Wednesday, January 16, 2013


So you think
You have a great idea
For a story.

You see a movie
Or read a book;
And the story is a cruel,
But strangely welcome,
Reminder of something similar
That you have considered,
Or, worse, something that you
Have long ago lived through.

It is but a short step
From that realization
To the inspiration
That leads you to write.

There is something you know well.
Something from your distant past.
An incident that affected
Your whole approach to life.
A person never forgotten.
A few moments
That deserved to be driven
To their logical conclusion –
Whatever that was!

And, yet, perhaps there is
An illogical conclusion
That is also worthy
Of exploration.
So, you decide
To explore.

The effort sucks your insides out.
Each sentence draws you further
Into a hole that has no exit.

Your body aches
And your mind reels
As though it has been bludgeoned
Into insensibility.
Your emotions are worse than stretched;
They are drawn so tight
That the slightest irritation
Makes you appear to be insane.

You become what you are writing.
The inevitable character
Based partly on you is alive
And you cannot help
But act out his longings.

So you long for the objects
That he desires
Even though you know
That they are beyond
Your pathetic reach.

The places you describe
Become the places
You want to inhabit.
They crawl out of the scenes
You see each day
And they torment you
With background music
Composed by the devil.
You slowly go mad.

But at some point
You finish
And you can write no more.

At some point
You ask someone else
To read what you have extracted
From your very soul.
And they read;
And they offer,
With the best of intentions,
A few platitudes …
If you are lucky!

The pity of it all
Is that any platitudes
Are so much more palatable
Than the cold reject notes
That come all too quickly.

So you are left to wonder
Where you went wrong.
You are left to wonder
Why you are desolate
Even though
You have achieved so much more
Than most people ever attempt.

No answers come
And the few who know of your folly
Can only think
‘I should have told him so.’

But you keep trying
To prove them wrong.

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