Words & Pictures East Coast, LLC

[Home] [Bookstore] [Gallery] [Poets/Artists] [Fun Stuff] [Vital Links] [Contact]

[Home]

Products
Bookstore
Art Gallery

Poetry & Humor
Lots of Poetry
Featured poem
Humor/Light Verse
Essays

Professional Services
About us
Writing Services
Art Services
Web Services

Guests
Poets
Visual Artists

News
Local Events
Releases
Archives

Fun Stuff
Free Samples
Free Art Lesson
Experimental Stuff

Links
Vital Links
Writing Links
Art Links
WEB Info Links

Contact
Email & Address Info

Emptiness:

These poems are taken from two pages of my long (256-page) poem "Blank Pages", most of which consists of longer poems on that theme, but it includes a few pages of haiku. I give you the sequence without interruption, then follow them with the same sequence, interrupted with annotations.

Stop listening
to rain on the roof.
The blank page.

Yes, those pictures
are still on that wall.
The blank page.

Whatever is in
the refrigerator...still
the blank page.

The rain has stopped.
You've seen sunshine before.
The blank page.

Write something. OK,
the letter "T". Now what?
Maybe an "h". An "e"?

I've said "the" before.
This page is no good now.
Start a blank one.

The blank page.
The blank page.
The blank page.

Car noise. An airplane.
No bird sound, not even crows.
A blank page.

The blank page.
A voice leaps out.
Mind ripples.

A long open sound
(aaaahhhh) starts to itch for
a consonant.

Muted rustle
of consonants. I wonder what
the next page is saying?

It begins with
writing a number on me.
Here come the words.

First opened, I was
a blank daze; now my daze
is numbered.

July night. We must
write on it in light --
photo-graphy.

Fireworks! Fire
plays. Then ash trails on darkness --
invisible ink.

Fireworks over,
a few fireflies, unawed,
blink on...off...on...

After fireworks,
fire flies -- my words
in your mind?

I was blank, but
I could feel. Who said my daze
was numb, erred.

Dog-ears, paper clips --
your scribbles make me a place
to be marked.

Someday all this space
will be filled with poetry --
mark my words.

Words? You want words
from me? What a nice surprise!
I don't know what to say...

I become nothing,
but the people on TV
Keep talking.


Here are the same poems again, but interrupted by a few annotations:

The first four poems deal with typical distractions that draw the would-be writer's attention away from the blank page he needs to fill with words.

Stop listening
to rain on the roof.
The blank page.

Yes, those pictures
are still on that wall.
The blank page.

Whatever is in
the refrigerator...still
the blank page.

The rain has stopped.
You've seen sunshine before.
The blank page.

The next two poems deal with an attempt to "trick" the blank page - a trick that fails.

Write something. OK,
the letter "T". Now what?
Maybe an "h". An "e"?

I've said "the" before.
This page is no good now.
Start a blank one.

The blank page.
The blank page.
The blank page.

That is, what else is there to be said about a blank page? (A great deal, actually.)

Car noise. An airplane.
No bird sound, not even crows.
A blank page.

More distractions? Or more subjects for poetry?

The blank page.
A voice leaps out.
Mind ripples.

Alludes to Basho's poem: "The old pond./A frog jumps in./Water sound." Usually considered the first haiku and also taken to represent a moment of satori (Basho was a Zen monk). Blankness is a theme of much Zen literature. This, however, is not Zen literature.

A long open sound
(aaaahhhh) starts to itch for
a consonant.

Muted rustle
of consonants. I wonder what
the next page is saying?

This could be the page on which I labor wondering what's on the next page. And perhaps the next page doesn't know what it's going to say yet.

It begins with
writing a number on me.
Here come the words.

Now it is definitely the page speaking. Though if you write a number on me - I mean the body of Dean Blehert, not the computer screen you are viewing - I might throw some words at you.

First opened, I was
a blank daze; now my daze
is numbered.

Yes, a pun - horrors! "Numbered" because I put a page number on the previously blank page.

July night. We must
write on it in light --
photo-graphy.

Another emptiness (or semblance of it), the night sky just before the fireworks begin.

Fireworks! Fire
plays. Then ash trails on darkness --
invisible ink.

Fireworks over,
a few fireflies, unawed,
blink on...off...on...

After fireworks,
fire flies -- my words
in your mind?

I was blank, but
I could feel. Who said my daze
was numb, erred.

The pun expanded. The point is not entirely silly: When a blankness is a potential for creation, it's a readiness, and it perceives vividly.

Dog-ears, paper clips --
your scribbles make me a place
to be marked.

Once pages lose their blankness (or innocence), they are quickly worn down, used by the writer and, perhaps, many readers.

Someday all this space
will be filled with poetry --
mark my words.

Carrying on the "mark" theme and parodying the typical "Someday there will be a great city here" speech.

Words? You want words
from me? What a nice surprise!
I don't know what to say...

False modesty and, for those who knew him, a tribute to an old poet friend of mine who was superlative at false modesty, who said "What a nice surprise!" without evincing the slightest surprise, and who prefaced endless rolling eloquence with "I don't know what to say...".

I become nothing,
but the people on TV
Keep talking.

The endless, 24/7 chatter on TV seems to promise a continuity that transcends one's own life or life itself. One can easily imagine the earth empty of life, but it is harder to imagine that on that lifeless planet there is no TV programming to be found, that nowhere in the blasted landscape a TV host says to a non-existent audience, "It's good to be here with you tonight." But also, "I become nothing" has a less sinister implication, not an absence of life, but a presence of something (someone) that isn't any thing, only a potential for limitless creation of worlds.