Pinocchio Paradox

Pinocchio Paradox

(Poem composed 2006 or 2007. Drawing 2011).

My muse bailed years ago.
That’s a long time.
Long enough to realize
she was a cheat and a lie
and a miming mannequin
that was never really there.

Where’s my muse and why in the hell can’t I steady this god damn pen?
It’s me.
It always has been.
It’s me.

I can only write when I’m miserable,
pulling my gray hairs out
one by one
and cursing all of God’s living creatures
one by one
not two by two.

Hunger and heartbreak,
poor health and petty ho-ho-
Don’t give me that shit
or I’ll burn my manuscripts.

There’s no room for pride
in poetry.

I’m starving.
I haven’t eaten in days
but I haven’t written in months.
I’ll show you my ribcage before
I show you my chops.

It’s all I’ve got and I wouldn’t

Because I write and
after all
you’re so so happy now
and lord knows you can’t tell the truth.

After all,
you’re not an artist.

Neither am I, but at least I try.

What’s it like being poor?
I don’t know what that’s like.
Not so much.

Well, what’s it like being rich
and dull and destitute
in matters of the heart?


Too touchy, you douche, too touchy.

Disadvantage spurns the young man
to greater things.

I don’t find solace in stars.
I don’t get willowy over trees.

I don’t flush at the sight of a pretty face
or perfect curves.
I don’t need anything to write
but me.
Little, miserable, complacent me.

When I earn my yellow skin,
when I take solace in my bleeding gums,
when I have to explain myself to parents
far younger than I,
when I wield my iron lung around like a quill,
I’ll merely ask:
Do I have time for one more poem?

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