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I Cannot

QU Montage

By Joe Virgillito

I cannot write.

I cannot match Whitman or Wordsworth,
I cannot sway my pen across unused page, twisting and winding curved
    characters upon the forgotten wood,
I cannot make a world of blankness compel the masses into freeform
    hysteria experienced by the likes of the learned,
I cannot rake flyleaves with blackened ink nor leave my mark among its
    radiating fiber,
I cannot be the fabled artist, automatic in his wrists, perverse in diction, robbed
    of distraction, mindful in grammar, of heroic appearance and flowing existence,
I cannot but idly sit among sitters, stillborn thoughts calmly dripping from my           spinal, columns of lines drolly inscribed,
I cannot turn emotion into verse or line or script or any stanza-smelling
I cannot shave away my inhibition; grand and lucid dull the razor hacking my             poor face to shreds,
I cannot tickle the linguistic fancy that has been prodded to pieces and splayed
    across dim walls in shades of orange and gold and delightful autumnal hues, 
I cannot take upon myself the burden of poetic mind, whispering softly to my ear,
    pleading until waking hours,
I cannot sing unto my reader songs of sympathy abound, echoed firm in the times
    of war, destroyed by sad souls unwitting,
I cannot blow the winds of inspiration through the sails of borrowed beggars free
    from passing over hallowed seas,
I cannot break apart monotonous attribution, yelling through skies filled of
    hypnotic stars, blanketing worlds in brightened darkness,
I cannot wash my face in the reflecting pool brimly filled with voices of the past,
And I cannot bring myself to punctuate my thought and turn it to cohesion.

I cannot write.