Writes Alone

My musings & struggles with the blank page…

Like the Honeybee

Like perfume

your words

have an odor

like no

other.

Like the

honeybee

is drawn

to a flower,

so am I

to you.

Our love is

Newfoundland

a refuge in

a world

collapsing.

Cherish all the Small Things

The energy at this time of year really warps the earth’s atmosphere. I can’t explain it, but I’ve yet to meet a person who isn’t affected by the craziness of the season. Some people find it invigorating, most don’t. I’m not going to go on a rant about all that’s wrong with it, because I feel that gives it too much power and importance. Instead I’m just trying to tap into the peaceful aspect of this supposedly blessed time, not world peace (which would be great, don’t get me wrong!), but inner peace( which might lead to world peace if everyone did it, who knows?).  What does that mean to me and how do I go about it? Well it’s different things at different points all in the course of one day sometimes. Today I’m groovin’ on the peaceful feeling of finishing one short piece of fiction and getting it into the mail to be rejected, and I’m beginning the rewrite on another short story I finished earlier this fall. I find writing an oasis in this stressful season. I’m really trying to cherish all the small things that give the biggest and best feelings of contentment that come my way. Working at finding peace within is the best way I know of coping during the weeks ahead.

In Remembrance of You

Again

wanting

to talk to you.

To find out how

you’re doing

since you died.

Grief packed

away where I put it

three months ago.

Let the dead

bury their dead.

Said Jesus.

And let the living

raise up their living.

You came to me

broke into my dreams

and like Mary Magdalene

I recognized you not

and told no one

I saw you.

You wanted help

I could not give it.

The day before you died

you planned the refreshments

for after the funeral.

The wine served

was your blood

shed for us.

And the bread

your broken body

eaten in remembrance of you.

When The Phone Is Lost

When the tide comes in

All castles

Crumble to shore.

Naught to remind of

their brief reign.

Maybe seized on

Someone’s cellphone screen.

Memory

caught only to

Be abandoned.

Beginnings

And endings are

the same thing really.

But castles

Weren’t meant to last.

Time’s a constant foe.

When the phone

Is lost or the

Hand that held the phone

is no more

Memory’s dead.

It’s sand builds our dreams.

A Real Poet

Today when I went to the post office to pick up the mail, a poet  was attending to her own business. She was a real poet. I only became aware of this fact from the conversation she was conducting with the post office clerks. The clerks were clearly impressed and informed the anointed one of their own daughter’s prowess with verse and the acceptance of two perfectly ripe poems in a literary magazine that’s name couldn’t be recalled when asked for. I stood back and crumbled into a desolate ruin of despair. I enviously regarded the lyrical confidence and glowing beauty of the poetical creature before me. I was jealous of not only her, but the clerks’ daughter who was obviously one of those rare geniuses too.

The poet turned around and regarded me with shrewd, intelligent eyes and I vainly tried to appear as proletariat as possible. I feared she’d somehow discern my homespun, awkwardness in the prose and verse arenas of literature. Places I really have no business parading around in, not with the likes of her and the talented daughters of the world. The poet then began to boast with the swagger of a viking, regaling us with her heroic feats on the poetic battlefield. For not only was she published many times, but she taught poetry at the university.

I didn’t feel equal enough to even be in the same post office as this ethereal bard, and if I’d had a blade upon my person, I’d have disembowelled myself right then and there. The clerks reluctantly noticed me cowering in the wings and curtly informed me I had no mail. Well, I bitterly thought, I have no talent either.  I wondered what it must be like to be a vessel filled with the intoxicating gift of natural talent, bestowed by random luck, superior genetics, or maybe the gods. What would her struggles be like, when she faced a blank page? How does it feel when she’s writing? Well I made a hasty escape as meekly as possible. No one suspected that within my chest beat the heart of a writer.

I wish I could give my thanks

I write to discover truth. Sometimes what I learn is almost too unbearable, but other times it is affirming and inspiring.  Talent is not necessary for writing, all that’s needed is a humble desire and action. Don’t hesitate to put your thoughts into ink upon the page and prepare to be amazed by what is before you. For there is something awe inspiring about seeing your words before you, spirit thoughts turned to flesh. I think the transition from oral language to the concrete of symbols called letters is one of the greatest moments in the human story.  I often wonder what inspired our distant ancestors to do this, and I wish I could give my thanks to those anonymous geniuses of the ancient past.

Live Like You Are Dying

Live like you’re dying, because technically you are. You began dying long before you were born. The moment your father’s sperm collided with your mother’s egg, you began to die. So savour every moment of living. Whatever is before you is what you are meant to be doing.

