Writing Has Nothing To Do With Love
E. Ethelbert Miller
In the short story they leave the diner
and walk to her small apartment. Toast
and eggs sleep next to the cold cups
of coffee near two plates.
In the play they never leave the table.
They keep interrupting each other
like hands touching too much too fast.
She said there were parts of her that
were hungry and confused.
In the novel he never explains
how he feels about her. It’s complicated.
There are other characters.
He has a wife.
In the poem each line ends with fucking.
Every stanza is a room. She unlocks
the door to her apartment- the size of
In the memoir they are married.
He remembers the day he left her
to have breakfast with a friend
who lived in a small apartment.
It was the end of literature and
the beginning of lunch.
E. Ethelbert Miller is a literary activist. He was born in 1950 and grew up in the South Bronx. A graduate of Howard University, he was one of the first students to major in African American Studies. Today he is the board chair of the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank located in Washington, D.C. Mr. Miller is also the director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University, a position he has held since 1974. The author of several collections of poetry, he has also written two memoirs. Mr. Miller has taught at UNLV, American University, George Mason University, and Emory and Henry College. For several years he was a core faculty member with the Bennington Writing Seminars.