Death of a Poet


I was a poet once –

before the space age,

the information age,

the age of computers and Wi-Fi

and loose morals –

when we actually wrote with pens

or quills … and blood,

on paper in leather bound books


I recall hours spent –

not wasted, never regretted –

staring at the pen in my hand

and wishing it to move

… in vain …

while random swirls filled my head

as well as the many pages

lying crumpled on the floor


its felt tip drying

in the stream of sunlight

that always manages

to find its way in

through the thick, garish drapes

and burn out the brain stem

of some unsuspecting bard


the blood that trickled

from wounds – real or imaginary –

dried as well,

in a stream of consciousness

leaving black, tear-like trails,

cracked and flaking,

in their random wake


once in a while, not too often,

I would touch the pen to paper

and it would move –

like an Ouija planchette

across the page, leaving trails

of erudite profundity


things were simpler then

no one expected too much

and therefore all I wrote

was brilliant and novel,

and they loved me

and they came back for more


but now…

now I’m expected to write

as a prelude to dreaming

uninfluenced by experience

and inspired by the sick delusion

that poetry can be anything

but truth or rhyme.




Published by: The Poet Darkling

The Poet Darkling is an award-winning poet, lyricist, author, editor, and freelance writer. She is currently working on her fifth poetry and monologue anthology, as well as her memoirs. In 2013, The Poet Darkling had the distinct honor of writing an introduction and closing poem for the short story anthology, “Broken Spokes along the Way,” by author Vance R. Farrell. She is also an esteemed member of several writer’s groups, including Writers-Network, and All Poetry, and was featured in the All Poetry anthology “Rewrite Sunlight” in 2017. Born in Chicago, Illinois, The Poet Darkling currently resides in Northeast Tennessee with her family, her pet black widow spider (whom she calls “Walter”), her imaginary muse (whom she hasn’t named), and her many diverse personalities. Since her childhood, The Poet Darkling has survived all manner of physical and sexual abuse, as well as mental illness, drug addiction, and long-term homelessness, and her poetry reflects this. With a steady voice, diverse subject matter, and the singular intent of helping others not only survive the darkness, but thrive there. The Poet Darkling appeals to a wide range of readers. She speaks for the traumatized soldier, the weary mother, the confused teen, the abandoned senior, the disenfranchised minority, the serial killer, and anyone who has suffered heartbreak, addiction, abuse, mental illness, and even the sting of death – and all in perfect rhyme and meter…or not. Following her own doctrine of “Live first; learn later,” The Poet Darkling is currently working on her M.A. in Creative Writing/English, with a concentration in Poetry at Southern New Hampshire University, where she also earned her B.A. in Creative Writing, with a concentration in Poetry and a minor in Professional Writing, graduating summa cum laude in 2017. The Poet Darkling is proud to be a member of the Sigma Tau Delta (Alpha Pi Psi) and Alpha Sigma Lambda (Sigma Psi) honor societies. When she is not writing, or plotting her bid for Poet Laureate of the United States, The Poet enjoys talking to herself, wandering around aimlessly and poking dead critters with sticks.

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