The Dangers of Writing

I worry about the husky gentleman
that shot Lennon, not because I fear
he’ll come after me, but because he might
be reading this poem. Some bad ideas
are planted by words–their meanings
irrelevant to a brain saturated
by mania and lust. Yet, I still worry
that my innocent verse might form the fuel
for some catastrophic force.

But what if
nothing occurs? This poem could enter
for a moment and leave forever, only imparting
a few more minutes filled, or it could be fuel
for a warmer Wednesday evening, leaving
the body more content and the mind
unaltered. . . Somehow, the husky gentleman
has gotten smaller.


Written for We Write Poems Prompt #169: Dangerous Poems.

Also shared this on IGWRT’s Open Link Monday.

22 thoughts on “The Dangers of Writing

  1. yea, playing with the dark side. or whistling past the cemetery at the midnight hour. but also just how our minds work to foresee their visions of future too. (rather amusing, that aspect is) then again, “what if nothing occurs?” is the wonderful counterpoint. now that’s a conflict of interests worthy of any thoughtfulness! (and even more amusing too)

    dark humor that counteracts itself. very creative and effective here. thanks for joining the dangerous playfulness.

    • Thanks. While most of my other poems are fiction this poem is reflective of things I worry about sometimes. For one thing I want to write something that changes the way people think and engages them but isn’t there also the risk of affecting some loonies in a negative way as well? But I’ve acknowledged the fact that, if not psychopaths, people with a political bent or going to misconstrue or distort something to fit their own ideology.

  2. I concur with the second stanza. We all tend to worry too much. And yet when we release the words there is a sigh of freedom that is only known to those who do write…

  3. the “body more content” next Wednesday evening.
    Hmm, what are you pouring?
    I’ll have an iced mocktail please.
    But that might alter my mind as well as making me content.
    Kurt Vonnegut? Another gap in my education. Next to Kafka.
    Nice to see you here again.

  4. I guess we must realize our words can become something that could do harm. I don’t dwell on that. A twisted mind can twist anything. Love your expression in the second verse of what writing can do “or it could be fuel
    for a warmer Wednesday evening, leaving
    the body more content and the mind
    unaltered. . . Somehow, the husky gentleman
    has gotten smaller” I would dwell on that. :).

    • Yes, a sick mind is going to read into anything and find their fuel in anything, whether it’s a book about a frustrated youth or a holy book. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  5. Writing is a fuel for the writer and for the reader. What kind of fuel somehow is beyond the control of the writer and very much in the needy world of the reader. I guess that would apply to any writing not in the political or propaganda categories. They are quite another matter.

  6. I think about the impact of the things I say, as well. Every word matters, and when you’re a “word person”, that’s an awesome responsibility.

    • There is a certain power that comes when being able to use words, considering their power to influence people. This doesn’t mean, however, that people should necessarily watch-out for what they write because it might be twisted or used as justification for terrible things, but it’s something to ponder.

  7. Let him be! Our words are strong and our resolve stronger still! One puts a claim to be with those who stand out to be counted. Great write Andrew!


  8. I think, when most people read poetry, they’ll find something what resonate with them even if it-not there- one word, a hint…it’s important to always remember about choices and responsibilities…~ thoughtful write

    • Thanks. I’ve probably read several poems where I felt a certain way that the author didn’t intend. I’ve also noticed how people feel differently about the things I’ve written and see things that I didn’t know were there.

  9. I like your style of writing – there is a cleanliness of line and clarity of expression which is very appealing. Your subject is most pertinent to the task of poet: may we fall somewhere between incitement and obscurity.

    • Thanks. I actually tried to make each stanza represent those two extremes in a way where the second stanza might leave a reader more comfortable, but doesn’t do much greater than that.

  10. my favourite among the “dangerous” poems… & you raise a valid point –

    for myself, I worry more about certain family members reading 😉

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