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Page 71

No reflection in a mirror means Vampire.
The page remains blank because
we've sucked the language dry, bloodless.
Whatever we use as a solution will become
the problem. Writing as a solution
to not having a life, not living well,
is like sugar as a solution to no energy:

The poet-vampire drains his childhood miseries;
his parents, lovers, landscapes, feelings; drains
all the words that once were strong for him;
drains the profundity of his despair
at being thus drained; the absurdity of despair's
tautology; the silliness of the act of writing,
of no one talking to no one about nothing;
of awareness as folds in the surface of blankness
where it faces itself and winks; drains
the hectic special-effects blood of formal gimmicks,
screams, tears, tantrums, laughter, insane laughter,
grim or numb silence -- HEY! I'm talking to
you! To YOU! Yeah, YOU!

(Don't believe a word of it. It don't mean
a thing if it ain't got that swing.)

When everything is sucked dry, when the 4-letter words
are just four letters, no life given, all life taken,
then the blank page becomes a mirror, reflecting
what we'd rather not see.

Note: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing" Duke Ellington's words, right? (It suddenly occurred to me, could it have been Louie Armstrong? Hence the question mark. I leave precise scholarship to my reader.

The "HEY! I'm talking to you!" stuff alludes dimly to Robert De Niro haranguing his mirror in the movie Taxi Driver ("I don't see anyone ELSE here...".)

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