word-shaped windmills

I wonder how others are able
to read what they've written
days or months or years ago
and not cringe uncontrollably

did I really think that?
was that how I felt?
what was I thinking then?
jesus fucking christ

I read and reread my favorite
authors and am always moved
by their ability to capture
a feeling in a given moment

and I wonder, do they respond
to their own work as I respond
to the words I have committed to
this great, vast cloud in the sky?

do they realize the profound
effect they have on the reader?
Is that what separates the great
writers from hacks like me?

or do I judge myself too harshly,
does familiarity breed contempt?
am I able to tap into the zeitgeist
or am I tilting at word-shaped windmills?

and in the end, when I say what
I have to say and tap "publish"
do I get lost in the meaningless
cacophony of the electronic void?

or are my words lying in wait for
their next unsuspecting victim
ready to pounce with all the force
of a thousand crouching tigers?

I don't imagine I will every truly know.

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