my fear greater than death –

becoming the picture of mundane

writing the mundane

being only the very epitome

of boring, suburbanality

a string of Taylor Swift poems,

a mall-walking, gray-haired,

broken-down old man

lunching at the closest

cheapest all-you-can-eat buffet

when all I am is no better

than strip mall psychology

or pop culture bullshit

I promise I’ll give it up

not nary a word will

appear anywhere by my hand

once I’ve met this fate

and if I break this promise

someone, please sneak in

and perform the mercy killing


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About John White

I've written off and on my entire life. It took years for me to finally take putting words together seriously. Now it's not, nor does it ever feel, like work. Writing daily has become habitual. No day is complete without words having appeared on the page.

Posted on October 15, 2015, in Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 72 Comments.

  1. It lies in your hands not to make it so!

  2. There is a beauty in simplicity,but I too share your desire to escape the mundane and monotonous. I love your wordology

  3. your writing is far from mundane. its extraordinary!

  4. You and I, poised on the same observatory deck this week. πŸ˜‰

  5. Let’s not overlook the mundane….The Mundane can be beautiful – try changing the view. πŸ˜‰

  6. Well-written! Unconscious and superficial living is worse than death itself.

    • Thank you, Thomas! πŸ™‚ I must agree with you. As Thoreau said we must “suck out all the marrow of life.” It’s great to meet you!

      • Great to meet you as well…

        I wrote about this recently as I was contemplating the death drive written about by the depth psychologists and considering those times in my own life when I found myself being a bit self destructive:

        “Driven towards extinction,
        Crashing into oblivion.
        Yearning for destruction
        For not having lived.
        Hoping that obliteration
        Anesthetizes the pain
        Of unconscious existence.”

  7. This is an all-too-real possibility for any serious writer. It is possible for me, and all I can do is try to recognize what could happen I could prevent or what bad decisions could drop me there.

    • Thank you, Alan! πŸ™‚ There’s always that danger that the well runs dry and all we can get onto paper is empty, meaningless drivel. We have to keep ourselves awake to life and live it as hard as we can to let the truly meaningful work come.

  8. Nice. Sometimes it seems that no matter how good something we do is, we are always under pressure to keep coming up with something even better… and if we don’t, the ‘slippery slope’ beckons. Though before you ‘give it up’ (if it ever happens) make sure it isn’t a temporary lapse πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! πŸ™‚ That pressure can bring out the best or it can wear us down. Sometimes in those moments when nothing is coming, it can help to just write something, anything. Free-write whatever is on your mind. It’s worked a few times for me. I can only hope it continues to work. πŸ˜‰

      • Thanks for the tip, I may give free-writing a try. I’ve often had blocks over the years on and off. It’s always nice when they lift for a while. At the moment having a bit of artist’s block… so using some of my doodles for inspiration to get me drawing/painting.
        For some reason David Bowie and his songs made from cut up words pops into my head. This link might interest you:

        • I’ll look at that. It looks really interesting and it always helps to read about someone else’s writing techniques. I remember reading something about Maya Agelou saying if she was having any problems getting started she would write something as silly as “the cat walked on the mat” (or something to that effect) just to get warmed up. She kept writing anything no matter how bad or silly until she got her mind working the way she wanted it to.

          • Reminds me of Dr Seuss: his book “Green Eggs and Ham stems from a bet Seuss had with his publisher, Bennett Cerf. Seuss’s previous book The Cat in the Hat, used only 223 words based off a list of 348 required words for beginner readers to learn. Cerf bet Seuss that he couldn’t write a book with only 50 words from the aforementioned list.” Though of course with Dr Seuss it is the illustrations that make the words work so well πŸ™‚

  9. Man! I like this one. It’s got me thinking…..

  10. MUNDANE} ordinary: commonplace: everyday: humdrum: lowly: etc.: etc.
    MUNDANE} A relative term..!!

  11. The mind is very cruel.. But also easily swayed..
    I had a block recently and went back and re-read some of my own earlier writings and couldn’t believe they came from me…
    Mind tricks we have to play on ourselves as well as others!!

    • Thank you, Taruna! πŸ™‚ You’re right. Going back and reading can make us wonder who it was who wrote that. πŸ˜‰ The best exercise I’ve found for that right side of the brain is to just keep writing. Write anything at all. Force it out until suddenly something you like comes out.

  12. I am not sure how to feel about this one XD ❀

  13. I doubt there is any real danger of this occurring to you, though I empathize with the fear. Fortunately “mundane” and “boring” are words that do not apply to you; you think too much for that. Lol. Although I admit I have no idea how you feel about walking the mall or all-you-can-eat buffets… *grin*

    • Thank you! πŸ™‚ As long as we keep our minds active and working the hope is that we keep getting out of them what we want. As for the mall and buffets…I can’t say I’m crazy about malls but a good buffet can be another story. πŸ˜‰

  14. Thank you John for visiting and the like on my blog! I really appreciate it. Very interesting reflections here… They got me thinking and afraid…

  15. Oh, no John, wouldn’t expect you to and can’t see you doing it!

  16. great .A new post is waiting for you i.e Loneliness.Please have a look at once.

  17. Resonates so deeply: Me too! Mercyjumpoffwhereverintothehereafter the minute I realize.

  18. Great stuff! The power of adventure is potent…we need to explore life and evade the monotony always hanging around…thanks for sharing!

  19. An awful fate…one that I bet sneaks up on us and we may not notice until we are going for thirds at that lunch buffet special. Or perhaps that is too late for the insight.

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