I have written too many words today

and now I’m out.


They needed to be written. The book won’t write itself.

This is how I earn

whatever fraction of a cent

they pay me for every letter.


The problem is that now I’m out of words

and have started to forget the names of things

like that thing, right over there,

the gray one

that isn’t a toaster.


I turn on the radio in search of words.


It doesn’t help.


The radio’s words are all “jobless rate” and “insider trading.”

I can’t do anything with that

like trying to fill a dry well up

with salt.


There are no words growing in the garden

and reading is unsettling

those words echo too much

their footfalls sounding in an empty hall

with no words of my own to muffle them.


And the worst part—

the very worst—

the fear that now I am deprived of prose

and will be forced to communicate in poetry

or worse yet

interpretive dance.

4 thoughts on “Wordcount

  1. Amy says:

    The galling bit… If you put your mind to it… You’d probably as annoyingly good at interpretive dance as you are at everything else.

  2. The Author says:

    I can actually promise–and Kevin will back me up–that I have no skill whatsoever in the interpretive dance arena.

  3. Kevin Danahy says:

    When I run out I go out for a beer
    and that’s a nifty way to pass the time
    but while I sip I hear a hissing sneer
    and all it says is: “Dry. Forever dry!”

    I have no use for gods, but will admit
    I cling to faith: my word-hoard will refill.
    Spot me a pint and listen to the lies
    and boasts we throw around this bar tonight.

    I drink them in; the beer and bullshit both
    and know tomorrow something fresh will flow.

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