Discontinued cell & texts

We had times

that we wanted

to last

forever

Without

warning

you changed

your cell number

I can’t hear

your voice

or read your texts

You wanted

more

than I

could give

& left

without

a word

–Jim Wortham– December 8, 2021

The ocean is calling me

It keeps

calling,

years later

I slept on the beaches

watching waves

walking on white sand

picking up shells

Easy to sleep

as sunset

turned to darkness

I was going to return

to a

forever life

I returned to

to finish college

and tripped over

life there

and never returned

During the nights

while trying

to sleep

I hear the ocean waves

calling me

each night

–Jim Wortham — December 8, 2021

THROWING POEMS OVER BARREN RIVER BRIDGE

You ask

would I really do that?

Yep I did.

My poems were raw & broken

and letters from poets pushed me

into depression.

I wasn’t born with a golden pen

I wasn’t born with words that sang like songs

but I published books anyway.

It may not be surprising

for me to share with you

that I took all the books

(no, I wish I had not done this)

and loaded all the poetry books I published

in my car

and I tossed them over the bridge

at Barron River in

Bowling Green, Kentucky.

That’s not all.

I took boxes of unpublished poetry

and tossed them over

the Barren River

because I received letters like

THE FUTURE OF POETRY

DOES NOT INCLUDE YOU!

By Jim Wortham, November 21, 2021)

SHE SAID, THE FUTURE OF POETRY DOES NOT INCLUDE ME

Yes, it happened this way.

When I sent my first poetry book

to poets, both famous and unknown

I only heard from one poet.

She was a very famous poet.

She only typed a few words:

THE FUTURE OF POETRY

DOES NOT INCLUDE YOU.

What can I say other than

that did not make my day.

He pours his money into publishing his poetry books as he waits for fame to stike

He answered each letter

from readers

on expensive stationary

He saved each letter

even the envelopes

The extra bedroom

in his home

is stacked to the ceiling

with boxes

filled with letters he received

from his readers since the 1970s

Back then — he met readers

both men and women

He was available by phone

to all who wanted to stop by

Many brought gifts

& expensive liquor

& sometimes a case of beer

wanting to drink with him

all-day

& sometimes all night

*** Those were the days ***

He keeps publishing his poetry books

thinking his time will come again

An occasional person with a handful

of books he published will stop

and ask for him to autograph

He invites them in for wine, bourbon

or soft drinks

and cheese, crackers & vienna sausages

mustard and sardines

which is his regular diet these days

The old man

is waiting for luck to discover him

one final time

He takes one day at a time

and writes 5 to 12

new poems each day

for his next book

He waits for fame

to strike a second time

— By Jim Wortham

November 7, 2021

Toxic Lady

One day a lady asked

if she could join me

while I was eating

I said yes —

and added

let me buy your meal

As we talked

my chest tightened

I wondered if

I was having a heart attack

I was finding it

difficult to breath

I have discovered

others can transfer

their emotions

to me

I absorb their emotional pain

and it hits my chest

I feel like I’m having

a heart attack

We finished talking

and eating

and walked away

without exchanging

personal information

like phone or text

numbers

That night I had nightmares

She was part of them

I believe

she transferred

her toxic feelings

to me

Many reading this

will say this can’t happen

Others will say

it is possible

and probably did happen

I pray

she gets help

and I don’t meet up

with her again

(October 30, 2021)

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