From Vol. 9: “Statement of Purpose,” a poem by Nicholas Bon

Poetry: Nicholas Bon

Statement of Purpose

It’s important for you to know
                    that I’m a fucking mess,

          that so often the drummer
                              in the corner is too loud

for this polite conversation.
                    There are people, even now,

          asking me what I can bring
                              to the feast. I left my hands

at home & can’t get my shit
                    together. How am I supposed to

          keep these walls standing,
                              keep my crib sheet hidden?

This is what I mean when I say
                    I’m empty as a porcelain bowl

          falling to the floor. But even
                              a small piece is all it’ll take

to shatter a car’s window. You
                    don’t even need to throw it

          very hard. There’s always a hidden
                              weakness. Of what else should we

dream? The worst curse is getting
                    everything you want. I can’t

          pretend I know what any of this
                              should be named. There’s a limit

to my language that I find every day.
                    So often we sit, praying, uncertain

          of what comes next. Every time
                              I leave my house I feel out of place

in my own city. So believe me
                    when I say that I don’t want any

          influence. I only want to be
                              on the same beach as you,

us bronze in the valve amp sun.
                    I just want to be full for once.

          You know that I’m not a sculptor,
                              but perhaps there’s something

in this stone if we can carve away
                    the excess. Me, I’m just excited

          that there’s still marble to be
                              found in the world. This negative

space around us. A lighthouse’s
                    beacon defines itself with the fog.

Nicholas Bon is the author of My Circus Mouth (Ghost City Press, 2018) and the editor of Epigraph Magazine. They live in Tallahassee, where they attend the MFA program at Florida State University, and they can be found online at


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