Sometimes the words dry up. Like a puddle after a rainstorm, like affection, like the green of the leaves and the summer wanes and closes, taking with it the memories of crispness and clean. Snow lies heavy on wilted leaves, colors long forgotten in their damp prison. Sometimes, the words tickle to life, pressing beneath my tongue, demanding to be written. But there is nowhere to go. Where the words want to come, want to be spoken and used and spun like fine sugar, ideas stop. What character? What story? Should I borrow someone else’s?
And then I hesitate, wanting to return to my trusty home in fanfiction, but that home has grown too small. There’s only so many times you can kill the same character, only so many times you can write your own insecurities and joys onto someone else’s template. And now they feel stretched too thin, and it’s been too long since I touched them, stretched their limits, manhandled their edges until they fit my words.
“Write about the politics of language,” my teacher says. Write about the ramifications of these misspellings, these grammatical droughts, these dialect-laden fruits of poems? But why? The language is a tool, and these poems are like using catsup for paint to make people focus on the clumpy brown muck that looks a lot like the sandwich they had for lunch. It’s messy, it’s unappealing, and it’s slightly nauseating. I take pride in the letters placed side by side, in order, the way they should be. I take joy in that organization. Why ruin it?
Stop throwing your letters on the floor like old socks. Stop ripping them apart, till nothing remains but the echo of the Roman alphabet. Pick up your scraps, glue them together, make some words that mean something. The scars, the seams of your emotions are starting to show on the fabric of your art, and it’s disctracting. It demands like Frankenstein’s monster to be seen, refuses to blend. Can’t you see your electric shocks aren’t bringing any life at all?
And here the words are. They complain, but it feels so good to put them out. It’s like vomitting water, emptying something that does no good. But now it’s gone, maybe just a little, and the itch is sated a little bit. But the urge to type, to tap and fix and put words on a page continues, tugging at me, twisting my mind, nagging me because I should write more, because I have a paper due Friday, because I want so much to have the words I see. I want to be able to hold my words out to someone else and say look, can’t you see, this is my soul? I want my words to sparkle and shine, to be blue as sparks and cold as ice. I want to capture a language fragile as gossamer, as a spider’s web, but all I have are these words that feel more like canvas and sandpaper than the fabric and light I want to produce.
Can’t you hear my cry? People talk about a muse, they talk about writer’s block, but that’s not what this is. Maybe I’m not a writer. Maybe I’m not meant to write, to publish, to share my thoughts. What good am I without my thoughts! I want to share, to bleed my knowledge, my opinions, my memories. I want them to flow out, till no one can mistake me for anything or anyone other than who I am, till everyone understands. Why is their understanding so important? Why is their understanding something I yearn for? Why can’t I ever be quiet, just listen, just absorb. I can be quiet, or I can be loud, but I can’t pay attention. What’s inside is too much for me to stopper it, for me to want to. And it’s not even special. So why is it here?