I Know Why Hemingway Wrote in the Morning – a poem about alcoholism and writing

The Poem…Hemingway

I Know Why Hemingway Wrote in the Morning

It’s waking up
Cracking open guilty eyes
Close them! Ouch…

For shame
Crawling up my naked back
Pelting head and beating mistakes
Damn bottles, scattered about.

I know why Hemingway wrote in the morning.

Lilting words
Rocking from my pen 

Get me high, imagination

Heavy storytelling
This drug tingles
Makes me stronger 

(What an adrenaline junky)

That’s a rush!
This day got better 

So, yeah.

I know why Hemingway wrote in the morning.

Background…

Can’t shake that alcoholic guilt.

I drank too much one night.  I was alone, and I don’t think I even spoke with anyone that night, so I had nothing to be ashamed about.  Maybe it was cheap wine.  Maybe I mixed something weird.  I don’t remember.  But it put me over the line, and I woke up with a palatable weight of shame.

I was the most awful person in the world.  Real scum.

Hello, alcoholic guilt.  Nice to see you again.

Later, still reeling in shame, I started thinking about writers and writing, because that’s what I think about when I’ve had bloody well enough of the day.

That happened to be by about 11:00 a.m. or so.

‘Writers.’

‘Writing. ‘

‘Morning.’

‘Hate mornings. ‘

‘Wine.’ 

‘Am I an alcoholic?’ 

‘Hemingway was an alcoholic.’

‘I read somewhere that he wrote super early in the morning. ‘

*KA-POW!*

I know why Hemingway wrote in the morning.

I minimized the spreadsheet on my screen, pulled up a shiny, blank word document, and plucked out that there poem up there.

And you know what?

That really is why Hemingway wrote in the morning.

Have you written something inspired by the negative effects of booze?  Or maybe a better question: who hasn’t?!

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