Clichés: A Tragedy

Every breath
is a matter of life and death
and I am furious with myself
because “a matter of life and death”
is a cliché and everybody knows
clichés are a mortal sin
so much that it’s almost a
cliché to say it,
and why fret about trivialities
when the remainder of my life
is but a wisp of smoke and
now I could almost slit my throat
because “wisp of smoke” is as tawdry a
cliché as any hack ever scratched on
a piece of paper who thought she
could be a poet and maybe that’s why
Emily D was so spare in her words—
because any sequence could
be a sin too gross to bear so she
who died for beauty
shunned the stain and was a
better writer than I who had only
hoped to squeeze in a few poems
before the smoke cleared.

2 Responses to This poem popped into my head while eating lunch at Subway

  1. Love the poem…and I really like cliches too. I know it’s a writer’s mortal sin, but they’re so clear and convey familiar ideas in such a clever way!

  2. Wow, a one-sentence poem that says so much. Nicely done.

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