Words Fail Me

Posted: January 7, 2010 in Poetry

Here is the second poem I wrote once I decided to try my hand at spoken word… though I don’t recall if I ever ‘spoke’ it anywhere. Maybe at a Dusty Owl, though it certainly was never slammed.

CONTEXT: February, 2006

With this one I think I was trying to explain why I wanted to take up spoken word. I was already writing, on a couple of games for AEG (first Warlord and then Legend of the Five Rings), but that sort of writing doesn’t leave a lot of room for self-expression.

It was interesting for me to rediscover this because one of the current poets at Capital Slam – Graeme ‘Loh El’ O’Farrell – has a piece called Words Fail. That is where the similarity ends, I think.

    Words Fail Me

What makes you great?
Or special?
Or unique?

What makes you stand out
From the crowd,
Toss off your wooly cloak
And stand naked
Before the world?

What happens when the
Think that makes you you
Gets called upon?
What happens when someone says
Prove it?

I am a writer
I have known that for 20 years
Yet, how do I make my living?
Not writing.

So? You might say
Art is not defined by currency!
Marketability does not equal creativity.
There is no A R T in G N P.
A writer writes
That’s all

But what about an audience?
Is it art if no one sees it but the artist?
The self-confidence to say I am good,
Without validation, is something I lack

So I write for others

This leads to the tyrrany of the empty page.

Every time I look at the page, I panic
“What if it isn’t good enough?” I say
“What if I can’t get my message across?”
Would it just prove that I am wrong
About myself
And I am not great?
Not special?
Not unique?

Yet, if I don’t write, don’t I prove
To the critics in my head
That THEY are right?

So I write this
For myself

And share it with you
And miss the point

  1. nadinethornhill says:

    You didn’t slam this? It seems so familiar. Regardless, thank you for sharing it now.

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