intentionally left blank

blank notebooks

Wondering what to write – and, indeed, wondering whether I actually would manage to get whatever I wrote posted as the phone company have let me down – I remembered the “Thing That Must Not Happen” as described in Dorothy Sayers’ Murder Must Advertise:

Now, when you see in a newspaper a blank white space, bearing the legend: “THIS SPACE RESERVED FOR SO-AND-SO LTD.,” it may mean nothing very much to you, but to those who know anything of the working of advertising agencies, those words carry the ultimate, ignominious brand of incompetency and failure. So-and-so’s agents have fallen down on their job; nothing can be alleged in mitigation. It is the Thing That Must Not Happen.

I also thought of the far less traumatic “This page intentionally left blank” printed pages of yesteryear and remembered that there is an Internet equivalent over at The This Page Intentionally Left Blank Project, which aims to offer web wanderers “a place of quietness and simplicity on the overcrowded World Wide Web”.

I’m not sure this blog was ever intended to be either quiet or simple, and, as it seems I will manage to post this via a convenient “hotspot”, it would be a pity to have a blank post. Here, then, is a repost of a poem that also contains blank pages:

Where are the words?

Where are the words
I need?

Like a spendthrift
I have squandered them,
scattering them on the green lawns
of forty summers,
frittering them
on trivialities.

I look in books,
in dictionaries and lexicons,
but they are blank as my notebook:
empty of inspiration.

The wind has carried away
all the words,
borne them on the warm air,
like so many seagulls.

Like a prodigal,
I am left destitute,
my tongue, dry,
licking at stale crusts.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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