Fear of the Blank by Suzanne Seyfi

If you don’t crack jokes on Twitter about 
Avoiding your writing by being on Twitter,
Are you even a writer?

What did people do before the internet?

Jane Austen wrote letters instead of chapters,
Took long walks past fields and seashores,
Exchanged gossip with her neighbors.

Lord Byron simply fucked everybody 
And wrote the occasional scathing review of others’ works.
Maybe he was jealous that they managed to write when he couldn’t.

Maybe writers have a reputation for drinking 
Because it’s something to do
That isn’t writing.

When I was a child,
In those prehistoric days 
Before a computer entered my house,
And I was driven to school by parents 
Who had never heard of a school shooting,

When I wanted to be distracted, 
There was the world to be distracted by.
Catching baby toads in the backyard;
Caterpillars and millipedes inching across 
Bright red hibiscus and white jasmine;
The infinite varieties of thread and color and texture
That made up the clothes at the thrift store.

It took ages to grow bored enough to want to create.
And even then, the impulse was as likely to form
Pastel plastic jewelry
As a poem.

A bow and arrow made of twigs
Or an overly-stapled comic?
A song played on tissue-box guitar
Or a script about a cat named Sparkles?
E. All of the above.

I am not bemoaning the internet.
I love it.
Too much.
I thought of this poem two weeks ago.
I’ve hearted 257 tweets since then.
I haven’t tweeted anything. 

Photo by George Pagan III on Unsplash