The First Doodle, #155

This blank page beckons
like a siren struck
at midnight to mean
a new year. The crowds
in the streets chanting
and cheering, frat boys
in green pointy hats
and cops unified
in calm tolerance.

New year upon us,
a new life upon
us, hollering out
for resolution,
for dedication
of a monument
or moment. A throne,

not to old acquaintance,
although we will sing
them, not to a year
dead, although we drink
to it. But to all
that exist the first
of January.

An improper crush,
a first hidden kiss
stole by an old tree
on the polluted
banks of the Kanawha,
where we risked getting
fired for getting

caught. Before the drink
catches up, and we’re
overcome with the hangover
of a long slow year,
the hard arduous
done by our liver.

Tell me now, why can’t
we live at this height,
on this tableland,
at a party where
the chime signifies
a time to sing, kiss,
to laugh and to toast,
where for a moment
we become loved ones,
even as strangers?

Why not simply keep
drinking whatever
wine we’ve been handed,
a guaranteed cure
for the hangover?

Because this blank page
that beckoned us like
Baby New Year’s clean
diaper, like glasses
clinking together,
filled by catering
and waiting, filled in
straight rows at the edge
of the bar for parched
lips, for our loose lips,
for our hands to raise
them and to dip them.

These glasses are not
the glasses in front
of us, not the page
that is half written,
nor the one left out
after the party.

The page is all lines
and notes, bullet points
like a Beethoven
composition, fair
to the composer
or the performer,
to those who can’t read
music, gibberish.

The floor is littered
with sparkles, puddles
of that wine we drunk.

By half past, Time Square
has been cleared and all
the cuties shuffled
off to plush hotels,
some of them asleep,
some awake, heavy
breathing. It will take
a crew of fifty
all night to clean up
the street. It will take

less time for awkward
lovers to remove
their clothes, lose themselves
in this hopeful click,
and for the moment
to pass, for lovers
to pass out, not look
at what they have done
to this new year till
morning. And by then
their resolutions
have already died.

This blank page has too
been tainted, merely
by talking to it,
just by facing it.

The ink is nothing
more than organized
stains. Every choice drives
us further away
from glory. We must accept
we are each foul
creatures falling short
in our creations.

Remember the hope
that carried you here,
the hunger you rode
in on. Now you sit
beside your failed
enterprises, soot
all over your face

and bloody fingers,
anger at the state
of this world, the shape
of your mind. But you
came. Quickly and with
an anonymous
lover, but you came.

Shuffled your new shoes
on the welcome mat
at the door, listened
at the keyhole, heard
the party inside
and entered because
you spotted a band
of misfits, gadflies
and of let-loosers.

You thought to yourself,
whatever I touch
will be tainted. Here
was a blank page, your
doodle in the top
left corner, a swirl
rolled onto itself,
an inch worm spread out

to a thousand feet,
a scribble, a line,
my anonymous
lover. The blank page
waits, lying in state,
perfect in its blank
stare, in its deftness
at never living
up to potential.



A day is not done, until it's filled with words.

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