Rough Draft

“The only kind of writing
is rewriting.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

Be the perpetual rough draft,
always becoming, ever created.
Be the do over, the rewrite, the edit.

Show up with all of your cross outs,
your scribbles, your doodles, your arrows,
cut-outs, highlights, wrinkles,
carrots, and crow’s feet.
Dent the pages with the weight
of collapsing towers
and revolving spires
because yet again
nothing is good enough
and nothing will ever be.

Get soft and crumpled,
the texture of long worn Levi’s.
Get stained with coffee and pizza,
curl your edges, dog ear
the corners
of your beard,
bare your bruises
and cuts and scrapes –
they are your strengths,
your desire, your passion, your hatred,
and your love as well.

No one has to see this but You.

Thin your substance and get to the core
then fill it in with your heart and fire –
burn alive and bleed on the page.
Ink the triumph of every
attempt at clarity on your skin,
tattoo your soul on a leaf,
turn the sheet over
and begin again.

A box of composition books –
your heart is a box of composition books,
notebooks, journals, hard covered,
bound good and tight,
every page a draft of a draft.
The box is your heart beating the cadence
of lettering boring through pages
like silverfish living off the binding,
disconnecting everything from
its source, winged beings
shucking cocoons
and finding their groove
for a moment longer.

Be an unfixed mixed metaphor.

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Be unfinished business,
a scratch copy, incomplete, a sloppy copy,
a dirty draft, and trick us all
into thinking you’re already you.

But really you’re a walking mistake.
Everything about you can be redone.
Will you ever be satisfied?
The cartoonist draws me this way.
I’m merely a plaything.

All the world’s a page.




Photograph from