The End Must Be Near…

I first discovered David Mitchell in 2010, when “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet” was released. Amazingly I’d never heard of Mr. Mitchell prior to this book and what a revelation it was, for rarely had I read anything that stitched the supernatural and the worldly together so believably. Mr. Mitchell made Jacob De Zoet and a cast of other characters, Japan, and devilish magic of 1799 be so vividly alive and real. It was a harrowing tale and Mr. Mitchell showed no mercy as he recounted each bitter detail. God it was such a riveting read. I tracked down all his other books and I was not disappointed by any of them. Mr. Mitchell has an incredible way of assembling words on the page that build new places for readers to go, explore, and freak out. I had been eagerly awaiting a new book from Mr. Mitchell for years and the title “The Bone Clocks” sounded so wonderfully Mitchell and weird with who knows what possibilities.  I was sure I was in for thel literary treat of the season.

I still don’t know what happened. “The Bone Clocks” doesn’t even seem like it could have ever come from the mind of David Mitchell. I actually had to struggle to finish the damn thing. I’ve dragged my feet on reviewing it, because I can’t recommend it. It’s just not that good and certainly not worth reading. And yet there are still faint glimmers of Mr. Mitchell’s greatness in it,he writes lovely sentences, but alas he had nothing to say or perhaps he was unable to say it in this book. Even the supernatural couldn’t help him. This book is basically about the end of the world and Mr. Mitchell was determined there was going to be some happiness for few chosen no matter how ludicrous it was and no matter what stupid lows he had to stoop to to get it.  Unfortunately this is pretty much the whole problem with the book, Mitchell is at odds with what is happening on the page and so to force things to go the way he wants he has to employ all this contrived little tricks that are too numerous and lame to list. This book limps along at best and more often barely crawls. I think Mitchell couldn’t bear to write what needed to be written about the brutal awfulness that will be the end of this world we’re currently in. It’s shame really, because if anyone could have written it, I would have said Mr. Mitchell could have. We need brave voices in these times, unafraid of speaking the truth about these last days on planet Earth. The end must be near, if David Mitchell can no longer write a decent story.

 

My Dead Blog

I haven’t posted in a long time… I don’t even know why I’m bothering to post right now, except someone inexplicably decided to begin following my dead blog today. I mean even though nothing’s been happening on my blog page, in my writing life away from the screen I’ve been on fire. I’ve been letting loose in a notebook with just me, myself, and I. Just writing down whatever comes into my mind, allowing the words to flow with no censoring or even punctuation if I can’t be bothered. This simple act has resulted in a whole bunch of material and two really rough short stories. I love writing and when I started a blog, I thought it would enrich my writing life, but it really didn’t do very much for it at all. I think blogging is all about flashy, fun writing, that grabs people’s attention and some people are very gifted at doing this. They are topical, witty, and so good at making lists that people want to read. I’m not good at any of these things, but the wonderful thing about blogging is it’s open to anybody at anytime. There is even room for bloggers like me. I was very touched my dead blog was noticed today, maybe there is life after death.

Reaquainted with Baldwin

Last night I read “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, I hadn’t read this short story in many years (had to read it in college). I was ambushed by the freshness and compelling writing of the man. We become like strangers to our past and maybe that’s why mostly we can never go back, because we change and things change, and there needs to be a common belief from all involved to make things work. Well as I was reading Sonny’s Blues, I do believe I was touched by something that seemed very close to magical and it worked. Baldwin reached back into the mythical past and resurrected it very deftly.

I can’t understand how I’d forgotten all about Baldwin, he’s a master storyteller. Weaving an epic tale of two brothers and the burden of what family can be, as well as the refuge and salvation it can sometimes offer. Baldwin gets it all down right and has you trembling inside yourself. This too shall pass and so will you, he booms from the pages beyond the grave. The subject of Death is batted around on the printed page by every author worth their salt (and quite a few who aren’t), but few can match Baldwin, he makes you quake with sorrow at the finality of it.The isolation of every human soul as it desperately fights to live on and make some kind of meaning before the inevitable conclusion, this is Sonny’s Blues. Addiction, death (lots of death), family dynamics, reconciliation, jazz, solitude, are just a few topics Baldwin tackles. I do remember loving this story the first time I read it, and I love it just as much this time, but I think my reasons are very different. When I read it in college, I had so much less compassion for the older brother and felt he didn’t try hard enough to help his younger brother. Back then I believed you could save people from themselves if you tried hard enough and didn’t give up.

“The Art of The Short Story” compiled by Dana Gioia and R S Gwynn, is what reaquainted me with Baldwin. A collection of 52 authors, their short stories and insights on their writing, published in 2006 shouldn’t be missed. It’s a treasure trove for anyone who writes this form of fiction. The selection of writers from all over the world, past and present, male and female, dead and alive, is wonderful. I’m loving it. Reading can be like dreaming while you’re wide awake, and this book is definitely the stuff dreams are made of.

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