Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Fire

I forgot how easy it is
To waste reams of lovely paper.
Between emptiness and vision
Piles a universe of mistakes.

Sequoia draws on anything
And with anything that leaves marks--
Pencil, paper, crayon, table,
Ballpoint, wall, stick, sand, charcoal, stone--

But she much prefers blank spaces--
Smooth, scuffless, never once erased--
And best of all is a big sheet
Of perfectly creamy paper.

"New one!" She'll announce in triumph
At the start of drawing frenzies.
"New one! New one! New one!" She'll yell
In desperation near the end,

A dozen discarded pages,
Each with a few fantastic strokes
Assaying some toddler vision,
Scribbled over, sprawled at her feet.

I aspire to be an adult--
Sagely amused and indulgent--
But all I can think of is how
I used to cram shelves with notebooks--

Spiral, cloth, leather, arty, plain--
Purchased singly or in bunches,
Each, blank, filled with future genius,
Each, after a few notes, cast aside.

Only this digital era
Saved me from hoarding more false starts.
Scrawling in this notebook tonight,
I admire Sequoia's daring.

I don't believe Mozart wrote
His scores straight out as claimed, not him.
He was a profligate man-child
Who persisted to perfection

And knew well enough to destroy
The debt-enhancing stacks of scores
Of blots and halts and frustrations
In the fire behind the white door.

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