Poem: Bloodletting



You wrote them to yourself.
Close to fifteen years of them.
Stacks. Books. Files. Journals.
A lifetime of rants and whines,
of amazement in words,
paens to patience,
silent struggles.

At times, you think about burning them,
reducing your past to ashes,
as if somehow the mere act
would bring about something new.
Instead, you have hoarded them,
these war and peace writings
that have less plot than Joyce on his worst day.

No, they are not history.
They are not art.
They are a bloodletting and little more, examples
of the ancient belief that draining, heals,
assuming you survive.

About this poem

I am a journal writer. I believe in the power of journal writing. But it’s not always pretty.



  1. When my dad died I had to decided what to do about all his diaries. He had never told me his wishes. Were they private? Should I read them. Should I discard them? In the end I settled for checking dates that would have been significant to his children, like our birth dates and found nothing recorded. I decided that it was all private and ended up throwing the diaries of a whole lifetime away. It made me feel weird, though. People need to make their wishes known!

    • I’ve already told my kids – burn them without reading. Otherwise they will find out I really was a madman all my life, not the calm zen Dad they know and love!

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