Empty, Again

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Four weeks ago we were inspired. Three weeks ago we started to understand. Two weeks ago we decided to make an album. One week ago we planned a party. Today I woke up empty, again.

For many, the start never happens. The blank canvas is too overwhelming or the “idea of the idea” is too intoxicating. After all, to never start is to never fail.

For others, the middle is agony. Endless revisions, lost in the hall of mirrors and self doubt. We conflate work with progress.

For yet others, the end is perpetually held in abeyance and forever relegated to the “Not Yet.” We forget no work is ever finished - only abandoned. And even after that, a still deeper sorrow awaits.

For me, he sits cross-legged in the middle of the road. Semi-trucks scream so many diesel dirges. Their headlights throw our shadows along arcs of asymptotic infinities. A thin and sour wind. He smiles. He flicks his cigarette at me.

“Yet another one, artist!” the Demon of Lucid Endings says. “How many more can you bear? Have you the will to start over knowing I will be waiting for you? Again and again?”

His questions are so familiar they approach rhetorical. Perfunctory theater. Standard operating procedure.

I find the Krylon sigils of the sisters and brothers who came before. (They are always near, if you look.) I jump the grafitti-emblazoned barricade.

“See you tomorrow,” I say.

His laughter cascades through the moonlit valley, down and out over a burning sea…