paper voices

are you happy? you ask, and i say
of course not. do you think
any singer of songs
is happy inside? there is a reason
we write and it is not
because we are happy. rather—
we are desperately unhappy.

there is so much meaning
in that question. so many layers
of curiosity hidden
in your voice. and i
tell you the truth: we drink,
we hide, we lose
ourselves in lies
to escape from the truths we write
while we are too afraid
to believe in them.

this is the question
that haunts us at midnight and wakes us
in the early hours of the dawn. ours
are the answers that find us while
we are unreveling the night's disasters
away. and these
are the voices that surge from pen
to paper to flood blank space with explorations
into the human heart and mind
and soul.

we are the ones
who want to do magnificent things: ride
the back of the wind, sail
into the fire-bright sunlight, burst
through the crests of the glittering sea.
we are the ones with the endless
potential, but—we are the ones cursed
with never being able to bring it to life. and this
is our fortune and misfortune: the secrets
of our being will always be lost.

because we—
we write poetry by the skin
of our teeth, clinging to something just
out of our reach and praying it'll still
be there when we get to it. we write
because we don't know how to live, and because somehow
we have discovered the depths
of desperation
in this equation of aches and pains
that just won't go away.

are you happy? you ask, and
i answer you: i am no shakespeare
but i am indeed fortune's fool.



you won't find unreveling in the dictionary, btw. and just so you know, i do realize everyone writes for different reasons, not just desperation.