No new images, no new sentences, No snappy similes, no stand-alone metaphors, No new situations to describe, No new tales to tell, No passionate ink To spend On this moment. Instead of moving Held between my fingers, The rollerpoint pen Lays idle. At last, the creative Well within Ran bone-dry. Inspiration—miles away. Frustration—sets in. Anger at myself Comes easier Than ideas. The open, unlined Hardcover notebook pages And my mind's interior Are an ideal match: Totally bare, plain, Wordless, a blank. Worst fears Of a writer Confirmed on this Fourth month set aside for poetry. Colour me useless—
Storing them into the black North Face© Recon back-pack Before catching my ride On the Poetry Express*: Newspapers—check. Hand sanitiser—check. Tall boy bottled water—check. The paperback “Assata” By Assata Shakur—check, Black cap Sharpie©—check. House-keys—check. Chump change—check. Wide-ruled spiral notebook—check. Rollerpoint— Rollerpoint— Some days I feel Like the rollerpoint Ink pen clipped on A hoop in my back-pack, Front compartment: Slim, reachable, reliable and Ready to put in work Without the exploitation Usually linked working for others. Spreading my black ink Across open spaces with rules, Formed into paragraphs & sentences With hella bold lines that either amazes Or alienates the eyes meeting them. No matter the outcome, attention on my flow Is caught for a scant five minutes or less.
One African Italian Tsalagi* Sired in the year of many revolutions 1968 Approaches a flat empty space Begging to be filled When pen makes contact and One's ornate penstrokes Unleashes one's visceral Honesty all around. What one feels, What one knows, What one sees, Three fundamental rules To scribbling creatively Not printed anywhere, Put into much-needed practise As one bends the English language to One driven, focused will. Better than Lying on a psychologist's couch, Reaching for the pen and using Plain white parchment as one Playground to vent Is the best therapy. Should one say, essential? Implosion Must be averted. Surrender to spreading Internal flame must no occur If parchment and pen Are both available To this One. *What the Cherokee Indians call themselves. Pronounced: “Chah-lah-gee.”
Dee Allen is a African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California U.S.A. Active on creative writing & Spoken Word since the early 1990s. Author of 7 books–Boneyard, Unwritten Law, Stormwater, Skeletal Black [ all from POOR Press ], Elohi Unitsi [ Conviction 2 Change Publishing ] and his 2 newest, Rusty Gallows: Passages Against Hate [ Vagabond Books ] and Plans [ Nomadic Press ]–and 46 anthology appearances under his figurative belt so far.