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Posts Tagged ‘writer’s block’

Drought

Thoughts skitter away from her,
Refusing to be gathered.
Inspiration has deserted her,
An empty well, and dark,
Dense with the heaviness
Of nothingness.
She drowns in abject terror
That the words have gone,
Deserted her,
Adopted a new host,
And moved beyond her reach.
She struggles to believe
That all that is lost
Is faith.
A cruel fate for one
Before so powerful,
To need that faith restored
In herself.
This exercise must show her
How it is to trust
In what one cannot hear,
Or see, or touch…
In what is absent.
And yet,
To have that boon restored —
The gift of words —
She must believe in things
That she cannot.

~ KDB

Copyright 2014

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Drought

Thoughts skitter away from her,
Refusing to be gathered.
Inspiration has deserted her,
An empty well, and dark,
Dense with the heaviness
Of nothingness.
She drowns in abject terror
That the words have gone,
Deserted her,
Adopted a new host,
And moved beyond her reach.
She struggles to believe
That all that is lost
Is faith.
A cruel fate for one
Before so powerful,
To need that faith restored
In herself.
This exercise must show her
How it is to trust
In what one cannot hear,
Or see, or touch…
In what is absent.
And yet,
To have that boon resorted —
The gift of words —
She must believe in things
That she cannot.

~ KDB

Copyright 2014

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Writing is a conundrum, did you know that?  The act itself requires an extension of yourself onto the keyboard…you must touch it, or hold the pen or pencil.  You cannot keep your person away from the act.  And then, whether you write silly or serious things, that personhood is further extended in the words you choose, the way you arrange them on the screen/paper, the way you break up the thoughts you compose there. And the very content is a window into the heart of you, even when you try to distance yourself from the words with the use of third person perspective, or the veil of fiction, or the cryptic syntax of poetry. 

Writing is personal from the moment you touch the keys to make the words, or form the letters with your pen.  In each letter, each word, each phrase and clause and sentence, each line, stanza, and paragraph, you write yourself, you paint your heart, you show your soul. You cannot avoid it, no matter how hard you try.  To make writing impersonal, you would need to be a robot, able only to do or say as it is programmed.  And even then, the personality of the programmer is imprinted upon the machine…and the writing becomes a vision of that person’s mind.

Writing shows you to the world, exposes your underbelly, even when you dress it up in seven veils of variegated hues, and swirl it around in a belly dance to seduce the eyes away from you.  Even when you shroud it in mysticism, and pretend it contains pearls of wisdom that others should dive in search of, writing presents your philosophy, your faith, your magic, your mundanity, your ordinariness to the view of a calmly indifferent or distressingly sneering or absolutely enthralled audience, and offers them a way into your core, so they can sit as spectators in the arena of your heart while you fight the demons that you try to pretend so hard you do not have and are not fighting.  Except that the writing shows you in your gladiator loincloth, your privates barely covered, the rest of you a bloody mess of triumph and tragedy, the question of who will win still undecided. Which is why you write. 

I hate writing.  I must write.  I am writing.  I will write.

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The Words

She’s sitting on the edge of her bed, laptop poised precariously on her knee, trying to write a poem.  She doesn’t have the focus to attempt a specific form, or such poetic idiosyncrasies as rhyme or rhythm.  But her tongue itches to say the words that seem just out of reach.  Experimentally, she opens her mouth and…nothing.  A deadly silence greets her effort to bring forth the word.  Determined to breach the wall, she writes:

I have no words.
They have dried up.
The somethings inside me
are Nothing
that can find a way out
through my throat
or through my fingers.

She reads what she has written, and shakes her head.  Affectation can be fatal to good poetry, she thinks, wrestling with whether or not to keep the capital ‘N’ in ‘Nothing’.  The word troubles her.  It seems to be calling attention not just to itself, but also to the emptiness inside her.  She tries to soothe the roiling emotions that it has stirred up by starting over:

I have no words.
My fullness is empty
feeling, knowing, being…
I am replete with nothings,
living sounds and sights
with no place to go,
plumbing backed up

She looks up and out the window to the greenness of evening.  The deer in sight through her window twitches its tail as it browses the grass and weeds, and she wonders idly where the Bambi are, the two little ones that usually follow their mother across her cooling front yard. The words defy her, stubbornly refusing to be born.  The labor is exhausting, a roller-coaster of dismay and disappointment.  She has nothing to say.  And no one wants to read nothing.  There’s enough nothing out there, she thinks.  I want my words to say something.

I have no words.
All that’s left are tears,
and they are drying too.
The well that births
the words and tears
is poisoned, dank,
and losing ground.

She is bound up in the pain of an unrelieved silence, the words inside her an awful bellyache of feelings that constipate her mind and heart, and she knows that soon, if she can find no relief, she will vomit foul words and ugly words and painful words upon the page.  She grits her teeth and curses.

“Fuck!”

She has no words.

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