WORDS, a quadrille for d’Verse





My thin black words

on this cold white page

can’t breathe, won’t bleed,

don’t whimper in the dark;

impotent fossils, barren husks,

dropped spoor.

Not the real thing at all,

not the rustle in the weeds

nor the shrill screech

of the wild boar.



About Nan Mykel

I used to think I would be a child prodigy, but then I got old. Formerly I had fantasies of rubbing elbows with cultural and academic leaders but that did not come to pass because I did not become a cultural or academic leader or any other kind of leader, for that matter. I am not even an "Alpha Dog," a term learned from a friend who had to become "Alpha Dog" in order to influence her own pet. (When gazes lock, she never looks away.) For years I expected to become a published author, but in passing I could not avoid the fact that I had little to contribute to the world's bulging dumpsters. I'm embarrassed to report that I also considered my primary process artistic productions powerful, rather than mildly neurotic. Which is not to say that I disrespect myself, only that I am beginning to doubt my potential for making a mark on the world. If I focus on strict self discipline I may be able to keep my garbage removed on a weekly basis, to keep the kitty box changed, the clothes cleaned, the dog watered, fed and walked, but that just catches me up to the starting mark again. When writing I physically grapple with words, wrestling them from their indifference into attempted chunks of awareness. I sit heavily on my chair; I breathe in artificially cooled air; my ear drums note the tap tap of the keyboard and the steady uninterrupted sound of the air conditioner, What is that sound? The roar of the ocean from 30 yards away...Inside, my thoughts are are balls in an electronic game machine, bouncing hither and yon from lever to lever. I am a little grim and intent until I recall a dream related by a black man in the prison where I once worked. He said that when he was a small boy, back home, he dreamed he was standing on his front porch pissing, and that he suddenly found himself pissing stars...
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23 Responses to WORDS, a quadrille for d’Verse

  1. grumpygorman says:

    Nan… what an amazing poem! I have been wondering what you’ve been up to! So good to see your face pop up. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    • Nan Mykel says:

      Good to hear from you, too. Every time I g to my Media page I’m enjoying a copy of your eyes collage–or did I already tell you? I rear-ended smeone and totalled my car so I have more time for my blog (It’s like being snowbound, bu it’s no-car bound). Glad you liked the poem or, as they say on d’Verse, quadrlle.


  2. This is so true. But we keep trying to use words to share our experiences and we rejoice when there is the least bit of truth.


  3. Frank Hubeny says:

    Once the words are read they are revived in the reader but with strange transformations.


  4. Nan Mykel says:

    Oh yes, you’re right. Thank you.


  5. But just like sticks pulled together might catch fire the same happens with words in a poem


  6. Nice one, Nan.I love those images of things left behind, and then the power of the “real thing”. But I think you capture something real.


  7. I see what you mean, Nan! Yes, we are spot on the same wavelength here, even if yours is a more tumultuous picture ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. wildchild47 says:

    Stunning …. the words just reach out and grab you, and you fall into the pleasure and pain of working through this …. but it reads like a manifesto, a call of the wild – how delightful ๐Ÿ™‚


  9. rothpoetry says:

    Only the mind can resurrect all those words and make them live! Nice!


  10. bethanyk says:

    I think you have topped all of your poems with this one. It is so so good!!!!


  11. Beverly Crawford says:

    Your words are evocative, Nan. BUT, for armchair travelers, sometimes the “black words on dry white page” transport us to places we’ll never see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nan Mykel says:

      Yes, and for some of us in places we don’t want to see we only have to close the book. I have been extremely moved by things others write (or paint), but on my end there’s often frustration that I can’t manage to be heard. We can’t be in therapy all our lives, unfortunately.


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