Suicide no. 77: The Poet
–by Derek Alan Wilkinson
With my father’s entry into the grave, my inheritance he gave:
a mansion full of things literary: fiction, prose and poetry.
The latter I abhorred, the nature of which I found obscured—
pointless syntax strewn, storm-tossed words into the sea
with no meaning that my eyes could see.
My father must have found it soothing, or at least somewhat amusing.
He kept collections by his bedside, dogeared pages marked his stride.
Reading them filled me with confusion, finding nothing but delusion!
No character or plot, like music with no sense of melody—
at least, none that my eyes could see.
Deep into the night I pondered, through endless pages I wandered,
making notes as I kept watch—thirsty for meaning, drinking scotch.
Are these adjectives, or suggestions? Answers, or merely questions!?
Simile, or oddity, maybe a poet’s musings just weren’t for me;
no stanza held meaning that my eyes could see.
Free-form, or centos, my father kept these books as mementos.
For what reason I thought I’d never know, for a man so slow to show
any emotion whatsoever. He was a con-artist, and clever:
taking from whom he could every ounce of their identity.
My father bore no conscience that my eyes could see.
Yet he marked pages in books of lore, marking lines that made me bore:
from “dandelion tiger tails” to “ion-Geiger prison cells.”
Is this sterility, or erotica? Hawaii or Antarctica?
I spent hours on my knees, begging meaning with every plea—
yet I found no meaning that my eyes could see.
While storm clouds outside persisted, the rain had insisted
that there was nothing else worth doing, nowhere else to be going.
That I should get to know my father, but why should I bother?
A braggart and swindler now dead, from his deceptions, he’d flee.
And both he and I became nothing that our eyes could ever see.
And that’s when epiphany struck—tyranny, not luck;
for poems, I found, while reading them aloud
produced such a sound that threw every human emotion around!
Yet, I discovered, now I’d uncovered, deep within me
nearly no resounding emotion that my eyes could see….
This, my father must have also felt: playing the hand he was dealt.
Feeling dead beyond dead, treading the pages he read,
the only feelings he faced were in the nothing white space.
I found that same emptiness staring right back at me:
that white became everything that my eyes could now see.
Feeling uninspired, I threw books into a fire,
and went to watch chimney smoke cover the moon like its lover.
Poetic sentences were only real for those who could feel,
and I knew right then that all I could ever be
is that great expanse of nothing that I would always see.
I went to the garage, and found a rope—my means which to cope
with the vacuum of a hole that had become of my soul.
I’ve already tied a sturdy noose, and before I kick the chair loose,
I wrote but one poem: my one and only!
To show the nothingness that has become of me:
That nothingness to be all that I’ll ever see!