“Old Notebooks” By Hugh Blanton



Old Notebooks

Pulling those old notebooks out –
looking at the journal entries of 30 years ago.
Notebooks scribbled in during the worst times of my life.

There I was getting a job.
Less than a page later I was fired.
Not to worry – there at the bottom of that very same page 
I got another job. Two pages later – fired again.
Repeat for months and years on end –
peppered with assurances that I would do better –
that I knew exactly where I had gone wrong.

Tallying up all the credit card debt.
My debt was triple what I made in a year –
maybe not a lot by typical American standards –
but it killed me.

Those old notebooks were college ruled –
enabling me to get more bullshit onto the page.
Their spiral coils – now rusted –
barely allow the pages to be turned without being torn.

Why was I writing all of that down?
Sitting in that tiny filthy room –
writing down all my real failures
and fake promises.
Nothing ever got better.
Even when I found an employer
who didn’t fire me for years –
I remained broke and miserable.

Dragging out thirty-year-old notebooks
is an effortless way to let pessimism defeat me.



About the Author:  Hugh Blanton lives in San Diego, California and combs poems out of his hair in the moments he can steal away from his employer’s loading dock. He has appeared in Bottom Shelf Whiskey, Dope Fiend Daily, and Terror House Magazine.


Image Credit: Portrait of an Unidentified man in smoking jacket seated holding a feather-quill pen. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

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