up against the fourth wall

What if I told you that despite
all the pining in these pages,
all the ache and wishing,
she was never the one, not ever,
despite my many arguments
with myself to the contrary?
Would it surprise you to learn
about resignation and regret,
vast like my mountain’s shadow
or an angel’s reach, about how
my great motivator is today?
You know how some people live
to remember what was, to reside
in memory, joyful or bitter?
Yeah, I don’t live like that.
Not at all. So I write about
love and fucking and flying
(and they’re the same, right?)
and the hard work of marriage,
life lived in the present tense,
how it’s worth traversing every
tunnel to reach light’s blessing.
Well, duh, we knew that. You wear
your heart on your blog, sister.
I guess you're not surprised, then.

Kerry asked the Real Toads to write a poem that "breaks the fourth wall," i.e., breaks the fictionality of our writing by directly addressing the reader. Hope this suffices, though upon reflection, I think I often address the reader directly in my writing. So, hmmmmmm. Oh, and this is also poem #14 of 30 Poems in November to benefit Center for New Americans. Yippee!


  1. Not surprised, no, but delighted to read every word you write for me to read, sister-poet. What I like most about what you did here in breaking the fourth wall was the inclusion of the reader's response in italics there - you broke right through and guessed what we were thinking.

  2. raw and gritty - some days the fourth wall is all I got

  3. Felt like you and me chatting over tea. Excellente'!

  4. I think you do your best work when you're sick - lol! Go figure!

  5. The smile you put on my face is sure to be there for a while longer .....

  6. I hear you, kiddo. Love the "wearing your heart on your blog" line. Love everything you write!

  7. Keep pushing against that wall, sista poet! You do a great job!

  8. Your urgency shows through! Wonderful to live/write for today. k.

  9. A+ You not only broke the 4th wall, but like Kerry said, took the very words from our mouth!

  10. I love how you approached it~ And I do think you do push the fourth wall
    all the time! I do always feel like you are speaking directly to me.
    Love your voice!

  11. you totally just made that wall your b*tch... I think I have to list this as one of my faves :)

  12. :) i'm so glad you all liked this one, i was uncertain about it. thank you xoxo!

  13. this one blew me away, it brought me in, it sat me down and it offered me a heavy tumbler.
    you are the voice of every once of us...

  14. huh, you think so? that's very nice to contemplate, thank you, Kir.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!