poeming gray

poeming gray

A Poem by jacob erin-cilberto

poeming gray 

 

 

a very old man

an ancient typewriter

on a dusty desk at dusk

his eyes are bad,

the ribbon is fading

around his neck

he feels the compression

words choking his vanity

 

he was once a great writer

published thousands of poems

dozens of books,

he was a best seller

gave readings in smoky coffee houses

 

was likened to Dylan

to Ferlinghetti

to all of his heroes

and he was one of theirs

 

and then he got very old

and his instrument got very old

and his desk lost its balance

and even his spectacles 

could not help him find his words

someone bought him a new ribbon

but he needed new fingers

a new mind

"less is more" they always said

 

but "none is unbearable" he thought

as he raised the gun

and finally started to type.

 

 

erin-cilberto

8/17/2020

© 2020 jacob erin-cilberto


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Reviews

dear Jacob.. you have touched my heart deeply... the ending reminds me of my father who loved to say... “If you had an infinite number of Monkeys and an infinite number of typewriters ... all the ‘Great Works’ could be typed.” My father was not a Poet, but he loved Shakespeare. Perhaps he is with him in Heaven.
gently, Pat

Posted 3 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

3 Months Ago

Sounds like my dad...they are probably up there having a good laugh together.
thank you, Pat,.. read more
Patricia Wedel

3 Months Ago

Perfect... my father laughed a lot...
A wonderful title again, Jacob. It just speaks to me that one is a poet till they die. Old age slows down the output, affects the quality of the poetry produced but the poet will never stop writing because poetry and its expression is a part of his soul. I particular enjoyed your final lines here.....raising that gun, not to end his final stanza, but to keep producing more words. It is all he knows to do. It's a great poem on writing, poets and the shadow of aging.

Posted 3 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

3 Months Ago

thank you for your very kind review, Inessa,
j.
I can take all of the aches and pains they throw at me brother! but I could indeed never stand to lose my (already somewhat fractured) mind! I think at this point not writing would be tantamount to death for me:/ So it would not be a stretch to invision that "solution" coursing thru my mind too:( After a while writing becomes as necessary as breathing:/

Posted 3 Months Ago


Patricia Wedel

3 Months Ago

Writing ✍️ is singing and humming and being busy like a hummingbird. Amen... Pat
Robert Trakofler

3 Months Ago

Hi patricia
Patricia Wedel

3 Months Ago

I love “social events”.... with 🎶...
Well, as Gene Kelly said, none of us can jump as high as we could when we were 21. This offering presents and extreme example, however. An aging poet, once among the greats, laments the decline of his powers. Seemingly, the tank is now running on empty. The last verse is disturbing, though; it sounds as though he wants to get off the train immediately.

Posted 3 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

3 Months Ago

thank you for your insightful words, John...
yes, if we can't write, we want off the train.read more
So as a writer I empathize (not with the successful part!) but in all seriousness, sometimes I feel like I HAVE to write or create or I will die. There is such pressure. I think the end of the poem captures this nicely.

Posted 3 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

3 Months Ago

Yes, in a way...that pressure to write...especially when we get into a writer's block...
than.. read more
Hmmm.. interesting write.
Sad and dark in a way that none should ever know.

Posted 3 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

3 Months Ago

thank you, Light.
j.
Light and Ashes

3 Months Ago

You are welcome.
Such a good read. This is a really dark write and the ending I took to be darker still. Old age sucks. It is bad for some, but not everyone.

Chris

Posted 3 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

3 Months Ago

thank you, Chris.
j.
OH MY....this is really a dark one, Jacob. It's not only poets who feel the emotions herein as they age. We are not what we once were, but we are still viable and still make a difference just by being. A character study that is riveting! Lydi**

Posted 3 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

3 Months Ago

yes, just by being...we make more of one than we may think.
thank you, Lydi,
j.
There's a bit of a darkness to this one or perhaps the end can be interpreted differently.
I imagine this process of fading is similar to an athlete aging and unable to perform.
When passion and ability fade at the same rate I think it's tolerable but wanting to do, and being unable would be maddening

Posted 3 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

3 Months Ago

If i wanted to write and no longer could, not sure what i would do. I need my writing to breathe.read more
Ana Papaya

3 Months Ago

I know what you mean. You're welcome.
A brilliant rendition dealing with age and perhaps a touch of writers block. There are elements to this that ring true for some of us older writers ... the eyes fade ... the fingers tightened with arthritis (know that one quite well) and in the end there are two ways to deal with it ... work though it or check out.

There is much Hemingway to this story j.
I like it very much.

Posted 3 Months Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

3 Months Ago

Thank you, Ted, I love Hemingway.
j.

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Added on August 24, 2020
Last Updated on August 24, 2020

Author

jacob erin-cilberto
jacob erin-cilberto

Carbondale, IL



About
Originally from Bronx, NY, I live in Carbondale, Illinois...teach English at two community colleges and have been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. Friending works two ways. If we have had .. more..

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