On My Walk Home

Tonight I went down into the subway while it was light. Gray, like rain coming, and near evening, but not dark yet. Maybe twenty minutes later I came up from the subway and the sky was dark. We are at that part of the year, when night comes in twenty minutes. Most trees still have leaves – a riot of copper, orange, yellow, the occasional and startling red – but those leaves will go soon. Near my apartment I looked up. There was the early evening sky, lights from the path, dark shadow trees. And this thought that I am walking my stories around, little steps and breaths with me, while I keep from writing what I want. I write a lot of what I want. Mostly junk. But recurring in my writing life is a paralyzing fear that if I write this story or that story, then something awful will happen, like I pour out a reckless well crafted work and you either read it and hate it, or read it and hate me. Or, worse, that I pour out a reckless well crafted work that is as inconsequential, finite as any other little thing we all do/ make each day. There are two things I am feeling lately. One is that I am again at an edge. Two is that I am very small indeed.

Already This Has Happened

If I wait for people to die
before I tell these stories
the words will leave me to find

an open mouth, a writing
hand, a mind to play syntax
to play with (or at) syntax,
a body to take tensions
and releases/ the joys and
sorrows of these (my) stories

Already this has happened —
I am terrified: the cost
of my voice to tell freely