Let It Go

I tried writing something for Read Write Poem Prompt #89: It Came from the Headlines….but I wasn’t inspired by the headlines this week, believe it or not. I haven’t done current events poems for a long time, anyway. So I am sharing this — a poem I wrote watching Airea “Dee” Matthews feature at Writing Wrongs on Tuesday. I don’t know if I’ve quite captured how I felt, or the message I have, but I hope you enjoy the read.



I don’t have to tell you
that that poets must pin their words down to paper
with metal and ink swords
before they disappear into silence and ignorance,
not even leaving a whisper or a whiff behind
to mock each grasping, gasping wordsmith as they evaporate
or that

they must pin down their thoughts
and abuse them until they give up
the words like floating snowflake ghosts
still trapped inside their skins. But
I tell you this:

if you ever stand before a mic
to tell your tales to the world, do not
turn on your ears, do not
listen to the sound of your own voice, do not
let it collect its tones in your brain
to brand your tongue silent. Just

let it go. Do not
wring your fingers, twist the
chicken bones buried in your hands until they snap, or
drip sparkling, carbon and salt bond sweat backwards into your skin to
send your muscles into an everlasting subatomic quake. Do not
draw back the string of your bow
to let go in ten
and then let your finger


and the string collapse, your
arrow falling to the floor in the dark. Just

let it go.

And do not turn the lamp of introspection
onto yourself so hot that you burn insecurity into your soul
and light pours through its lace wound, casting shadows
through your skin, behind you, behind the
mic, behind the stage, onto the wall. Just

let it go;

for in the name of such holy wounds,
a man

carved up his nose
until it was non-existent,

and a woman
swallowed enough heaven to split her in two:
when that failed, she buried her pimply-faced teenaged half
under layers of booze, scarves, feathers,
and beads;

yet another man
cut off his earlobe, mistaking it for a heart

and a woman
inhaled gas and sought solace
under houses, in the hollow corner of a pill bottle, and
in ovens;

and still another man
tried to drown his father’s eyes in
amber booze oceans, birthing in its depths
sea snakes like the skins he wore to mask
the pain. Now I look inside,
and I see

a girl,
wearing telescope glasses too big for her face, and
wielding a limp sword –
and I wonder if I can make paper doll cuts
into the night, shape these
lights into the stars that I see in my head, paint them
in front of your eyes so that you might see
the same Van Gogh sky that I do. But
all I can do for you
as I stand here, poised before the crackle
of electricity, hum, and suspended dark,
is just

let it go.

Written 8/26/09
© 2009 Nicole Nicholson. All Rights Reserved.

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About ravenswingpoetry

I am a 38 year old writer from Columbus, OH and the creator of Raven's Wing Poetry. I am a poet, seeker, fellow traveler, and autistic.
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8 Responses to Let It Go

  1. anthonynorth says:

    Words in there to definitely get off your chest. Excellently done.

    You’ll find mine here.

  2. Linda says:

    I like the way you structured your poem and I like what you wrote about. I’ve done public speaking before but not my own poems so this is good advice for me. Thank you.

  3. nathan says:

    Wow, you say so much in these lines — and give good advice for reading too!

  4. Erin says:

    I am just absolutely blown away by this. I am going to come back to this poem several times over the next few days to savor and enjoy.

  5. irenet says:

    Very palpable and achieves a kind of catharsis.

  6. wayne says:

    shorter poems usually more to me taste…lazy maybe?…anyhow this is sooooooooooo good….and it was easy to read….”letting go”…..and accepting……are so important…to me anyways

  7. I have to admit being a bit intimidated by the length when I first saw it, but once I began reading the words carried me away straight to the end. Of the many interesting passages, I think this was my favorite:

    and still another man
    tried to drown his father’s eyes in
    amber booze oceans, birthing in its depths
    sea snakes like the skins he wore to mask
    the pain

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