going nowhere


on deadlines & self-criticism

5:00, my phone reads out. another
Saturday. another midnight deadline.
wheels spin. I sit uneasy in my chair

and try to write. my pen's gone dry.
it gouges the paper colorlessly. like
me perhaps. I take a new one from

the shelf. it must be broken. it spews
its ink everywhere. messy black smears.
down. I lay my head down on the desk

and sigh. my critic-self sits on my
shoulder. how will you ever write
a poem worthy of its reading, an

equation worthy of its evaluation,
a treatise worthy of the lives of
the trees that made the paper it

is printed on? stop. stagnate.
my effort's going nowhere. still I
must continue. deadlines are as

deadlines are. for now I strive for
completeness. not perfection.
or inspiration.