We Might be Villains

[Listening to We Might be Heroes on the radio and the germ of an idea, that morphed into this poem, blossomed.  Still a bit rough, but I think the general idea is there.]

We Might be Villains

Ignore the old woman that needs some help.

Turn an eye away from the plastic bottle that falls from the bag, and rolls to the curb to crush against the concrete.

Kick away the cigarette butts that gather in the corner, the ashes that float to the ground, the smoke that litters the air we try to breathe.

We might be villains, standing by, paralyzed by indecision, by a lack of time, a scourge of give a damn, the hole in our hearts that lets the world drift through, tainted and unchanged.

Pretend it didn’t happen: the gun fight last night across town, the kid one street over that disappeared, the other that cried hungry and hurt every night before bed.

We might be villains, covering our ears, closing our mouths, stifling the protests, ours and everyone else’s.

Don’t worry that energy is leaking away, used for unending texts and tweets and uploads and downloads.

Don’t fret that the earth is running out, and no spare battery pack awaits for the recharge.

Don’t be anxious; there’s enough for you to waste.

We might be villains, using up, leaving out, dumping everywhere.

We might be villains but we don’t care.


(Written to try to appease the frustration of having a character and a story get nowhere fast.)

There is a ledge
that runs
along the edge
of the brick wall
I make my way
against each day.

My characters fail
to do as I write
and so my tale
is foundering fast
into an abyss
of confusing mist.

Can they lead me out
into the light?

Or disappear
out of my sight?

This is writers block?

The stones pile high,
building a fortress
around the fable.

Until even I,
the god of their realm,
am alone at the table.