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rage fragment

I wish I could write about rage but I can only write about wanting things

By Joe NastaPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2022
flower bottom (2020), rose petals/twine/oil on paper 22"x28"

I wish I could write anything about rage

but I can only write about wanting

things I will never have since things

in the past can’t be changed or given


back to anyone least of all me

who already has so much

but then I am lit



and I rage I rage

until I can’t remember

why or how, or where I was

going with my smoky breath


and this poem. I wish I could write

anything about rage, but I can’t

so instead I am writing these unwieldy words.

Maybe they’ll be about rage. Maybe it’s nothing.


I am sitting alone and inevitable in the late afternoon

at the top of the steps of the hill on Cherry Street

where I like to sit, where I am sitting now, again

alone and watching a containership drag itself


across the bay that reminds me why I do sit

here on the grey days: the water.

I have written it before and I will now, again:

the water. I can see it from the corner


of every single block in this neighborhood

and it makes me feel “less alone,”

although, again, I am inevitably always.

This may actually be the last time for a while.


I am moving away from here in seven days.

I want, I do, to be filled by this. Rage.

But I don’t feel anything now, except “less alone.”

Can I write and not feel “less alone?”


It seems I feel simply. Rage.

But what can I say?

I am not in a fit of it now.

I am in the calm, the calm


before. I swear I do feel rage.

There’s so much and nothing left

worth saying.

Simply, I feel rage


and it groans in my stomach like flame.

I can’t hear anything else. So simple,

and yet not at all. What else can I say?

I am not feeling it now. I am not feeling


I am not feeling. Inevitable. Inev-

itable. In even this

moment, still. I know

I feel this rage simply


there is nothing

closed or opening,


There is



There is nothing.

I am sitting here

what else is there to say?


I rage. I rage

so simply I slip in and out, and that ship

hasn’t even crossed my sliver of vision.

Too quick to follow. I am so tired of lust.


I want this poem to be about rage.

Is this a poem? This is a poem if

I say it’s a poem. Is this a

poem? It is if I say. Is this?


It is, It is. Poems don’t need to burst

into flame. I want to write rain runoff,

a downward sloping hill, words falling

along the natural curve of Cherry Street


and dousing themselves in Elliot Bay.

Not every moment can burn. Some

times pass indefinitely. I am unable

to say how long one thought takes


or how much of life is lost to slow

thinking. How many minutes off

my life lost like minutes

for each cigarette or one too many


well anything. Who has time to pay

attention? Let me breathe and think.

I’ve gotten good at absolutely nothing, at

being nowhere. When I was younger


my only hobby was sitting still.

How to say, how to say still.

I don’t have to explain anything to you.

You know, you know but let me be.


The concrete is coarse on my inner wrists,

the edge of the step rounded.

I do forget all of what the world feels like

whenever I don’t want to be here any more


but you you I know life & words

do flame up and now a gust of wind.

This poem was included in my book "I want you to feel ugly, too," which can be read on issuu.

Read Part 2 of this poem

Read Part 3 of this poem

performance poetry

About the Creator

Joe Nasta

Hi! I'm a queer multimodal artist writing love poems in Seattle, one half of the art and poetry collective Eat Yr Manhood, and head curator of Stone Pacific Zine. Work in The Rumpus, Occulum, Peach Mag, dream boy book club, and others. :P

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

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    Well-structured & engaging content

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Comments (3)

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  • sandeep kumar2 years ago

    what is that... i am really unaware about it.

  • Betty Phillips2 years ago

    Absolutely amazing and sad at the same time. It was very comforting to feel not alone for the first time in so long i cant remember. Why cant we feel accepted and loved rather than together in our loneliness? What a sad world we live in. Please excuse the minimal amount of my monetary tip. As much as I despise money and all it stands for, it is still a necessity that I have very little of being o

  • Emily Dickerson2 years ago

    love this line: "Poems don’t need to burst / into flame..." Interesting work :)

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