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without fuel, the engine will not turn.

i, faulty word-machine, am low on oil.

 

the tortured artist paints with blood

their own blood,

the blood of those they lost.

the blood of those that harmed them.

my brush is wet only with water

thin lines of pigment left by small misfortunes.

 

what is a poet without the tales to tell?

i have written novels of lives that are not mine,

i have poured emotion into experiences that are not my own.

but the words were lies and so i stopped

and made do with the anthills beside your himalayas.

 

when i was younger i won an award.

'congratulations! your poem is great!'

and i stood before a crowd of family and friends

and i read:

'cherry blossom, cherry tree'

soft and sweet.

and then, smiling, i sat down and listened

and what i heard was raw, beautiful pain.

 

i do not have that pain.

i do not have those words.

 

but i have a mind.

and so, high on the sense of freedom words provide,

i write.

 

AN: this is not my best.

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I like it! I appreciate that you reflected honestly on the origin of your writer's block in a way that was in its own way really beautiful. 

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he/him/his - that gay kid from the middle of nowhere

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On 1/3/2018 at 8:52 AM, thepensword said:

without fuel, the engine will not turn.

i, faulty word-machine, am low on oil.

Love the "faulty word-machine" analogy. Also, tiny technicality, but most engines don't run on oil. (If you're looking for a one syllable synonym for "fuel", maybe try "petrol"?)

On 1/3/2018 at 8:52 AM, thepensword said:

the tortured artist paints with blood

their own blood,

the blood of those they lost.

the blood of those that harmed them.

my brush is wet only with water

thin lines of pigment left by small misfortunes.

I like the sentiment here, especially in the last two lines, but I'm not a fan of the repetition of "blood". It feels like there ought to be a more concise way of saying that, though I'm not sure exactly what that would be.

On 1/3/2018 at 8:52 AM, thepensword said:

when i was younger i won an award.

'congratulations! your poem is great!'

and i stood before a crowd of family and friends

and i read:

'cherry blossom, cherry tree'

soft and sweet.

and then, smiling, i sat down and listened

and what i heard was raw, beautiful pain.

This feels tangential and seems to repeat the sentiment of the previous two stanzas. I would recommend condensing somewhat.

On 1/3/2018 at 8:52 AM, thepensword said:

and so, high on the sense of freedom words provide,

i write.

I think this might be more powerful as just "and so i write."

Love the central analogy of this poem. Good luck with writer's block!

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