No Rhythm Blues

On August 6, 2013 by Seth Anson Tribble

Illustration by Michelle LeporiThe following is the title poem from Seth A. Tribble’s newest book of poetry.

Buy it to help support a struggling poet, or if you live in the Tacoma, WA area go see one of his shows.

Look for Seth’s reading tour this year, and keep up with him on his website.

No Rhythm Blues

“Dear God, make me a writer again!” –Jack Kerouac


It’s gone!

I got nothin’ left

But the passion and blue

My lady sure is pretty

And she loves me true

I love her too

With my little black book

Pen in hand and nothin’ in my head

No booze in my belly or junk in my blood

It’s boiling roiling toiling still trying

To find in me


But opacity still prevents

Simplest expression

Serving soulless sentences

Still stinging singing slave songs

Old and not of my making

Marking maps in my mind

Meandering mesmerized

Looking lost like little latchkey I am

Always assuming assurance

Is right round the bend

But blended blunders blind my third eye

And still the only thing to write

Is true

I’m blue

And resorting to rhyme

Makes me angry

It’s not me!

Never will be!

But there it is, me

Contradicting me

And my ability to self-deny

But I try and that’s what’s important

The never being satisfied

Always being hungry for new

And interesting ways to fuck it all up

But the only way

Tried and true is to


But I’m stuck

Striving standing driving on

To make something real enough

To put down on paper

I got too much technology, too little time

And an opinion for every asshole who asks

I’m over-occupied and still

Somehow underachieving

Perceiving myself in a way I haven’t

For quite some time now

As something worth more

Than an epitaph or obituary

Tragically understated

Survived by half-filled notebooks

And scraps of napkin

Scratched upon in late-night hours

In a corner of obscurity

And security made of my own

Self doubt stained with halos

Of long dried coffee and ink

Smudged with fingerprints

And now complacency gives way

To invasions of ambition

And an all-consuming desire

Don’t desire, be desired

Desire drives disappointment

And at times it was better to be the body wanted

Than cold outside

And I was good at that too

So before the onslaught of wanting

Beset by the urge to retreat

I shake

And she shakes with me

Like leaves in a storm me and my muse

Until I see my enemy

And take her hand

This is where I make my stand

In this old apartment

This dirty diner

This one more page

Swelling to anthems

Pages of victory

And another fruitful night

Of trite and stunted little words

Trying desperately to be

The fulfillment of all those things I want

But can’t stomach to try

And by the time I’ve come to the point

When I should stop wanting


Like a face of avarice

And I am amiss

Something’s coming

I can hear its footprints

Down the hall

The resolution sought

Were all the scary monsters

In my childhood closet

Come to take my soul

And my notebooks and my pens!

And all my empty pages!

And leave me with the wanting!

That damnable desire

To express that me I want to be

In words cryptic hodgepodge

So the only ones understanding

Are the ones I want to understand

And hand in hand we face the fact

That we are beautiful!

And so is this twisted, wretched world

But I can’t.

Not right now.

I’m blue.

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