Thingless

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I am not at a thing.

The things have dried up (or I have stopped going). I am thingless.

I reach for my pen. I doodle. It turns out to be a bank statement.

I scratch. I put on a jumper. I take it off again. The thing has left me.

Perhaps it was never here at all. There is a robin in the apple tree.

From down the road the voices of children, from a playground.

A train in the valley, the two notes of its horn. Then silence.

There is no thing. No thing is there. Nothing. No thing at all.

I have made a face on the bank statement. A man, perhaps.

His eyes are enlarged zeroes, a joke about dollar signs ringing up.

I made this much last month. And now I have made nothing.

I am nothing. No (thing). Without the thing, nothing. I cease.

Perhaps it will come back (perhaps I will). Perhaps never.

From the corner of the desk a book, open at random, it seems.

It may have always been there (perhaps forever). Perhaps it was me.

You need to sit in silence, on your own, with no distractions, it says.

I manage for five seconds. The me without the thing, the not at the thing.

Intolerable. Intolerant of silence, of me gnawing at it. The Thingless.

6 comments

  1. Fiona Quilty

    Oh!
    ‘I have made a face on the bank statement. A man, perhaps…
    This is wonderful. It is how writing is.
    Now, this poem, meets my ‘why I love poetry so much’ criteria.
    Thanks.

    Like

  2. Jane

    These lines from your poem

    And now I have made nothing.
    I am nothing. No (thing). Without the thing, nothing. I cease.
    Perhaps it will come back (perhaps I will). Perhaps never.

    remind me of recent times when I worried if there is any ‘me’ or am I defined by my estranged relationship, job and motherhood. What’s left when these things are absent …. an inability to cope with silence ….. surely in the silence it’s just me without the things?

    and then your lines

    You need to sit in silence, on your own, with no distractions, it says.
    I manage for five seconds. The me without the thing, the not at the thing.

    In which case, I’ll keep busy!

    Like

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