand,
novels about being old and bald,
no dying of the light or rage
in his 77th year, or maybe silver-haired
Plath, laughing at memories
of idiotic Ted,
scribbling copy with her twilight
garden close at hand. Iambic pentameters
now consigned to the past with those other
subtle devices that clutter the mind along
with the despair they bring.
No mind enjambed with trochee
or grappling with vodka inducing
caesura, words mocking you from the page,
hand grenades about to blow up
in your face.
So, no more wingless rhythms, let
the prose syntax flow, filling your computer screen,
spilling from one file into another.
Payment by the paragraph. Research shows
if you want
to grow old to, God only knows,
maybe even pensionable age
don't choose poetry, stick to prose
and who knows, Harold Robbins may
become your muse.