My first book releases March 31st. This isn’t the post I thought I’d write about such an occasion, but then– this isn’t the book I thought I’d write, either.
is the smack of one flap of give-a-fuck
against the other. At the corner
of the sternum. Also the shaking of limbs,
of hands on the steering wheel.
Is the pulse normal. Is the sweat.
Is the exhale hard down into pelvis,
like a push against the flailing.
I’m not asking. That barking
is the sound of wanting sound,
how intricately-imagined the motion
of lips, of tongue and teeth
to form the words that don’t come.
Gestating long past hymn and dust.
That, my dear, that barking
is the chill of stomach sucking
in against investigation. Shaping
itself a bowl for questions.
The smack of eyelash against cheek
blinking them back.
Ok so it’s almost Thanksgiving.
If shopping, family drama, travels, and/or assorted year-end hells are killing your writerly motivation, here are four reasons you’ll want to go write anyway. Like, right now.
It’s my latest for Ploughshares Literary Magazine: Consider yourself kicked in the ass.
PS. If nothing else, you can always employ your bot.
You and I are poor lovers
But we are faithful, faithful,
Famously terrifying to quit, Cymbalta loves and leaves
with jerks and starts, fuzzy rods between your eyes,
hilarious nausea. Blurred and frozen, then unfrozen.
Cymbalta offers no weaning methods. So at night
you stoop over your capsules: splitting them and counting
beads the size of salt granules. Placing them
in new capsules, or dumping them in applesauce.
It’s how the internets say to do it.
The meds are only monsters when you stop taking them.
Before then, they’re daily nurses, gentle masseurs
at the feet of cells and secretions you can’t name.
(Unless they’re doing harm.) (A delicious game of guesses.)
Not needing them, latching instead onto some organic
all-natural FDA-unapproved-statement supplement regimen
is a privilege for the lucky, the wealthy, the believers
whose nodding acquiescence delivers them from evil
via Jesus and placebo effects. You’d be happy
for faux fixes, but can’t muster the requisite faith.
Then there’s the way weeks begin disappearing
into snaps behind the eyes: trying not to turn the head
too quickly, to keep some shit together, eliminating maybe
several white beads at a time.
“For to live means to sing, to love, to rage, and to tear things to shreds, while…faces look on and pupils burn.” –Nicolay Aseev
(Choosing to ignore for a moment that Aseev wrote this in a bullfighting context.)
(Because advice is advice amirite)
If you need a weekend writing push, check out Zora Neale Hurston‘s reminder to be rash. Get what’s in you out. Stop asking why and making too many demands, on yourself or others. If you later regret writing this thing, at least you made something worth regretting.
Stop waiting. Say it.
“I regret all of my books. It is one of the tragedies of life that one cannot have all of the wisdom one is ever to possess in the beginning. Perhaps, it is just as well to be rash and foolish for a while. If writers were too wise, perhaps no books would be written at all. It might be better to ask yourself ‘Why?’ afterwards than before. Anyway, the force from somewhere in Space which commands you to write in the first place, gives you no choice. You take up the pen when you are told, and write what is commanded. There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.”