"What Am I Going to Call This Poem?"

"What Am I Going to Call This Poem?"

A Poem by Bartleby Inglethorpe

Here's a poem I wrote about the writing process. (Written - 2009)


“What Am I Going to Call This Poem?”


I sit at a desk. I sit at a computer.

I sit in a chair at a computer on a desk.

The blank screen stares at me like Kasparov

daring me to make a move. "What are you going to do?"

I hear it say. I feel helpless under the pressure of

that white, and the overly happy flicker of his sidekick--

the cursor.


I stand in the water. I stand under the water.

I stand in the shower letting the water sting my back.

That blank screen haunts me from the shadowy

depth of my subconscious; it's fingers gnawing at my

nerves like rats, until I can't stand the sound

of my own heartbeat. I stare at the screen and type

the first line I can think of--

"I wish I was in Montana"


The phone rings. My alarm rings.

The alarm on my phone makes a sound so inhumane

it will probably wake the Indians buried beneath my apartment.

I am still at the desk. I have conquered the blank screen,

but the evil it housed has taken over the sidekick.

The cursor blinks at me in a bizarrely even rhythm, and

I can feel the drops of water on my forehead with each

successive blink. I write another line--

"because of the speed limits"


Thoughts start flowing. Words start flowing.

Thoughts become words on the screen that keep the cursor

under control. Phrases with deep meaning. Clauses

with no meaning at all. A tangled web of intricately

plotted randomness, careening carelessly from speed limits

to girls to cocoa puffs. Soon, the only light in the

room comes crashing from the monitor--

How long have I been here?


Time is an ocean. Time is a boat.

Time is a boat capsizing on the ocean.

The minutes and hours that captain the boat are

inevitably lost at sea. I stare at a page full

of waves, waves of rhythmically chaotic thoughts,

and I wonder--

What am I going to call this poem?

© 2011 Bartleby Inglethorpe

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Added on August 11, 2011
Last Updated on August 11, 2011
Tags: Poem, Poetry, Writing, Process


Bartleby Inglethorpe
Bartleby Inglethorpe

Sometimes, in the days of old as morning dawned on a sleepy English village and the sun peered around the horizon like an anxious child on a chilly Christmas morn, the songbirds would begin to sing, t.. more..