An Artist Afraid Emily Laubham Poetry

local_library An Artist Afraid

by Emily Laubham

Published in Issue No. 222 ~ November, 2015


Falter, breathe, repeat

Wires firing, saying – hopeless.

You wrote it all wrong.

Stories pouring from your ears and dripping down your nose,

seeping out until they’re losing, losing, lost again.


Art only appears when you’re shredded in confetti, broken down like monuments,

drifting, crumbling to the ground.

The falter, stutter, and unbearable heat

under lights that say, you aren’t quite bright enough.

The voices whisper – you only know what to say when there’s no one to say it to.



Lungs and wings

You don’t inhale until you tell yourself to,

swear you’re learning how not to.

Oxygen only supplies those firing wires to scream – senseless

You’ve gone and muddled-up the meaning.


Wings you know are just beneath your skin, feathered infections, tickle and tempt you to fly.

But be so afraid of the sky, where beings from another world whisper what fate brings next.

The breathing, heaving, and tightness in your chest

below boulders that say, you aren’t near strong enough.

The voices whisper – you only know how to speak when there’s no one there to hear it.



The cycle, and echo

Noises bouncing from wall to window.

Know now that it is your voice

Empty caverns inside your head answer – meaningless

You’ve gone and lost your chance.


Terrify yourself with thoughts of silence, where whispers don’t force you to pick up a pen.

Echoes are ghosts of words we say out loud.

Repeat, retell, reply

The ghosts, they gossip, you are far from loud enough.

The voices whisper – we’re listening

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Emily is a recent graduate of The University of Pittsburgh where she majored in fiction writing, and earned a certificate in public and professional writing. Her fiction has appeared in The Ping-Pong Literary Journal, and she contributes regularly to the blog, Skirt Collective.