The Crime No One Can Abet

October 27, 2014 § 12 Comments

Empty page.

Enemy territory.


Ferocious solitude.


Really, why?

Go be busy.

Live in that zone of frantic illusions.


Still you sit.

And still you wait.


Just open the vein, he said.

Easy enough.

Until intention strangles her creation.


Mesmerizing mocking cursor.

Blink, blink.

Tick, tock.

The pulse of your palsy.


Sitting on the fault line between stillness and surrender.


Hustling the game only one can play.


Performing the crime that no one can abet.

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§ 12 Responses to The Crime No One Can Abet

  • DIRNDL SKIRT says:

    “Until intention strangles her creation.” It’s been a while, Tom. This phrase nails it for me. Thank you for that. A sobering realization you have made me aware of. And a sincere and heartfelt
    hello to you as well, after months of (probably) me drifting.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Thanks. Good to hear from you as well.

      The writing feels dark to me as I revisit it but that’s what came out, without too much intention. So that’s what I’m sharing.


  • potterfan97 says:

    Your writer’s block was produced something extraordinary. I think inspiration is making her way back to you 🙂

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Yeah, don’t know.

      I’m always tough on my work- and with these poems- or whatever one might choose to name them- it feels like even scarier ground.

      But it’s what I’m writing and so here it is.

      Your poetry has more fluidity and texture, even as it conveys hard truths. This work feels to me more jagged, harsher. But my voice is here, which is what we seek.



      • potterfan97 says:


        It’s true. We have to be our harshest critic.

        But your writing – including this piece – is brilliant. I think you should trust yourself more. It might be scary, but trust will get you to some pretty amazing places.

        And I love the harshness of this. It reminds me of rocks by the sea, their edges defined by the waves.

        Your voice is a unique one, and one that is always such a joy to hear. Can’t wait for pieces to come.


  • Reine says:

    This left chills down my spine. Strong energy.

  • Hariod Brawn says:

    I’ve ‘liked’ this, though I don’t like the sound of this at all. Don’t play the game.

    • Thomas Ross says:

      Thoughtful reply.

      Writing in this way I sometimes like the sound of a huddle of words but thereby lose the thread. Maybe that happened here in my talk of “the game.” But then I think- the hope is for the read and the reaction- to provoke something, even discomfort. So maybe that’s all good.

      In contrast, I feel the allusion to the “crime” as surely connecting to my sense that art often has an illicit feel to it, a kind of “criminal” activity.

      But now I’m overthinking this- “strangling” the work- so let me just say, thank you for taking the time to read and share.


      • Hariod Brawn says:

        There was a time not so long ago Tom, when for self-evident reasons, people here in England regarded suicide as ‘The Crime No One Can Abet’. So, reading your work another way:

        An ’empty page’: a feeling of desolation. ‘Enemy territory’: the hatred of self. ‘The fault line between stillness and surrender’: the moments of fading into death. Other lines are more literally indicative.

        So, reading with these (perverse?) thoughts in mind, you get my drift?

      • Thomas Ross says:

        I do.

        And that’s a reading certainly not disconnected from my thoughts as I sat and wrote.

        For the past week, I have sat in the early a.m. and wrote a single poem. As I reread those poems, I was struck by the darkness.

        This exchange for me is an example of how writer and reader together can expand or illuminate meaning. That is, this exchange has affected how I see the work.

        So thanks.


      • Hariod Brawn says:

        And thank you Tom, for giving me the space to air my rather speculative response to this powerful work of yours. I felt it a 50:50 chance that I was wildly off the mark, and hesitated before commenting.

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